Born: Kanata, Ontario
Trained: Linda Jamieson School of Dance and The Royal Ballet Upper School
If someone handed you $1,000,000 tomorrow, you would…
First, I would pay back my parents as much as I could for sending me to hundreds of dance competitions and for putting me through ballet school! Second, if I had money left, I would look into buying a property.
Could you tell us 3 random things we don’t know about you?
I’m obsessed with luxury candles.
I love palindromes.
I hate snakes with a passion.
Favorite colour and least favorite colour?
Favourite Colour: Navy blue. Least Favourite Colour: Pink.What would you have done as a career if ballet hadn’t come your way?
Interior Design. I still plan on that after dancing ends for me. My sister is an interior designer and from a young age I’ve looked up to what she’s done. I love the impact a space can have on you. I love that you can walk into different rooms or buildings and know their purpose and their ambience by the textures and colours and materials that are around you. I love the idea of creating something that could have resonance with someone.
What’s your guilty pleasure song that’ll make you rock out no matter where you are?
Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child.
Symphonic Variations by Frederick Ashton.
Was there a pivotal moment that sold you on being a ballet dancer over doing anything else?
Initially ballet is not what I wanted to pursue. I always saw myself doing musical theatre or commercial dance. I always shutdown the option of ballet. Then, when I was 14 I went to compete at a Royal Academy of Dance competition in the UK and my parents took me to a performance of The Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House. I was mesmerised and it gave me the drive to want to dance there. Then a few weeks later I was competing at Youth America Grand Prix in New York against two students from The Royal Ballet School and while watching them all I could think was that I wanted to be them! A few years later one of them became one of my best friends while I was working with The Royal Ballet. He also gave me the motivation to keep dancing after I left London. What is your favorite memory of being onstage?
I have 3.
Dancing at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow a few years ago is definitely a favourite. I got to dance one of my all-time favourites Rhapsody by Frederick Ashton as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV. In DGV there’s a moment in the finale when the music (by Michael Nyman) switches to all percussion and slowly the rest of the orchestra comes in with the melody, it’s amazing and gives you such a rush while dancing and really gets you pumped up. When the music switches the lights turn and you can see the whole inside of the amazing Bolshoi Theatre. I will never forget looking out into the audience at that moment.
My second favourite memory is the final entrance in The Grand Deflié when I was graduating from The Royal Ballet School. The whole school runs onstage at once and the audience goes absolutely nuts. It was an amazing feeling getting to know I’d be dancing on that stage in Covent Garden almost every night for the next three years.
Lastly, and probably my most favourite, was getting to dance for my family and friends in Ottawa last year when we toured to the National Arts Centre. I had grown up seeing almost every company that toured to the theatre and my parents also had their wedding there. It was also the first time any of them, other than my parents, had seen me dance professionally. That was a special moment. Dream role?
Beliaev in A Month in the Country by Frederick Ashton.
Do you have a favourite quotation?
I usually really dislike the whole living by quotes situation but when I was going through a tough period a few years ago, one of my best friends said “If you love something, you’ll make time for it”. I live by that everyday now.Read Donald’s bio, https://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Dancers/2nd-Soloists/Donald-Thom
See Donald onstage with The National Ballet of Canada during the 2015/16 season, national.ballet.ca