A Toronto-native, Tom Leprohon started dancing when he was four years old. He trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and the European School of Ballet in Amsterdam. Tom joined the National Ballet of Canada’s apprentice program in 2018 and will dance with Sarasota Ballet for the coming season.
Who is on your pre-show/warm-up playlist?
It depends on what I’m dancing, but generally something that’s gonna get me energized and excited about what I’m about to perform. Artists who usually make an appearance are Lizzo, Britney Spears, and Ariana Grande. I’m a traditionalist.
What’s a piece of media that recently inspired you?
I recently saw the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum and that was very exciting. Seeing how each photographer was able to capture a single element of a creature’s behavior or how an ecosystem functions was really incredible. It really gave me perspective as to where we fit in to this world and reminded me that there is inspiration everywhere.
What’s the greatest challenge of being a dancer?
Probably the mental struggle of feeling inadequate. When someone says something negative to you or you’re not cast in a ballet, it’s very hard to not let that get to you. It’s easy for me to let my insecurities define me and fall into a spiral of self doubt. I am now finally learning the difference of self-discipline and self-depreciation. It’s about finding the balance of working hard and pushing yourself and trusting the work you have done and believing in the value of you in the dance world.
What have been the biggest highs & lows of your career to date?
The biggest low was definitely my back injury. I had a spinal fracture in addition to a herniated disc. It was a very tough recovery process but I learned so much about my body. The awareness and strength I’ve gained from this experience will stay with me the rest of my career. A high point was when I got to perform for Carla Fracci. My school was invited to perform in a gala in Luca, Italy and I got to perform a contemporary duet as well as the pas de deux from “Paquita.” It was such a thrilling experience that will always hold a special place in my heart.
If you weren’t a dancer, you’d be . . .
I love to choreograph, so I would definitely want to still be working with dancers. If I had to pick something outside of ballet, I love art and I love to create so I would probably be an illustrator or photographer.
What’s your secret talent (outside of dance)?
I love to bake! I always used to bake with my mom growing up and now it’s something that reminds me of time with her.
Which choreographer would you most like to work with?
Probably David Dawson or William Forsythe. I’ve had the chance to work on both of their material in school and their styles really resonate with me. To work with the artists themselves and to hear what their intention was with a step or the image they imagined, that would be the dream.