I'm just ordinary girl, born without any special privileges in 1992.
My parent's were not dancers and nor were my family involved in ballet, but once I began I could not forget the passion it brought to me.
I began as a gymnast. I competed in many competitions and won 14 medals. But I had to choose between ballet or gymnastics, as I could only commit to one.
So, my heart followed dance and from the age of 11, going through many of the experiences which you may be going through right now.
I won a scholarship to one of the world's most famous ballet schools where I became head girl (because I treated the teachers as friends rather than enemies). I became Principal Dancer for a National Youth Ballet company and I danced with the Royal Ballet while still at school.
In the end, despite there always being people ahead of me at school, I was the only girl in my class to become a professional.
That's the important point. None of the stellar leading girls made it in the end. I'd look at them in awe, wishing I was as flexible and as beautiful. My dad always told me: "This is a marathon, not a sprint, keep your spirits up, keep believing". He was so right. I won a BAFTA Award a TV performance for the BBC.
This website gives the insights into how I did this. I am sharing my practices where the underdog can win. My website has won awards for its efforts.
For years I worked hard and toured Europe in the most glamourous venues. I retired young and now am now living in a place like paradise teaching a new generation. One of my students just won through to the finals of an international competition. Where I live has a tiny population in a beautiful island in New Zealand. So this is a big deal.
It is a learning journey and my way of 'giving back' is, with this website, to help youngsters develop to be the best dancers they can be.
I've had years of experience with performing, pointe shoes, ballet classes, teachers, disappointments... you name it.
I'm sure I will be able to relate to you somehow! Which is why, my website is here to guide you and give you the best advice you need in ballet.
I will do my best to give you guidance in the most understandable and attainable way. That is my pledge.
Best wishes and good luck in your journey,
p.s. About my pen name 'Odette'. It's not my real name. I want to keep a little quite quiet about my real name because I comment on some aspects of the ballet world which need improvement - steeped in old traditions as they are. It's a close knit community and I have ballet friends all over the world. I am still an insider. People can get a little touchy at the slightest criticism, so don't want to upset my colleagues and former directors or teachers. I mean well when I tell the truth, and I don't mean any disrespect, but this website gives me the opportunity to be a mole on the inside for you guys. I give enough clues within the website for you to find out my real name, and that's really me in the pictures on the page, so it doesn't worry me if you work it out. Have fun and enjoy the website.