Meet Telstra Ballet Dancer Award Nominee Benedicte Bemet
Born in Mackay in 1994, she grew up on the Gold Coast where she began her training aged three and continued in Hong Kong when her family relocated there when she was ten.
Benedicte says leaving home at age 13 to study ballet professionally was “probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do”, but that was when she was accepted into The Australian Ballet School where she gained the Award for Excellence in Level 6. The ballet dancer later represented the school via their exchange program in New York and Canada.
She toured with The Dancer’s Company in 2010 and 2011, and was accepted into the company in 2012.
As a Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee Benedicte collaborated with Aje fashion designers Edwina Robinson and Adrian Norris. See what inspired them all in this short video, then read her exclusive Q&A with TheCarousel.com below.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve picked up from a makeup artist backstage?
The best beauty tip I’ve picked up would be to moisturise your skin all the time! It’s so important, as it helps the makeup blend onto your face well and it makes it easier to take off. I spray rose water onto my face beforehand as well which helps the skin absorb the cream more, it keeps your skin soft and prevents damage!
It’s so important to have healthy looking and glowy skin on stage. How do you achieve this?
I use a Bobbi Brown foundation and a MAC mineralise skin finish to highlight spots on my face to give it that ‘glowing’ look on stage. I also might lightly powder over my foundation to set my makeup in place and to keep my skin from looking shiny when I start to sweat.
You’ve trained in many different countries throughout your career – how different is the training in your experience?
The training I’ve had has varied depending on which country and what school I was attending. I was trained in a strict Russian style on the Gold Coast, and the R.A.D syllabus in Hong Kong. Although both were very different experiences I learnt a lot about taking on corrections and how to apply different coaching techniques to your body. I think it’s important to try and take away something positive and constructive from all coaches and teachers.
You love baking and chocolate – how do integrate cheat days into your health and fitness plan?
I love baking and making delicious things, but ‘everything in moderation’. To be honest sometimes when your work load is high you’re not thinking about eating all the sweet treats but more about getting enough protein and complex carbs to maintain your energy and aid muscle recovery. After you’ve looked after yourself with good nutrients then you can worry about your sweet tooth. The well-being of my muscles has to come first, but it’s followed closely by some chocolate for the soul!
What three attributes/qualities are essential to make it as a professional ballerina and why?
The three things that I think make a great artist are humility, honesty and tenacity. I think they are attributes that are important in life as well. They help you get through the tough times while staying true to yourself and allow you to express yourself on stage.
What’s the biggest misconception about ballerinas?
I think the biggest misconception about ‘ballerinas’ is that they’re weak. I think people would be surprised at the strength our quad muscles have! Not to mention our calves!!! Although a lot of the movements can look effortless and delicate there is a super strong core behind it.
What was the most creative/enjoyable/difficult/unexpected aspect of your collaboration with fashion designers Adrian Norris and Edwina Robinson?
The Telstra collaboration was fantastic and it was lovely to chat about what we all do and what we’re all passionate about. I’ve always been interested in fashion so it was nice to discuss how their designs came to be and what inspires them.
What do you love about the fashion/costumes you get to wear in these beautiful productions?
Your costume has the power to completely transform you into your character and take you away. When you put on a gorgeous encrusted tutu with jewellery and a delicate head piece you can feel so beautiful which is sometimes exactly what you need to build the courage to go on stage, especially when it’s a challenging or daunting ballet.
How would you describe your off-duty style?
My off duty style is very relaxed – we spend all day in tight Lycra and hard pointe shoes so I need to be comfortable. I’ll probably wear a pair of boyfriend jeans with my biker boots or Adidas trainers with a simple top, a jumper, my favourite blue coat and my favourite handbag, my Celine! It was my 21st present to myself!
What do you see yourself doing after your ballet career?
I’m not sure what I’d like to do when I finish dancing, I think I would have to take a lot of time away from ballet to find something else. This has been such a huge part of my life that I feel very passionately about so it will be hard to find something similar, but hopefully I’ve got a few more years to think about it.
To find out more about the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards go to telstra.com/ballet.