MEET ASHLEY COUPAL!
Here at Public Myth, we’ve been lucky enough to have recently had the chance to get to know 18 year old ballerina Ashley Coupal. At such a young age, Ashley’s worked hard to achieve many amazing accomplishments. Keep reading to learn more about Ashley and her journey through the world of ballet.
Ashley Coupal is from Vancouver BC and began her ballet career at the age of six. Her primary training was with Kathryn Long and former National Ballet of Canada Principal, Chan Hon Goh at the Goh Ballet Academy. In 2019, Ashley joined Orlando Ballet’s “Trainee” program and in 2020 was promoted to OB’s Second Company. She was mentored by renowned Royal Ballet principal dancer, Phillip Broomhead and Robert Hill who was a principal dancer with ABT and Royal Ballet.
Ashley is a Prix de Lausanne 2021 Prize Winner and is only the 2nd Canadian woman to win in its 49 year history. Ashley is also a Gold Medalist at the World Ballet Competition (first Canadian to win), a three-time Youth America Grand Prix 1st Place winner in Classical Ballet, a 2 time winner of the coveted Prix D’Or Trophy at the Global Dance Challenge, and a medalist at the 2020 Japan Grand Prix Competition held in Tokyo.
At 16, Ashley performed her first full length ballet as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, partnering with Isaac Wright of the National Ballet of Canada. Ashley has performed other principal and soloist roles in the classical repertoires of La Bayadere, Paquita, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella and was recently a guest artist in Orlando Opera’s performance of Die Fledermaus.
Ashley has trained summers at Canada’s National Ballet School, Houston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and most recently Orlando Ballet School – all on scholarship. She is also a recipient of ABT’s exclusive “National Training Scholar” program.
For the 2021 season, Ashley has joined English National Ballet as a First Year Artist.
Q&A WITH ASHLEY!
1. What’s your favourite food?
Sushi has always been my comfort food, and reminds me of my Japanese ancestry which I proudly represent!
2. What has been your most rewarding experience?
Performing the lead principal role of Odette/Odile in the full length ballet of Swan Lake, was a memorable experience I will never forget. I was humbled to have the chance to tackle such a complex character at a very young age. It was most definitely a challenge that has rewarded me with better intuition, understanding, and maturity in my dancing today.
3. What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
It took a great amount of resilience to be named a Prix de Lausanne 2021 Prize Winner, and this accomplishment has opened enormous opportunities in my career. From professional company contracts, to teaching master classes with aspiring young dancers, I am so incredibly grateful for this award and honour which took years of hard work and preparation to achieve.
4. What’s your favourite colour?
Pink has always been my favourite colour!
5. When do you prefer training? AM or PM?
I enjoy training both in the am and pm, but for different purposes. Morning training is my way of releasing tension and conquering the day knowing nothing could hold me back! As ballet performances are usually in the evening, pm training is normally for rehearsing choreography and creating with fellow dancers.
6. What do you like most about dance?
Performing in front of audiences around the world keeps me excited to dance everyday. Those moments on stage where I have the opportunity to share my passion is so exhilarating, and is my reward for the countless hours I’ve spend training in the studios.
7. What’s your favourite season?
Nothing beats the magic of crisp winter air!
8. How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy reading and doing yoga with my mother who and has been my personal yoga instructor for as long as I can remember ; )
9. How old were you when you started dancing?
I started dancing at the age of 3 at a rec centre in North Vancouver. By 6 years old, I knew I wanted to become a professional ballerina.
10. On average, how many hours a week do you train?
I train 9-5, 6 days a week. During performance runs, we have rehearsals and shows late into the evenings.
11. Who’s your current favourite music artist?
Rex Orange County and Cage The Elephant are my go-to artists for any mood you are feeling
12. What keeps you motivated?
I believe that hard work and passion are the keys to our existence, because it is with these qualities you have the ability to achieve what you most desire. In my case, it was to become a professional ballerina in one of the world’s most distinguished international ballet companies. “根性” (Konjo) means willpower and temperament in Japanese and has been my motivational mantra for as long as I could remember. I carry the spirit of Konjo with me each time I enter a dance studio and I strive to be the hardest working dancer every day.
13. What’s your favourite movie?
My favourite movie is Howl’s Moving Castle, but I am also a fan of all the Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Marvel movies!
14. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
My dream place to travel has always been London, UK and I am excited to share the news that I will be moving there to start my career with English National Ballet very soon!
15. What’s your favourite Public Myth piece?
The Bamboo Collection is nothing like I have felt before, and I am in love with Public Myth’s Bamboo Tie Top. The material is soft, sweat absorbent, and is the perfect cover up for any ballerina or athlete!
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us Ashley! We’re so excited to see where the future takes you!