Classic Ballet, Youthful Spirit

The Hamburg National Youth Ballet

These eight young dancers belong to the National Youth Ballet in Hamburg, Germany. Radiant with youthful energy, they gave us a behind-the-scenes view of their studio.


Almudena, warming up for barre practice. “Stretching every day is like meditation for me.”
Milla practices in a sheer skirt that looks almost ready for a recital. Moisés says he likes to wear shorts inside out.
Between lessons, dancers check their movements using videos and mirrors. Today’s look is rolling one leg up.
Ayumi and Giuseppe stay focused, rehearsing for the annual recital.
The eight dancers lend an ear to John Neumeier, who made the Hamburg Ballet famous.
The company is based in suburban Hamburg. Their studio is in an old refurbished school originally designed by Fritz Schumacher, a German architect known for his modernist brick buildings.
The leading choreographer takes a modern approach. Boxes are used as an element of the performance.
Lormaigne and João strike a pose. What makes this ballet company so vital is how it retains classic elements like pointe shoes while incorporating contemporary moves.

Eight individuals, eight styles

The talented dancers of the National Youth Ballet of Germany range from ages nineteen to twenty-three. We learned more about their personalities by asking them about their dreams and why they chose this company.

Kieren Bofinger

Born in 2001


Kieren was born in Brisbane, Queensland. “We’re an international group and speak English as a shared language. My accent is quite strong, though, and I have a unique sense of humor, which doesn’t always get across. But that’s fine. Having different backgrounds, we learn a lot from one another. Our differences bring us together.”

Ayumi Kato

Born in 2002


Japanese and raised in Switzerland, Ayumi has a youthful smile. “To forge connections with the community, the National Youth Ballet performs at all kinds of places, not just theaters, but kindergartens, museums, nursing homes, and prisons. This kind of social engagement is why I chose to join the company.”

Moisés Romero

Born in 2003


Moisés prizes personalization—expressing his identity. “I chose the National Youth Ballet because of its modern approach, which emphasizes classic aspects but lets us be ourselves. Nothing beats inspiring an audience through dance!”

Giuseppe Conte

Born in 2002


Raised in South Italy, Giuseppe has a vintage style of florals and bright colors. “Ballet and fashion are both forms of self-expression. Dance is how I communicate my feelings, and vintage clothes are how I show the world who I am.”

Almudena Izquierdo

Born in 2003


Almudena wants to pursue dance as long as physically possible. “To be honest, dance has always been hard for me. What makes it fun is that the challenges can teach you all kinds of different lessons. This company is special. I’ve grown not only as a dancer, but as a person, too.”

Milla Loock

Born in 2003


Before joining the company, Milla studied at the School of the Hamburg Ballet. As a student, she won the Young Creation Award at the internationally renowned Prix de Lausanne, launching her career as a choreographer. “In the future, I’d like to branch out into a career in nutrition or sports science.”

Lormaigne Bockmühl

Born in 2001


Lormaigne, a Filipino raised in Manila, is a multitalented performer who also does narration work and song. “For me, nothing is as thrilling as ballet. This company has shown me a bigger world, beyond my wildest dreams, bringing my dance to a whole other level.”

João Vitor Santana

Born in 2002


João’s time with the National Youth Ballet is about to end this summer. He says he wants to continue practicing ballet in Hamburg. “The days were long. Practicing hard from ten to six each day. During my time here, I’ve learned a lot about myself from all my talented peers. It’s helped me grow so much.”

Photography by Katsuhide Morimoto
Styling by Hidero Nakagane
Hair by Hauke Krause
Makeup by Trica Le Hanne
Coordination & Text by Yumiko Urae
Special thanks to National Youth Ballet

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