CityLife FEATURE STORY
Prim Rose to the Top
Words by Stacey Carrick
Credit images: The Red Shoes: Next Step
At just 20 years old, Primrose Kern has the world at her feet.
Originally from Cairns, the talented ballerina has been living the dream in cities including Paris and Boston.
Prim recently made her acting debut in the film The Red Shoes: Next Step, which was shot at a range of locations in and around Sydney.
The Red Shoes is a coming-of-age teen drama that follows a talented dancer, Sam, whose world starts to spiral after an unexpected life-changing event.
Primrose plays ‘mean girl’ Gracie, after being recruited by her former dance teacher, Daniel Gaudiello, a co-producer and the film’s choreographer.
“They were chasing an unusual look for Gracie – someone with sharp, angular features, who stood differently and had the right demeanour,” Primrose said.
“I was paid to be mean, I was there to do my job, however I was constantly apologising to the main actor!
“I am used to using my body
for artistic expression,
I learnt to use the tone
of my voice and to magnify
my movements for the
“I picked up acting naturally, as a dancer I’m self-aware and in tune with my body, and I studied speech and drama in school.”
Primrose started ballet at the tender age of three at the Julia Macalpine Dance Studio.
She originally took up dancing for the social aspects, to correct her pigeon toes and of course to wear fairy costumes!
Prim actually loves everyday classes more than performing, as classes provide her with the opportunity to work on herself, both mentally and physically.
“I’m always pushing towards perfection,” she said.
“You’re either born with it or you’re not. Ballet chooses you. I was lucky to be born with the ideal physique and look for ballet, but it’s been an uphill battle. You definitely need the ability to put in the hard work.”
This hard work has paid off for Prim, who has attended the Paris Opera Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School in London and competed in the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, aged just 15.
Prim was offered scholarships and full-time placements with The Houston Ballet Academy and The Dutch National Ballet Academy, but accepted a contract with The Paris Opera Ballet in late 2019 and toured with them in Japan in early 2020. She has been dancing with the Boston Ballet since 2021.
“I’m always looking ahead,” Prim said. “If you stop, life passes you by. I’m always looking towards my goals and I remain focused.
“I think it’s important to stay true to who you are, believe in yourself and your purpose and push for greater things.”
Prim admits professional dancing is not for the faint of heart.
“You have to give up so much to serve your art,” she said.
“You have to work very odd hours and you can’t always go out with your friends when you want to.
“But it’s definitely worth it.
“I am going to take every opportunity and focus on
self-improvement every time.”
With a passion for both ballet and fashion, Primrose felt she fit in in Paris, a city renowned for style and sophistication, while she stood out in Boston.
However, she will always call Cairns home.
“I’m happy I grew up in Cairns,” she said. “It keeps me grounded and I still have the small-town mentality.
“People from Cairns are the nicest people, they’re down to earth, they work hard and it’s also visually beautiful.”
Primrose will return to her hometown for her 21st birthday in July.
Primrose is giving one lucky person (up to the age of 18, who aspires to pursue a dance career) the opportunity to enjoy a private dance class with her when she returns to Cairns. For your chance to win this amazing prize, email the team at CityLife Magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you would love a dance class with Prim.
“I’m always pushing towards perfection.”