Put your money where your heart is

2 min read

"I couldn't tell you the exact moment when I decided to be a dancer. It was more like a slow falling in love. I tended to move a lot as a child, so I tried everything - from sport to gymnastics. But dancing was just that bit more tantalising to me, because I was able to express myself."

Ever since Amy Hollingsworth graduated from the Australian Ballet School, dance has been her life. Ballet came first, with principal positions at the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Denmark's Peter Schaufuss Ballet. Then she plunged into contemporary dance, performing with London's Rambert Dance Company, winning the 2004 UK Critic's Circle Dance Award for Most Outstanding Female Artist and taking on a range of projects, from assistant choreography on Kylie's Fever tour to films like Finding Neverland and The Muse.

"Both my mother and grandmother inspired me," she says. "My mother is a beautiful musician, who plays and teaches piano, sings and writes music. My grandmother, Dorothy Fleming, trained as a dancer in London and was one of the ABC's first female radio broadcasters. I've also had some extraordinary teachers along the way. I'd say I'm a bit of a Pollyanna. I see a lot of positivity around me and I actively look for things that inspire me. I feel like everyone I've worked with has, in some way, inspired me to keep wanting to be the best possible version of myself."

Though positive in outlook, Amy has always been aware of the potential for injury or setbacks as a dancer. Even as she danced and choreographed, she was studying towards a Bachelor of Science, doing arts management courses, and even getting a helicopter licence, in case one day she needed to change direction. "I adore flying and if I had to choose a superpower it would be flying superwoman style," she says.

And 5 years ago, a niggling hip injury did cause Amy to hang up her performance shoes. But that didn't put an end to her pursuing her passion. Between 2010 and 2014, she was dance director at the Sydney Dance Company and, in June 2015, her first original work, Two Bars of Isolation, debuted in Melbourne and Hobart as part of Transit Dance Company's premiere season. 

"I'm incredibly excited to reignite my voice as a creator. I always feel as though I'm bursting full of ideas. I want people to take from the performance what they choose to. That's the beauty of art."

Although Amy lives and breathes the arts, she keeps an eye on her finances. "I've always chosen to follow my heart, but I've tempered that with being sensible financially and taking precautions to plan ahead. I tend to be frugal with things that don't matter to me, like clothes and bags and shoes, but I've never scrimped on travel. I can't afford all of it, so I put my money where my heart is."

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This information is current as at 16/09/2015.