Peer year 2007
Soloist, Queensland Ballet
‘I realised from my very first ballet lesson at age four that dance was for me. That was all I needed.’
That early conviction didn’t dissipate, and more than two decades later, Lina Kim-Wheatstone is living that dream by dancing on the international stage with the Queensland Ballet.
Lina commenced at John Paul College in Year Seven, arriving from South Korea with little English. At school, her ballet flourished under the direction of dance teacher, Janice Heale.
‘I will always remember and cherish those ballet lessons with Janice Heale. She taught me many great things.’
She also remembers a school with ‘lots of green’, big grounds, beautiful nature and the manners and discipline required of its students.
‘I don’t think I sacrificed anything to pursue my dreams as I’ve done it so willingly. I never had a normal childhood as my after-school hours were filled with ballet lessons, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.’
By Year Ten, Lina’s prodigious talent required additional training to nurture and fulfil her ambitions. Through the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, in partnership with Queensland Ballet, Lina completed her senior years while receiving elite ballet and dance training. In her final year, Lina received the Most Outstanding Dancer award and a Queensland Ballet Scholarship.
In 2010, she joined Queensland Ballet’s pre-professional programme, and was accepted into the company in 2011. In 2016 Lina was promoted to soloist.
Favourite roles have included Nikiya in Greg Horsman’s La Bayadère, Titania in Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade.
Lina has performed internationally with the Queensland Ballet during its tours to London and China and will again join the company for shows in Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an and Suzhou in November 2018. This will be the first time the company has toured to China since coming under the artistic directorship of Li Cunxin, of Mao’s Last Dancer fame.
A rigorous rehearsal and touring schedule is now part of Lina’s life. When not touring, she rehearses from 10.00am – 6.00pm with only two 15-minute breaks and an hour for lunch – sometimes six days a week. During tours, 12-hour days are common.
‘One of the most rewarding moments for me is when I get to dance the roles I grew up watching, danced by great ballerinas throughout the world. That, and getting to do what I love every day.’