In this article, I am excited to introduce my first male dancer to be profiled on Studio to Street. The spunky garçon under the spotlight this week is Rohan Furnell.
Rohan is a corps de ballet dancer with the Australian Ballet Company and is one handsome and multi-talented man!
Born in Sydney with Newtown as his stomping ground, his early training at The McDonald College got him a pivotal position at the Australian Ballet School in 2004 and upon graduation he was accepted straight into the Australian Ballet Company in 2007.
As well as dancing full time professionally Rohan is also studying a Bachelor in Communications, which is an incredible feat! As most of you are aware our spare time is very limited in this industry, it is quite common that our external hobbies and other aspirations are sadly pushed to the corner and picked up again when we retire. (I hope those rollerblades I got for my 12th birthday still fit when I'm around 40 :/ )
So I find it quite remarkable when I hear professional dancers investing in a tertiary level of studies whilst working tirelessly day and night in a very consuming profession. I tip my hat off to you Roh, you intelligent being!
As well as a being a high achiever and excelling in all aspects of his uni degree, Rohan is my ultimate Parisian partner in crime! Last year we spent a European summer together in Paris. For a week we dreamt about living in Paris in order to learn how to parlé français, whilst strolling the streets of Marais window shopping during the biggest heat wave and stopping for many Aperol spritz's amongst the locals favourite terraces to cool down. Although we are now back immersed in our dancers life and satisfying our francophile needs through a duolingo french learning app... I won't be surprised if one day in the future, Rohan ends up living in Paris and working for an iconic fashion house with his innate sense of meticulous style.
I've noticed we rarely hear about the style of the men in the ballet studios, maybe it's due to the hail of the cliche 'ballerina style' which is often drowned by tulle and pointe shoes worn by the females! (My hand is up as a culprit) And the mens style are often unspoken of or are hidden working tirelessly partnering behind us!
However in my blog I endeavour to show you how the ballet men raise the barre (couldn't resist that pun) in their studio styles and how they get creative with their dance gear due to the limited choice of male dance wear that is available compared to us ladies. It's great to see the guys of the ballet world express their individual personalities and interests through their studio to street wear. I love Rohan's sense of style and even though it looks so effortlessly put together you can sense his appreciation of fashion, marrying tonal colours and clean cut tailoring to his everyday look.
Scroll down to see Rohan's studio and street style and read the 20 questions I throw at him about life, dance and fashion.
20 Questions with Roh....
1. Could you describe your studio and street style?
My studio style is pretty relaxed, comfortable and lots of layers. My street style is a little tailored, a little bit preppy and just a tiny bit dressy.
2. Where could we find you on a free weekend from performing?
Probably at the library in front of my computer trying to wrestle out an assignment for uni.
3. Jock strap, love or hate relationship? And on a scale 1-10 how would you rate it's comfort?
I wouldn't say love but I do really appreciate the support! On a scale from one to ten I would say maybe seven, but it definitely depends on how long you are in it.
4. What would you not be caught dead in?
5. Who is your style icon?
I think Eddie Redmayne always looks really well put together.
6. What is your latest obsession?
Byredo's unnamed perfume.
7. What is on your shopping wish list?
Gucci Princetown backless loafers.
8. What are your first memories of dance?
My very first dance class, I was about 5 years old and the whole experience is still so vivid in my mind.
9. Why ballet? What lead you to choose such an artistic path?
I have always loved dancing and have always been inherently drawn to expression through movements. Ballet didn't necessarily come that easily to me, I think I have always been really inspired by that challenge as well.
10. As a professional male ballet dancer what lessons have you learnt that you could share to other aspiring male dancers?
Always focus on making your pas de deux partner feel comfortable. Because if she feels comfortable you will both look good and all the girls will want to dance with you.
11. What is the most rewarding part of being a dancer?
Being able to achieve a childhood dream. How crazy that I am able to do professionally today what I dreamed up as a five year old.
12. What are your pros and cons of this career?
Pro... Being able to live your passion and do what you love.
Con... It's really really really exhausting hard work.
13. Any falls or funny moments on stage you would like to share with us?
I don't think I have ever fallen on stage (touch wood). But there has been a lot of funny moments over the years. I am often performing the character roles in the company's productions so I am pretty good at making fun of myself and finding the humour in what I am doing.
14. Most memorable time on stage?
Opening night of Swan Lake in Los Angeles. Everything was electric that night and I remember thinking during curtain calls that this is it, this is a really special and incredible moment.
15. Where would you want to be in 10 years time?
I would love to be living overseas. I have always wanted to do that.
16. The most recent car song you jammed to?
In the name of love by Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha.
17. So Rohan, you are currently studying a Bachelor of Communication, how do you juggle study and a dancing career?
Not very well sometimes. Finding time to split my focus and dedicate both my time and energy into ballet and study can be really difficult. I have had to really call upon some next level time management skills.
18. How do you prepare for a show? Do you have any quirky pre show rituals or superstitions?
Every season is different but I always like to be ready early. I never like being rushed or leaving things to the last minute.
19. What would be your ultimate dream role to dance?
I don't think I have a dream role.
20. And lastly, your thoughts on Kendall Jenner's latest ballet photo shoot for Spanish Vogue?
I don't think it has bothered me as much as it has other dancers. There are so many romantic ideals surrounding ballet that are really in fashion at the moment and I think that is really wonderful for keeping the art form relevant. Spanish vogue was I think just looking to articulate this idea using a really recognisable face. I don't think anyone is suggesting she is a professional dancer, as a model in the context of a fashion magazine she was playing a part the same way as dancers we portray characters on stage.
Thank you Rohan for being my first male profile on STUDIO TO STREET and sharing an insight to your life as a dancer with us and spending the time with me to capture your Studio to Street style!
I hope you have enjoyed my profile article about Rohan on Studio to Street and if you would like to see more of him, follow his beautiful Instagram feed → rohan_furnell
Till next time readers,
Ballet flats- BLOCHS
Tights- Made by the Australian Ballet wardrobe
Top- A hand me down from his Boyfriend's wardrobe.
Boots- RM WILLIAMS
Shirt- OPENING CEREMONY
All pictures of Rohan are photographed by me.