24 Nov 2022
American dancer Darrion Sellman, a Princess Grace Academy student, participated in the 2022 Prix de Lausanne last February. At the end of the competition week, he became a Prize Winner and won an apprenticeship to pursue his dream career. He chose to join the Royal Ballet where he is currently doing his first year in the company as a “Prix de Lausanne dancer”.
We had the chance to ask him a few questions before the competition’s next edition!
My passion for dance has always been a part of me ever since I was little. When I was around five years old I had already developed a love for movement, and whenever given the opportunity I would dance to whatever rhythm was playing in my head. I grew a love for theater and dance from a young age and imagined myself on stage with a big audience. This thought continued to follow me and even at school, at the grocery store, or at the park… I was moving to music. Once I started taking dancing lessons, that’s where I found my passion for dance. This motivation, dedication and drive is what inspired me to keep going. Even through tough times, my passion has always stayed there, and I believe it won’t ever leave me.
As soon as I arrived in Montreux and walked into the theatre the first time, there was a sense of accomplishment. I had been watching videos of the Prix de Lausanne ever since I started ballet, and to have achieved being here was such an exciting moment. Throughout the week, I told myself two things: To do my best, and have fun. I feel like this took away all the stress and pressure of the week, and allowed me to just enjoy it. A big highlight from the week was taking class with Yannick Boquin and being coached by Nicolas le Riche. From this one week, I feel like I had grown enormously both technically and artistically, thanks to their valuable teaching. I’d say one of the best moments came right at the end of the competition when my friend Dorian Plasse and I were announced as Prize Winners. We had gone through this entire journey together, and that feeling of accomplishment was unforgettable. Celebrating afterwards with my friends was something I will always cherish.
Being a part of the Royal Ballet has been an incredible experience so far. I’m very grateful to everyone who made this possible for me, as it’s been an exciting first few months. The company really has been taking good care of me and the other joiners this season, and I’m so glad the company has been able to perform with no restrictions. I’ve felt so welcome to this new environment, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What I would say to anyone going to the Prix de Lausanne is that although the circumstances may be stressful, remember that you are prepared for this. Stay concentrated on what you need to do, don’t let anything distract you. Use this opportunity to show who you really are, as that is what people want to see. Learn and digest all the information given to you, as it will help you not only in your career, but in life. This experience is incredibly special, so enjoy it and cherish every moment. And finally, do your best and have fun.