BIG YEAR: Former Gladstone dancer, Daniel Kempson has been promoted to company dancer with the Queensland Ballet for next year.
BIG YEAR: Former Gladstone dancer, Daniel Kempson has been promoted to company dancer with the Queensland Ballet for next year. David Kelly

Dancer's leap of faith took him a long way

DANIEL Kempson's first year with the Queensland Ballet will see him leap into a company artist role in 2018.

On opening night yesterday, he performed in his third season of The Nutcracker with the company - in the family scene and as a soldier in a fight scene between The Nutcracker and the Rat King.

It was a five-year journey from a regional town to Brisbane for the former Gladstone dancer.

Daniel's dancing journey began when he was 11 at the Wendy Barker Dance Studios.

After watching Billy Elliot over and over again, he decided to try tap dancing, and eventually gave ballet a go at the suggestion of his teachers.

"I was very reluctant, as a young boy, to try ballet," he said.

" (I) thought it was a bit girly for me, but I persisted and I ended up trying all other forms of dance."

This year was Daniel's first year as a company member, where he was accepted as a young artist.

"Tap came a bit more naturally to me, whereas ballet seemed very foreign," he said.

"The more I got used to it, the more I got to enjoy it (and) I wanted to learn more about it."

 

RISING STAR: Queensland Ballet young artist Daniel Kempson.
RISING STAR: Queensland Ballet young artist Daniel Kempson. Contributed

Daniel said his training in Gladstone had taken him far.

As soon as the school bell rang at 3pm, Daniel went straight to the studio, mostly at the Gladstone Thistle Pipe Band hall.

"I did ballet from Monday to Thursday for three hours every night, every day except on the weekend (when) we did morning classes," he said.

These days, Daniel starts his days at 10am with a ballet class five days a week and an optional lesson on Saturdays.

"It's a very disciplined artform," he said.

"We basically do the same thing every morning."

Daniel trained in Gladstone until 2013, and then auditioned for the Queensland Ballet as a student.

"(Ballet has) grown into a very big passion of mine and I'm so glad that I can follow it to make a career out of it," he said.

"I'm so lucky not only with the experiences I've had here in Brisbane, but in Gladstone as well."



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