NATASHA
KUSEN

Australian ballerina who just married her love in Bali.


ULUWATU - BALI

8° 49' 43'' S 115° 5' 13'' E

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS/MOST JOYFUL PART OF YOUR JOB? 

Natasha: The best part of being a professional ballerina is the buzz when we are performing on stage, there is nothing like it. The final polished performance you see on stage is a result of years of training and preparation. Endless hours of honing every inch of your body and being able to train to accurately command amazing things of yourself. However when I am on stage, it is about getting to a place where I can forget about the training cues and working towards a point in my career where I could trust the daily training process and let everything go and just dance.


HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET 'TIME OUT' DURING YOUR INCREDIBLE BALLET CAREER? 

Natasha: I won’t lie, managing ‘time out’ during a ballet career is like mission impossible. Our profession requires us to be training 6 days a week and to keep physically fit and in peak form all year round. We are absolute magicians when it comes to juggling a few things at once. Learning and rehearsing 2-3 ballets in one day and managing some what of a social life and time for other activities on our one day off a week. 


Our annual schedule is given to us a few months before the year starts so I usually plan getaways around the low seasons to have something to look forward to, for me it was essential to mentally and physically recharge and feed inspiration. 

HOW DID YOU PREPARE BEFORE TAKING THE STAGE? 

Natasha: My pre show rituals have developed over my 16+ year career dancing with the Australian Ballet Company. I can now admit that over the years my rituals grew towards adopting somewhat of a performance superstition. I like to get in to the theatre early around 5pm, to have a hot shower and slowly do my stage makeup and hair. This was my favourite part of my pre-show rituals as it was my own quiet time listening to music or gossiping and banter with the girls in my change room. Then I would make sure my shoes and costumes were all ready and then I would do a 30 minute warm up barre. With the remaining 30 minutes before the show started, I would brush my teeth, spritz my favourite perfume, get in my costume and pointe shoes, then practice the choreography before curtain up! Like every step... yep that was part of the ritual superstition! 

                     

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BRIDE TRIBE 

Natasha: My bride tribe are ladies that have been pivotal in my life and been there from every step of my journey from childhood to adulthood. I had my beautiful sister, my two best friends from high school and my ballet bestie who I met and danced with for over 10 years with the Australian Ballet Company. 

                     

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE BALI? 

Natasha: We chose Bali not only because I have Indonesian roots but when we decided to plan a destination wedding with friends and family coming from France and Australia it was fair to meet halfway-ish and it kept with the wedding vacation vibe we were going for. 

MOST MAGICAL PART OF YOUR DAY? 

Natasha: Ooh it’s hard to choose one magical part but I have a few in mind to share...

Our wedding dance. My cute dad does ballroom dancing for fun and so we organised a few lessons with his teacher to choreograph us a wedding dance. We surprised our family and friends with a wedding dance for three. I started the dance with my husband and finished on a quick step with my daad which was quite a special memory. 

My dress. Well my inner dormant bride came out through an excited squeal when I first got into my dress. The talented and beautiful friend of ours, Toni Maticevski, created the dreamiest wedding gown for me. I was never one of those girls that knew what I wanted for the big day, but this dress chose me. Hand stitched with love, it flowed in all the right places. He knows my body like no other and he knew the vibe I was going for as a 'Bali Bride'. One very lucky girl!  


FAVOURITE HIDDEN GEMS IN BALI? 

Natasha: It’s not really hidden but Karma Kandara is absolutely gorgeous. The resort is on its own private beach and you take a lift down from the top of the cliff to reach absolute paradise. We also love having dinner on the beach in Jimbaran Bay and watching the sunset at La Lucciola in Seminyak. 

WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNWIND? 

Natasha: I have just taken up yoga. Whilst I was dancing it was always on my list of things to try and just with my busy schedule it never happened. I am also great at napping. To unwind I can just plonk on the couch with David Attenborough in the background and nap away. I used to do power naps before a show, it helped me unwind those pre show nerves and re-energise myself. 

WHY DID YOU START 'STUDIO TO STREET' AND WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS FOR IT? 

Natasha: I created ‘Studio to Street’ as a secondary platform to explore my interest in my two passions; dance and fashion. Through my blog I have been able to partner and collaborate with different brands and artists to create unique content. So far it has been a wonderful way to branch out of my comfort zone and be able to explore and learn from other industries. The skills that I have discovered whilst finding my way through Studio to Street alongside the qualities I have gained through being a professional ballet dancer on an elite level will help me in establishing my own projects in the future. This next chapter for me will be all about having fun exploring, learning and experiencing new things.

Natasha and her bridal party wear our two-piece sets, in comfy woven cotton with chic cabana stripes for lazy weekends, laid-back moments and balmy escapes. The Resort Stripe collection is an ode to retro parasols, pastel shades and the languid style of the French Riviera in the 1920s. 

Imagery credits: Gus Mank Photography, Erik Sawaya, Justin Smith, Daniel Boud.