Folks We Love with Amy Harris | Ballerina with The Australian Ballet
As major dance fans, we are so thrilled to introduce you all to Amy Harris. She and her husband both dance with the Australian ballet, and I think they may be one of the most romantic things ever. Her drive and focus to be able to simultaneously train and perform as a ballerina and be a mama to her adorable 3 year old daughter is more than just admirable. She transcends the status quo, the expected, and the way we generally think about moms and what we are capable of after having children. Bravo to Amy and many thanks for sharing a peek into her life with us.
interview by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama
Who is in your family?
My Husband, Jarryd Madden (fellow Senior Artist at The Australian Ballet) and my Daughter, Willow, 3.5 years old
Where are you from?
I’m from a small country town in Victoria, Ararat
How old are your kiddos?
Willow will be 4 in November
Ballerina with The Australian Ballet
When did you know you wanted to be a dancer?
Around the age of 10. It was when my Mum started to take me to a wonderful ballet school in Ballarat (1 hour drive from Ararat). I juggled all genres for the first year and then decided that I wanted to concentrate purely on ballet
Does you daughter dance? How would you feel about her following in your footsteps?
She loves some interpretive dance in the lounge room with the full outfit on! Jarryd and I are very open to her starting dance classes. We had a chat about it one day and said when she starts to show some interest and when we ask and she says ‘yes’ to doing ballet, then it’s time. People always say it’s inevitable because both Jarryd and myself dance, but she’s a really intelligent little girl. The world is her oyster!
How have things changed with your partner since you became parents?
Initially there were significant changes. And I feel like its very normal to have some kind of shift in your relationship when a little human comes along. We have a different relationship now but I feel thats what should happen as you grow together, it changes. It’s no longer just you and them, dinners out, sleep when you want, going to the movies or doing the groceries quickly. While changes happened and it took some adjustment, we are stronger than ever before. I couldn’t do life without Jarryd, and I don’t want too
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
Anything, so long as I am with them! Our time together is precious. Working 6 days a week with unusual hours leaves us with minimal family time. Mornings are precious, nights are hectic and I live for Sundays with them
What is a dancer's schedule like and did that shift after you became a mother?
It’s consuming and theres a lot of travel involved. Becoming a Mother didn’t change my schedule at all, it just became even more jam packed! We have two kinds of schedules, one while in season and one while just in a rehearsing period. Rehearsal period we go from 10:30am - 6:30 pm with our lunch break at 2:30 - 3:45 pm. Then when we are performing we start at 11 am - 3 pm and then have a break before heading back to the theatre, which for me is around 5pm. I start with hair and makeup, then into ballet barre / warm up at 6.30 - 7 pm. Final touches on hair and make up, put my costume and shoes on and head to the stage for curtain up at 7.30 pm. The show can finish anywhere between 9.30-10.30, sometimes even later. Then it’s home to unwind, get organized for the next day and bed normally around midnight
Any that I get to read to my daughter because it means we are generally snuggled up together
What advice would you give to a new mom?
Do it your way! If you feel in your gut that that is what you should do, then do it. Generally these are the decisions that you feel comfortable with and therefore can be consistant with
What is the best advice you have ever received?
... to take my own advice
What are 4 things you can't live without?
- My family and friends
- My phone - because I even have my diary on there now. I was old school pen and paper until this year!
- Chocolate, it’s my weakness
- Having a good laugh! I’m known to have quite the cackle. And hearing my daughter laugh just warms my heart