Andrea Robertson was obsessed with ballet before she could even pronounce the word “ballet”.
At the age of two, she constantly talked about “belly” – much to the confusion of her parents, especially because no one in her family had ever done any dancing.
Finally, when Andrea was three, the Nutcracker was on TV and she was able to show her parents what she had wanted to do all along: ballet.
She started lessons right away – and never stopped.
From there, Andrea nearly became a professional ballet dancer – and then ended up dancing as a Moulin Rouge dancer. She has also worked as an oestopath throughout her dancing career.
Andrea now runs her own enormous osteopathy clinic, has opened several Xtend barre studios throughout Melbourne, and has been nominated for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
I had a chat to her to ask all about her life as a dancer – and it was fascinating.
You’re from the country – so how did you get to the point where you became a professional dancer?
I never danced at a full-time dance school like a lot of professionals do. I was just lucky to have such an amazing ballet teacher, who was a principal of the Australian Ballet Company, and she ended up in a little country town teaching me. I had grand ambitions of being a ballerina but I’m very tall – so I was pretty much told I would never get work as a ballerina because I was too tall. However, I was still invited to come and do an audition for the Australian Ballet Company, even though I could never work in Australia as a ballerina.
So I was planning on doing my ballet school audition, and the night before, I was in class and broke my foot. I didn’t even make my audition.
I was devastated because all I knew was ballet. And then I went to university and studied osteopathy. While I was at uni in Melbourne, I discovered a whole new world of dance, jazz, musical theatre. Then I got auditions, an agent and did a lot of TV work and cheerleading and corporate gigs.
I got my qualifications as an osteopath and three months later, Moulin Rouge came to Australia for auditions – and I got the job! They had about 800 auditions and only took 4 of us from Australia so it was very exciting!
What was it actually like dancing in the Moulin Rouge? Was it anything like the movie?