Q&A with Nigel Burgoine

by Pat Nowak 

Born in Chelsea, London Nigel began dancing at the age of four in Bedford, England.  Three years later Sir Anton Dolin discovered the  young dancer and encouraged him  to attend the Royal Ballet School.

He attended the school with a full scholarship and at age 11 and was chosen by Rudolph Nureyev to dance in his production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House and the following year at Covent Garden.  He graduated from the Royal Ballet School and started his dancing career touring the world with the London Festival Ballet.

After years of dancing and touring he began exploring other aspects of dance by choreographing and teaching.  His passion for the art of dance has led him on a fabulous journey and ultimately to be an artistic director for ballet companies including the Ballet Theatre of Toledo.

Where do you call home? Toledo, Ohio

What was your first job? Part time, in a market gardening centre. Fulltime, dancer  with the London Festival Ballet

What health, diet or lifestyle tips do you favor? Staying active, keeping my mind  and body fit, keep creating projects

My biggest self-indulgence? Golf!!!

I  have always wanted to? Scuba dive for sunken treasure

What  trait do you admire in others? Genuine and hard working

Something most people don’t know about me? I was left in a hospital at birth and adopted when I was 3 weeks old.

Words I live by? “Who Dares Wins”the motto of the British SAS

My  proudest accomplishment? I was hit by a car at the age of 8 and told I would never dance again and  would walk with a limp. I went on to become a principal ballet dancer with the London Festival Ballet.

Photo: Patrick Wolff

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