Ballerinas Backstage: ballet, baby and beyond with Brooke Lockett

Photo: Justin Ridler

Brooke Lockett is a former ballerina with the Australian Ballet, and now a multi-talented mum to daughter, Violet. Her beautiful Instagram profile captures her life both pre and post dancing, giving us a glimpse into her ballet career, as well as her life after dance.

Her number 1 piece of advice for young dancers? “Absorb ALL of it!” 

First things first. How do you (normally) start your day?

I try to start most days with a moment for myself whether that be an hour in the gym, an online Pilates class, a spin class or a ballet barre. Followed by a coffee and then getting up my beautiful daughter Violet. As anyone with children would know not every morning goes to plan so you need to be flexible. But generally, it’s this and then once Violet and my husband are up its breakfast, coffee’s and a walk to the park before my shower.

It hasn’t been long since you retired from the stage. What do you miss the most about dancing?

I retired almost 3 & a half years ago from a 12-year career with The Australian Ballet. I retired so happy and proud of what I had achieved and the incredible life ballet had given me. I felt so humbled and appreciative of every single opportunity. But the time was right for me. I don’t miss the pressure or the heartbreak but I do miss the stage, the adrenalin rush, the feeling of being so in-tune with your body and the energy from an audience. I loved the discipline and the process of preparing for a show.

Expressing yourself with your body is such a gift and a craft, everyday life lacks that divine beauty. Storytelling would be the greatest thing I miss and being surrounded by such incredibly talented artists every day.

What is the #1 thing you do for your body or mind that keeps you going when things get tough?

Breathing!! Yoga became a big part of my routine in the later years of my career. Whenever I would get really stressed or before a really big show and still to this day it is my go-to. I get my bare feet on grass, on the sand or in the ocean. It makes me feel my most grounded.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were a student thinking about a career in ballet?

Great question. Not everyone will like you and not every role will be for you and that’s ok. Every moment on stage is a gift and you will always know in your heart if you did a good show or not. Don’t aim for perfection or try to emulate someone else. Be uniquely you and work as hard as you possibly can. Time will fly by but you don’t need to be in a rush.

Don’t aim for perfection or try to emulate someone else. Be uniquely you and work as hard as you possibly can.

Brooke Lockett

Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

When I was dancing, I definitely would have said my parents. Especially my Mum. We really lived the ballet journey together. But now my husband and daughter are my biggest inspiration. I have just recently filmed a kid’s show and I did it for Violet.

If you could give one piece of advice to an elite dancer embarking on their final year of training, what would it be?

Absorb ALL of it. All of the information and every moment of experience on stage. Learn from your peers. Learn what you don’t like and what you do like. Always respect the coach but also learn to interpret in your words too. Work intelligently and be kind to your body. You want longevity.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Similar to many artists I never thought I was good enough but I loved it so very much. Passion and heart can take you a very long way.