“I like to go to bed reminding myself that I gave my everything.”
No other sport demands so much discipline and elegance like classical ballet. Born and raised in the south of France, Andreas Giesen moved at the age of 10 to Paris pursue his training at the Conservatoire Supérieur. After making his professional stage debut at the Polish National Ballet, Andreas has become one of the most in-demand dancers in the world. We got a chance to chat with the danseur where he opened up about the challenges of what it means being a professional ballet dancer.
Talent Andreas Giesen
By David Paul
Hi Andreas! - Thank you for your time. To start with, did you always wanted to become a ballet dancer?
Not really. I was a very hyperactive kid - always moving and looking for attention. When I was nine my mother had the idea to sign me up for a ballet class. I ended up being the only guy in the room surrounded by girls … And well, I guess I liked the whole combination of it.
Describe to us your favorite dancing experience so far.
I guess one of my favorite experience was the first time when I stepped on stage as a professional ballet dancer at the Polish National Ballet for Sleeping Beauty in Warsaw..
Also last year, I had the amazing opportunity to perform at the Dior SS20 Fashion show during the Shanghai Fashion Week! That was a crazy experience as well.
I’ll remember these moments for the rest of my life, because you know, ballet dancer’s careers are very short…
Scrolling through your social media, you can tell that fashion has become an important element in your daily life.
Yes definitely, it is just something that came to me along the way. Both ballet and fashion are industries where appearance is a key factor.
It really became a passion of mine when I met my girlfriend Laura Laval, who is a fashion designer. She created her own brand 3 years ago. So I kind of had to develop a sense of style.
Do you have any other favorite designers?
I really like AMI, Jacquemus, Marni, YMC, Samsoe Samsoe, Nanushka.
I also really like to discover a few smaller brand where everything is ethic and local designed. Also LOCAL PATTERN have great essentials pants and printed shirts (everything is designed and made in Barcelona).
Instagram can be an useful tool to get your career forward, but it also has some downsides. Have you experienced a love/ hate relationship with social media?
Well it is very tricky and I guess it’s different for everybody. Social media has definitely taken over a huge part of our lives for sure. It is indeed a great tool to connect with brands, stylist photographers and so on …
But luckily it is not my full time-job. I am 80 percent ballet dancer 10% Model et 10% content creator.
I try to step back from the app as much as I can, so it doesn’t affect my personal life and my mood. I try to see it as a game because I am sure it won’t last forever. Take the best of it and leave the rest.
You need a lot of discipline and training to become a ballet dancer. Can you share how your training routine looks like in a day?
It is something you learn very early in your life. Because you have to start very young. But I guess the discipline comes with the passion. If you are dedicated to your art that it almost seems natural.
When I am not under a contract, I train 3 or 4 hours per day (except sundays). But when I’m cast in a production it’s more like 7 hours/day situation plus a 3 hour show. I like to go to bed reminding myself that I gave my everything.
What do you enjoy doing in you free time when you are not dancing?
I watch a lot of tv shows or I go to cinema. I love movies. If I wasn’t a ballet dancer I guess I’d become an actor.
I also got into pilates gyrotonic and other stuff to keep my body in shape.
Now and then, I log into my social media trying to find new brands or photographers to collaborate with.
While we are all in quarantine, can you give us some advice on how we can stay in shape at home?
At the moment, I like to wake up quite late around 11am. The first thing I do in the morning is drinking water with lime.
After that I do my workout and cardio training around 30/45 min and of course stretching.
I also go on Instagram to discover new accounts and attend online ballet classes from the San Francisco Ballet or the Royal Ballet.
There are some other accounts I recommend checking out during quarantine: @thestudioparis has daily workout and live yoga classes, taught by former Ballerina dancers (6.15pm France time).
@gilles_souteyrand which is a professional coach, also offers great workout routines on his IG TV.
I think the most precious thing in life is to give your time. I know it is a difficult thing to process this situation but once you realize how valuable your time is, you might as well make the best of it.