The living room of Jinty Coventry -Boyle, in her sixties, in Hampton wick, is surrounded by various photos of ballerinas indicating her life as a ballerina at the Royal ballet company.

When asked what inspired her to peruse ballet as a career she replied “apparently, when I was two years old we lived in Kuwait … we went to a drive in movie to see a ballet. We went to see Giselle and after we went to see the ballet I didn’t stop skipping around and dancing, so my mother thought… so my mother decided she’d take me to ballet classes, so I went to ballet classes and I still have my first pair of ballet shoes, little red ones, and that was the start of me dancing”. After moving back to Scotland from Kuwait, where her father worked for the royal company, she was continued attending ballet classes in Scotland but she was also a great horse rider and as jinty recollects to me “I carried on doing ballet classes and I was obviously good enough for when I got to the age of 10 my parents gave me the option of either carrying on and becoming a horse rider, professional horse rider or Ballet. And I said that no I want to carry on with ballet. And I auditioned and got into … the arts educational and I went there till I was 16 and then I got into the royal ballet school, upper school. And I think this is something that started when I was two seeing a ballet and I loved it from there.”

After attending the royal ballet school she joined the royal ballet company as a ballerina and due to her experience in the arts I asked jinty what can a young artist in the performing arts do to succeed. Her advice is to “Learn every aspect of performing. So, not just ballet but singing, jazz, tap … everything that you can learn, learn. You are supposed to be multi-skilled now. It was always helpful in the past but certainly more so nowadays.” The advice given, in summary, is that ‘versatility’ is the key to success.

The last question that was put to Jintey was of any interesting moments from her time with the royal ballet company. She recalls that she “was lucky enough at the royal ballet school. We did a fashion show, a dancing fashion show and I met Princess Margret. I also met Princess Margret when I did a film that I danced in and she came to watch the filming of it. So, I met royalty a couple of times.”

Jintey was also “lucky enough to work with Margot Fonteyn” Dame Margo Fonteyn was a English ballerina that was one of the longest serving RAD presidents “and Rudolph Nureyev.” Nureyev was a Russian dancer that escaped from the Soviet Union and became known as one of the best male dancers of his generation. “Fonteyn was lovely. Nureyev, on the other hand, was an utter … you can bleep the word out, I’m not even gonna say it. And there was one occasion we were doing a big ballet gala at festival hall one summer and the Russian ballerina, Natalia Makarova, was dancing with Nureyev and although they rehearsed they hadn’t rehearsed with costume and they were bringing their own costumes with them … anyway they were on after the interval and I was one of the quatre ballet for that ballet gala so we are all in our dressing gowns at the side of the stage at festival hall to watch. And there is Nureyev in one of the back wings and there is Natalia Makarova in the other back wing and they are screaming at each other in Russian and not one of them is giving an inch. And we said to the stage manager what’s going on?” The stage manager replied “Oh, he’s refusing to dance with her. He doesn’t like the tutu she is wearing. So we went what difference does it make to him? It’s perfectly lovely. We waited …and the interval got longer… as they carried on shouting at each other and eventually the stage manager said look there are people out there who have paid to see this show and not for you two to argue. And he got, the stage manager got told very politely to **** off… because Nureyev’s language was not pretty. The stage manager just said somebody please go and get Margo and somebody went and got Margot Fonteyn from her dressing room she came on stage and she said Rudy, I doesn’t matter what she is wearing you have an audience out there who are paying to see you. Now just stop arguing and get on with the performance. And he was like a little lamb he went yes. Sorry. She was the only person who could tell him what to do and that will live in my memory forever.”

Jintey’s advice for young people going into the arts and her clear love of her art is an inspiration to others as it shows that to have a life that is interesting and memorable you need to love what you are doing as much as she clearly does.