Hello! Fashion speaks with Precious Adams, one of English National Ballet’s foremost dancers, who holds the revered position of junior soloist.
Her talent for dance was discovered at the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet in Michigan, where she was raised, from there she travelled the world attending academies in Toronto, Monte Carlo and Russia. Although, despite living away from home at such a young age, she stresses she didn’t miss it, at all.
“I was just loving it. You're so busy and living with other people who are just as obsessed with dancing as you are, you almost don't have time to miss home. I wanted to be there so badly, there was no looking back. I was so happy to be living my dream. Especially as I grew older.”
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Precious on her HELLO! FASHION shoot
Before joining English National Ballet in 2014, she became a double prizewinner at 2014's Prix de Lausanne - and since then she won the Emerging Artist prize at 2018's UK National Dance Awards and in 2019 was included on the BBC 100 Women list, an annual compilation of inspiring and influential women from around the world.
“It meant a lot. It just conveys that the path that I'm walking now is paving the way for future generations. And that my work is meaningful and not a self-prophecy, hopefully other people that come after me will benefit.”
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And it was after Precious had her first promotion with English National Ballet that she became aware how, elsewhere, dancers of varying ethnicities were either wearing no tights or ones that complemented their own skin tones.
“That was something that was very common at Dance Theatre of Harlem, or dance companies that were used to more diversity. And also in neoclassical companies, where pink tights just don’t exist – and I knew that, aesthetically, they just didn’t always look great on me, anyway.”
So Precious met with her director to suggest, when appropriate, wearing brown tights instead. This was something that was supported from the offset. “I’m just really, really grateful that I work for a company where it was a safe space for me to say, ‘Oh, hey, there’s this other aesthetic that’s available. What do you think about this?’
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“The floatier, the better”, is how she describes her favourite costumes, a love of femininity that fits perfectly with her new role as the ambassador for Zenith watches’ new Defy Midnight collection. “I’ve always been a lover of classic design. I think there’s nothing more flattering and beautiful than that. The Defy Midnight watch has such a timeless look, but with a modern twist.”
She would definitely say her and the other English National Ballet dancers are a close-knit group. “There’s no one with a malicious attitude. Those people don’t tend to last very long. I think the company culture has become so much more uplifting, kind and sensitive.
The full interview appears in the March issue of Hello! Fashion…