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Cain Hughes in a studio. Photo Bill Cooper

“You should follow your heart – it will make you happy”

LONDON: "I actually didn’t start training ballet until I was 16 years old, which is considered really late."

"After a couple of months of ballet training something just clicked and I started pushing myself. I became hungry to learn as much as I could,¨ says Cian [kian] Hughes when we sit and talk in the area of East Finchley in Northern London.

Cain Private

Cian Huges. Photo private

How come you went to the Central School of Ballet in London for your education?

"It became my dream to go there and I couldn’t believe I was accepted. It was there I had the best three years of my life. When I graduated in 2016, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Dance."

You normally start training ballet at a very young age, but you started when you were 16 years old?

"I found it quite challenging at first as I was surrounded by people who had been training from a young age, but it just pushed me to do more, to keep working and be the best I could. I think I am always pushing myself and striving for results."

Why didn’t you start to dance earlier, if you were interested?

"I started dancing locally at a Stage School in my home town but it was mainly jazz and hip hop styles of dance. That was where I was first introduced to dance and theatre. I had never really stretched and when I was 16 I couldn’t even touch my toes!!"

I am originally from Dublin but I grew up in the countryside. I took a dance class of one hour, once a week."

And after that you didn't do any kind of dance training before you were 16?

"When I was 16 I moved to Dublin and became a student at The College of Dance. The plan was to train for one year and then go back to academic school but my Mum decided to let me stay and follow my dream.

“You should follow your heart - it will make you happy,” says Cian explaining why he went to The Central School of Ballet in London for his ballet education.

It’s not free to study in the UK. It costs around 9 000 pounds [106 000 SEK] for a whole year, but Cian found scholarships and funding to support him. He also did some self-funding to pay for his education.

“It was tough and sometimes I didn’t know how I would do it but if you really want to do something, you have to fight for it.”

Cain leg

Posing for photographer Anton Vayvod.

Upon graduating, Cian made his professional debut with The National Ballet of Ireland. He performed repertoire including The Nutcracker and Giselle.

He then spent his summer teaching for Ballet Ireland’s Annual Summer School which toured around Ireland. So, at the age of 22 years, six years after Cian started his education he was now a teacher!

After a year with Ballet Ireland Cian wanted to follow other possibilities and passions. Right now he is focusing on Musical Theatre and has just finished performing in a Christmas musical.

Cian has recently joined the cast of CATS the Musical playing the roles of Pouncival, understudy Mr. Mistoffelees and 2nd cover Mungojerrie with Royal Caribbean Productions.

“This is an absolute dream come true and I genuinely still can’t believe it!”

Cristian Hillbom

5 March 2018

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