Interviewer: Ross, it’s a pleasure to have you in the studio today. I wonder if you could tell me first what your work is like at the moment?
Ross: Sure. I work for two different dance companies. My primary responsibilities include attending warm-up class, rehearsals, performances as well as some teaching. At rehearsals, I must learn, master and artistically interpret the dance routines.  It’s not my role to change the choreographer’s ideas, though sometimes I might be tempted to. In performances, the dancer has to accomplish what is surely their principal task: to bring the choreography to life, much as an actor does with their role in a play. Sometimes I have jobs that involve teaching younger dancers and there the goal is to teach within the style of the company you are representing, so that requires plenty of thought and planning.
Interviewer: So, what are some of the problems or decisions you face on a regular basis?
Ross: One of the chief problems I face is scheduling.  The dance companies I work for often have overlapping performance dates. I also have to factor in my yoga teaching schedule. Very few dancers land dance jobs where they work just for one company and can live off of that salary alone. Most dancers work for multiple choreographers or companies. Of course, you also need to stay in good physical shape and prioritise going to technique class and the gym.
Interviewer: What skills are required to handle these problems or decisions?
Ross: You have to be extremely organised and vigilant, adaptable and cooperative. Being a fast learner is helpful, so when you have to attend rehearsals for a shorter period of time, you still get the necessary work done. Fortunately, that’s not usually a problem for me. Lately, though, I have been working on being more confident about asking for what I need . I’m aware that can let me down sometimes.
Interviewer: Could you tell us about some of the people you work with, and give us some idea of what working with them is like?
Ross: Most modern dancers are extremely hard-working, down-to-earth, friendly people. Their personalities can range from being quirky, very creative types to extremely meticulous perfectionists who, under other circumstances, you might find in an accounting office. I work with both types and more. My interactions with my fellow dancers are usually filled with laughter and fun. I tend to gravitate towards dancers who are light-hearted and encouraging – though I certainly respect other types too . I watch and learn from dancers who are perfectionists and go-getters. I try to avoid confrontation and work toward open channels of communication between myself and other dancers, so that they feel free to give me feedback about my dancing and vice-versa.
Interviewer: How would you describe your work atmosphere?
Ross: I’m currently working for two main companies. One of these has a very structured and organised rehearsal process. A lot of time is spent on details and precision of the movements, spacing, musical counts, etc. Each rehearsal is carefully planned out with asks that need to be accomplished that day. The other company has rehearsals where dancers improvise with each other, and by themselves, to generate movement material and stylistic ideas. The rehearsals are freer in their structure, ideas are tossed out, played with, transformed or discarded.  I think both of these working atmospheres, or a combination of both, are typical in the field of dance.
Interviewer: What are your plans for your future?
Ross: Most dancers end up teaching and that’s a great career of course. I’d kind of prefer to do something a bit less predictable. I don’t think I’ve necessarily got the skills to run a business of my own or anything like that but I think I might go back to college and do a course in something like film studies. Or perhaps, even something in history as that’s something I get increasingly interested in as I get older.  Who knows what I might end up doing!
Interviewer: Thank you, Ross.
I’ve just been to something I’m sure I’ll remember all my life. It was one of my favourite bands of all time playing in front of the National Gallery.  It was just the perfect setting – a square surrounded by elegant historic buildings. Quite a severe location in some ways but that suited their style. The bit I’ll personally always treasure was how taken my son was by it all.  Usually he’s a bit dismissive of my tastes in songs but he agreed to let me drag him along and it was clear from his face that he found it spellbinding. I’ve now agreed to go along to watch a cricket match with him and hope I’ll be equally surprised to find it enjoyable.
It was an absolutely extraordinary evening, well worth the long rail journey I’d had to make to get there. The speakers were excellent – managing to be both moving and witty in a way that seemed totally appropriate given the nature of the occasion. A hundred years since the halls that had a exhibition had burnt down.  But I remember the event also for personal reasons. I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for a good ten years, a guy I used to football with before we both headed off to university. I’d thought about him often but hadn’t managed to find out where he was living or what he was doing now — despite googling him every now and then. 
When you think back over the memorable events in your life I think sometimes it’s relatively ordinary ones that can stand out more than the big public occasions. My grandfather becoming eighty, for example, had a surprisingly significant impact on my life.  A famous actor who’d been to school with Grandpa gave a very touching speech about the importance of roots and it came to me with total clarity that I really did want to move back to the town where I grew up. I’d been turning the idea over in my mind for quite some time but might never have got round to doing anything about it had it not been for that speech. 
I met Fiona when we were both on a train going to the airport last month and we started talking about where we were heading. Fiona told me she was going back to the island where she’d spent many happy holidays as a child – but this time because she had to attend a conference in connection with her work as an architect. I explained that I was off to the city where I’d had the luck as a child to go to the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics.  The thing that struck me most then were the fireworks over the snowy mountains. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more in the twenty years since. 
I was a bit late coming home last night because I’d had to hand in a piece of lost property. I’d found a purse on the floor of the auditorium. You remember I was going to see one of my favourite plays.  It was an excellent performance but I think I’ll remember the evening most because of that purse. When I looked inside it the credit card had the name of a really famous political figure on it.  Do you think they might ask to meet me when they learn their purse has been handed in? They should be very grateful because there was a lot of money in there. And I mean a lot! Enough to buy a new car!