We caught up with Hunter Finnegan to discuss his move to a new city, dancing professionally with The Tulsa Ballet and take a look back at his training at the Ballet Academy of Central Florida (the official school of Central Florida Ballet).
Hunter training at the Ballet Academy of Central Florida in 2010.
I started at BACF at the age of 9 right after I quit gymnastics.
#2 What are some of your most memorable highlights during your years training at BACF?
I have to say the highlights for me were the rehearsals for The Nutcracker and recitals. They were very fun and pretty crazy. I always had a great time working with Vladimir Bykov, because he is a really fun person even though it may seem like he is yelling at you all the time.
A flashback to Hunter participating in the World Ballet Competition USA 2010 - where he won the Silver Medal in the Preparatory Category (ages 12-13).
#3 What featured roles did you enjoy dancing the most with the Central Florida Ballet professional company and the Studio Company?
I have to say my favorite roles were Fritz from The Nutcracker and The Wolf from Peter and The Wolf.
#4 How was the transition to Tulsa? Was it tough to leave your family and friends? How do you keep in contact with them?
The transition to Tulsa was surprisingly very easy. I have been away from home for the past 3 years in Pittsburgh, PA (training at The School of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater) so I'm used to being away from home. I call, text, email and Skype with my family. Thank goodness for technology!
#5 What is a typical day like at Tulsa Ballet?
I have company class from 9:30 - 11 Monday - Thursday and on Friday it's until 10:45. We then get a 15 minute break from class to rehearsals. At every hour we get a 5 minute break due to the requirements of the AGMA union. We have an hour for lunch from 2:15 - 3:15. Then we finish the day at exactly 6:10 except for Friday which we end at 5:55.
Hunter's Selfie sitting in the auditorium for Tulsa Ballet's rehearsal week.
#6 What did you learn from the Ballet Academy of Central Florida that has helped you at Tulsa Ballet?
I've learned my technique and discipline at BACF and the ability to learn things quickly.
#7 What surprised you most about dancing at Tulsa Ballet?
The classes are very Russian based. Also, the amount of time to learn ballets is not very long.
#8 What do you think about your accomplishment of receiving a contract with Tulsa Ballet?
I think it is an honor for me to get hired at Tulsa Ballet. They pick their dancers very carefully so even if I believe that I don't deserve to dance here there is something they see in me that they want for the company.
#9 What is your dream role to dance at Tulsa Ballet?
I don't have a dream role but I would happy with any principal role or as long as I am performing I will be fine.
The dancing never stops! Hunter in Tulsa - dancing with a friend and famous statue.
ABOUT HUNTER: Hunter Finnegan began his ballet training at the Ballet Academy of Central Florida at age nine. Originally training in gymnastics, he transferred his focus to ballet while also studying Irish dancing. He appeared as Fritz in the Central Florida Ballet's Nutcracker as well as being featured in many soloist roles of CFB productions including those in Peter and the Wolf, 9/11 An American Moment, The Toy Shop, La Vivandiere, and The Ugly Duckling.
He won the Silver Medal in the Preparatory Category at the World Ballet Competition USA in 2010 and was later spotted by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. He then moved to Pittsburgh in August of 2011 and continued his training for the next three years where he just graduated in May of this year (2014). He then participated in the World Ballet Competition's 2014 International Job Fair in June and was awarded a contract for the Tulsa Ballet's 2014-15 Season.