MEET 2024 HEADLINER hannah martin...

Hannah Martin is currently an Artist with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and recently performed in the World Premiere of Black Sabbath The Ballet. She attended Elmhurst Ballet School graduating with the Sir Peter Wright Award for Performance and was chosen by Carlos Acosta to become an apprentice at BRB. She quickly progressed to become a full-fledged artist in the company and has performed a variety of roles which include Cygnets from Swan Lake, Juliet’s Friends in Romeo and Juliet, Mirlitons in The Nutcracker, and Interlinked by Juliano Nunes. 

In addition to performing Hannah has also choreographed for the Birmingham Ballet Company’s production of Aladdin, further adding to her self-choreographed pieces for BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, and the exquisite “Arrival of the Birds” which she performed at The Fonteyn.

Hannah’s journey to ballet success has been an unconventional and inspiring one. Alongside her ballet training, Hannah won over 22 national titles in Rhythmic Gymnastics, as well as representing Team England and Great Britain at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Goldcoast, Australia, Junior European Championships, and the World Championships.

In 2020 she featured on the BBC hit television show The Greatest Dancer where she progressed all the way to the semi-finals.

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What are you most looking forward to as a Headliner of MOVE IT 2024? 

I am really looking forward to being a part of this celebration of dance and sharing my love for classical ballet. In addition to having the chance to teach and inspire the next generation of dancers, I am also excited to be creating a brand new piece, especially for the Main Stage. The atmosphere of all the artists in the building will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration, and I can’t wait to soak it all up. 

What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career so far?

 I think perhaps the most significant lesson I have learnt is not to compare my journey to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, and so often it can steal the moments that could grow us and transform us the most. If you spend all your energy focussing on someone else’s pathway or assets, you rarely have the time or right perspective to appreciate and utilise all the amazing things you have already.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? / Further career goals in the dance Industry? 

As well as expanding the breadth and roles of my current classical repertoire, I would also like to explore choreography as a future avenue. I have big goals and dreams for the future, but as an artist, they are constantly evolving and being reimagined. I don’t necessarily want to give myself a definite end destination for 5 years as I am excited to see what opportunities present themselves and how they will develop me as a dancer. The only thing I can say with full assurance is that I hope to only continue developing both technically and artistically on this journey. 

Do you have any advice for young aspiring dancers who want to get into the professional dance world? 

The most important asset for a dancer in my opinion is the passion you hold for it. From this place of love for what you do comes discipline and dedication. So my advice for young dancers is to continue to embrace and grow this passion. Do not allow the opinions of others to define what you can achieve, nothing is impossible with the right mindset!

What does dancing mean to you? 

Dancing is a way I can communicate all the emotions I feel inwardly to the outside world. It is a chance to speak without words and make an impact on a spectator’s life through the medium of movement. This is a privilege I do not take lightly, and each day I strive to improve the way I can communicate through my body. 

Are there any influences on your style of dance? 

Previously having a career as a rhythmic gymnast and competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in GoldCoast, Australia, I can say that this rhythmical style of movement has certainly had an impact on the way I approach classical ballet. It has given me not only the flexibility but also the expansiveness to explore my own individuality within the art form. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge that you face as a dancer? 

The biggest challenges I have faced always seem to be more mental than physical. I believe if you can overcome the mental blocks within your own mind then it takes off the limitations of what you can achieve. I think learning how to not let the opinions of others define how I view myself, in addition to learning that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint have been keys for me mentally as I approach my work. 

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in the dance industry? 

Passion, dedication, discipline, and a healthy dose of perseverance are essential. Artistry, musicality, technique, and performance are also equally significant to becoming the best dancer you can be. Perhaps what is spoken about less is the ability to be quick and smart when learning and coordinating new movements. This is something a dancer develops over time as they continue to learn new rep. It is so important when going into the industry as it makes it easier for an individual to quickly absorb new material. 

What can we expect from your Main Stage Performance?  

I am very excited to be creating a new piece that will incorporate my love for writing poetry amidst a neoclassical ballet setting. I do not want to give away too many spoilers, but I am hoping it will be a touching piece influenced by the journey and experiences I have had so far. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself  

I am a huge porridge lover! I eat it everyday, and am absolutely obsessed with oats! They are truly an elite form of carbohydrate!