The 5-minute Interview: Carlos Acosta, Ballet dancer

'I enjoy spending time with normal, non-pretentious people'

The Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, 35, has danced for both the English National Ballet and the National Ballet of Cuba, where he was principal. He has won numerous international prizes and in 1994 was nominated for an Olivier Award. From 31 March until 3 April he will be performing as part of the Spring Dance Season at the London Coliseum

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Going home. I'm at the opera house and I've just finished a performance.

A phrase I use far too often...

"You know" or "You know what I mean". You know what I mean?

I wish people would take more notice of...

The importance of art in society. We need more government support. Not just in the UK – everywhere.

The most surprising thing that happenedto me was...

When my father went to jail. That was very surprising.

A common misperception of me is...

I'm not aware of what people think of me. I think that earlier, I couldn't convince people to believe in me – especially my creating or writing, because to them I was just a dancer. So I had to prove myself.

I am not a politician but...

I think there should be more money given to the arts – everywhere.

I'm good at...

Learning things quickly, especially movement. And I can remember things for a long time.

I'm very bad at...

I can't paint or draw. I just don't have any talent.

The ideal night out is...

Time spent with normal, non-pretentious people just having a good time and learning.

You know me as a dancer but in another life I'd have been...

A musician or a sportsman. I wanted to be a footballer when I was a child.

The best age to be is...

Now. I'm mature but I still have youth – it's a good balance.

In weak moments I...

Just have to have faith in myself and trust the people around me.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

Do whatever makes you happy, however you want it. Because life is special.

Alice-Azania Jarvis

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits