Meet Luke Fryer, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance)

Luke Fryer began dancing relatively late in life, and is now in his final year at the Victorian College of the Arts. He reflects on his journey so far, and where he hopes to go from here.

Luke Fryer, BFA (Dance) student. Credit: John O'Rourke.

I began dancing at 16 in my hometown, Canberra, with QL2 Centre for Youth Dance. Because I had a background in gymnastics, I was interested in continuing to train my body and mind in a fulfilling and ever-evolving way.

Preparing to audition for the VCA was a long process. I had little classical dance training but took weekly classes during my gap year to build the core technical requirements and base knowledge I needed for the VCA audition. When I auditioned for the 2015 intake I was sent a B letter offer – so I was on the waiting list. But having spoken to people in the industry, I knew that the VCA Dance course was producing innovative makers who’d received solid technical training while studying and then used it as a tool to develop their own practice. I was much more drawn to this than to being a technical performer who would fit the mould of a company. Although I’d already been offered a place at WAAPA, I turned it down once I was accepted into the VCA in the second round.

At the VCA, I’m in the heart of a bigger city where diversity is innate. When deciding where to study, I felt more comfortable among diversity and numbers.

Luke Fryer, BFA (Dance) student. Credit: John O'Rourke.

My days are full. In third year, technique classes start at 9am – either ballet and contemporary, or double contemporary – or even something like yoga paired with a technique class. There is about an hour’s break for lunch, and then the rest of the day is spent in performance rehearsals until six or so. I usually also have rehearsals after hours until 8pm, either for VCA works or other projects outside of school.

I’m inspired by people and their bodies. Everyone is so different but we all find our own ways of communicating to each other via this form of the body in space. How do our bodies function, and how can that be manipulated or crafted to reveal something special in our world we have never thought of before? Dedication, attention, respect and continual investigation of this body is a constant source of inspiration inside and outside the studio, and in all facets of life.

Physical and mental exhaustion are huge challenges. One always affects the other. Continually having to train and relearn how to cope with your body and mind being tired from long hours of work is a never-ending process.

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