Aurélien’s Story

It was a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon. A perfect day for a family bike ride in the Belgian country side. The car came out of nowhere, the drunk driver, oblivious, drove towards the four of us. It was my seventh birthday and my life was about to take a dramatic turn.


The car hit me. I landed unconscious in the ditch. My father took me in his arms, put me at the back of the car and drove me to the closest hospital. I was lucky to survive, with injuries so severe I later hemorrhaged in hospital.


After having spent three weeks in intensive care and going through major surgeries on my brain, stomach and my right leg, I was meant to stay for another three months in hospital – spending some time in a wheelchair.


When I was finally discharged, the surgeon who saved my life twice gave me the advice that would change my life forever. He explained that my brain and my body would benefit from doing ballet classes that it would help me to recover faster. My sister was already doing ballet so I thought “I’ll give it a go”.


The rest is history… I worked from company to company, travelled from country to country, never looking back. Ballet saved my life which probably explains the passion and dedication I have for this art-form.


My decision to start a new life half-way around the world to lead West Australian Ballet to a new era has been a journey of determination, hard work, and commitment. There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now.