John Pickup | Cavalier/Drosselmeyer

John Pickup received his early training from Leeanne Rutherford at Ballet Theatre Australia and later from Peter Shortland and Kathryn Hailey at The Studio. John began his professional career as a “Wiggly Dancer” with The Wiggles. During this time he toured Australia and performed in their shows: The Big Show; You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’; Go Bananas. The following season John joined Lithuanian National Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet. While in the company he appeared in many of the classical ballets in their repertoire. After leaving Lithuanian National Ballet John moved to NYC and joined The Gelsey Kirkland Studio Company. Soloist roles he enjoyed dancing while there include: Lead Gypsy (Don Quixote) Sailor (A La Francoix) Lead Couple in Drum Dance (La Bayadere) While dancing in the company he studied the GKA curriculum under Gelsey Kirkland and Misha Chernov. After seeing his love of teaching he was asked to teach for their academy. John recently re-joined The Wiggles on their Canadian tour and was given the opportunity to choreograph new ballet routines for them. When John is not performing he shares his love of Classical Ballet with students in NYC and NJ. John is very excited to join the New York City Children’s Theater production of “My First Nutcracker”

Tell us about your first time seeing The Nutcracker

My first time seeing the Nutcracker was actually on VHS when I was a teenager. I borrowed the Australian Ballet’s version starring Vicki Attard as Clara. I remember being amazed by her technique and mesmerized by the whole production!

What’s the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received and/or given?

Most definitely the love and support my parents gave me while I pursued being a dancer!!

Clara and the Prince dance in so many exciting places! Where would you most want to dance?

I have always wanted to dance on an outdoor stage under the stars and moon. There is something special about performing outside at night. It adds an extra layer of magic and mystery.

My favorite children’s book is… because…

I have to pick the entire Beatrix Potter series. I loved them so much as a child and they have such beautiful illustrations. My favourite was Peter Rabbit and Miss Tiggy Winkles. I used to request these every night for bedtime stories.

Families should see My First Nutcracker because…

It is the most amazing way to introduce children to the magic of classical ballet by providing an interactive experience where they get to not only enjoy the magic of the story but also get to play a part in the dancing and interact with the characters.

My First Nutcracker is the most amazing way to introduce children to the magic of classical ballet by providing an interactive experience where they get to not only enjoy the magic of the story but also get to play a part in the dancing and interact with the characters.