The Aussie Going for Gold in Birmingham
The Birmingham Royal Ballet
From humble beginnings in Pitt Town, Western Sydney, Lachlan Monaghan first picked up a pair of tap shoes when he was 12 years old. Now, the Aussie calls Birmingham home, having recently been promoted for First Soloist in the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
A career in ballet wasn’t always on the horizon for Lachlan, having started dancing at KT Dance in Pitt Town, Lachlan was initially drawn to tap, where he’d practice for hours in a tin shed training under Glenn Wood. Wood, who created the GWT syllabus, was the driving force that encouraged Lachlan to focus on a career in ballet.
“I started dancing at KT Dance in Pitt Town and then moved to focus on tap under Glenn Wood, who ironically encouraged me to really focus on a ballet career. He had taught Steven McRae, now Principal of The Royal Ballet to tap, so I was always very inspired by that, and trusted Glenn’s guidance tremendously,” Lachlan comments.
As Lachlan honed his ballet skills, things took a turn for him in 2012, after winning The Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship in 2009, which saw him train for two weeks at The Royal Ballet School in London. It was after Lachlan returned to Western Sydney when the UK was undergoing one of their largest ever postal strikes, which delayed the news that Lachlan had been accepted to the prestigious school on a scholarship.
After two years of training with The Royal Ballet School, Lachlan accepted a position at The Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2012 and has called Birmingham home for the past ten years.
“I love the company, I’ve been given fantastic opportunities in many different ballets, I was promoted to First Artist in 2016, Soloist in 2018 and just this month promoted to First Soloist. Dancing roles from Romeo to Nutcracker Prince, I’m very grateful for what I’ve learnt here, and it really has helped shape the dancer I’ve become,” says Lachlan.
As Birmingham prepares to welcome tourists in troves as the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games officially kicks off, Lachlan notes that the region is full art, culture and delicious food.
“I’ve always found Birmingham to be a friendly city and have also seen it change and grow in the ten years I’ve lived here, which is exciting to be part of and have witnessed. I am a photographer and have been lucky enough to hold exhibitions at local galleries and I love food, so the growing independent food scene has been exciting to experience,” Lachlan notes.
With festivities for the Commonwealth Games officially underway, those lucky enough to experience the region can get a taste of the food, art and culture at the official Birmingham 2022 Festival, which is the biggest celebration of creativity ever in the region and one of the largest ever Commonwealth Games cultural programmes.
“The West Midlands’ destinations delight with the perfect combination of old and new; it’s a region full of rich history to explore, as well as new and emerging artists, designers and food destinations that make every twist and turn an inspirational delight. It’s the perfect place for those wishing to travel alone or with their family or friends, where visitors will come for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and stay for the endless adventures to be had in the West Midlands,” commented Becky Frall, Head of Visitor Attraction at West Midlands Growth Company.
With international travel firmly back on the agenda, a host of vibrant cities, stunning countryside and world-renowned attractions call in the heart of the UK, where cultural frills, foodie spills and sporting thrills await in the West Midlands, where the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is being hosted this summer.