Ballerina Watch: Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton performing Swan Lake at Varna 2010

Melissa Hamilton performing Swan Lake at Varna 2010. Image: YouTube video excerpt.

Soloist, Melissa Hamilton, with the Royal Ballet, is a ballerina we need to keep a close eye on. Her apparently quick rise to stardom (her story is a true inspiration) has left London audiences in awe.

Luke Jennings from The Observer writes of Hamilton’s “articulacy of line,” and articulate she is. She speaks with her body, as you will see in the video below. Mary Greene with Mail Online interviews her and is delighted with Ms. Hamilton’s ease and intelligence.

Her story reads like a fairy tale:

Melissa Hamilton: Where Did She Come From?

When she was 16, Melissa Hamilton was turned down by the Royal Ballet School. A late starter, she had grown up in Northern Ireland, where good classical dance teachers were few and far between. She was accepted by Elmhurst, another prestigious ballet school, but was soon advised to give up. Only one teacher, the former Bolshoi dancer Masha Mukhamedova, believed in her. Mukhamedova took Hamilton under her wing, taught her privately, and a year later, in 2007, Hamilton auditioned successfully for the Royal Ballet.

She’s now 23, with a string of acclaimed appearances behind her and last week she made a touching debut as the tragic heroine of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.

The story is illustrative of two things. The British ballet establishment’s reprehensible unwillingness to invest time and effort on students who do not conform to a very narrow ideal, and Hamilton’s unshakable self-belief.

Continue with Luke Jennings article here.

She’s been compared to Darcey Bussell, retired English ballerina recognized as one of the greatest English ballerinas of all time.

Melissa, however, isn’t keen on comparisons, not even with luminaries such as Darcey.

‘It’s a huge honour,’ she says. ‘Even to be considered to be the next British ballerina is incredible. But I would much prefer to be known as Melissa Hamilton in my own right.’ Accolades haven’t turned her head, any more than she allowed those early setbacks to knock her off course. She’s friendly, helpful – and heavens, I only wish everybody I interviewed was as articulate and easy to talk to. But I have never, ever encountered anybody so young and so fiercely focused on where they are going. This isn’t just lissom grace and elegant limbs; this is steely minded determination to be the best. ‘If you really want something, you don’t let anything stand in your way, even if those obstacles seem monumental,’ she explains.

Read Mary Greene’s interview of this rising star.
The video below show Hamilton as Odette in Swan Lake: her clean lines and extreme attention to detail is obvious in her careful execution of developpés, penchées and pirouettes.

Video courtesy of
What do you think of Ms. Hamilton’s interpretation of this classic? Do you agree with me that Melissa Hamilton is a dancer worth following?
If you agree write, “Yes, I agree because…” Comment below. We love reading your thoughts and insights.
Until next time!
About Romy Macias, Senior Editor

Romy danced with the Ballet Clasico de Queretaro Fernando Jhones for 10 years having reached 1st soloist position. She presently takes on character roles and teaches at the company's junior academy. This site is a testament to her passion for classical ballet. You're invited to be part of our community and join in the joy for this amazing art form.


  1. Kathy says:

    Love the videos – worth watching….

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks, that really is fascinating.

  3. Peter Gehr says:

    Very interesting post. Thanks for your regular information and insights.

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