Phillip Payne began his Ballet training at the later age of 19. His first professional training program was at the Quinte Ballet School of Canada in Belleville, Ontario, under the guidance of Mercedes Bernardez and Brian Scott.
After attending the school for one year, Phillip was given a scholarship to attend the School of Alberta Ballet under the directorship of Murray and Nancy Kilgour. Two teachers from the Royal Ballet School of London, England. During the 5 years at the school he performed both corps and lead roles in ballets like “La Sylphide”, “Don Quixote”, “Nutcracker”, “Bayadere”, “Paquita”, “Giselle”, “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Flower Festival” and many more. During his education, Phillip found himself onstage with The Alberta Ballet Company numerous times as well, where he danced in Ballets such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “Nutcracker”, Christopher Wheeldon’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and a CBC production “The Secret of the Nutcracker”. Upon graduating from the school, Phillip joined one of Canada’s last touring ballet companies. Based out of Toronto, “Ballet Jorgen Canada” was home to Phillip for 2 years. In that time he danced in well over 200 performances from west to east coast, and also traveled through the United States. Among dancing in ballets like “Romeo and Juliet”, “Nutcracker”, Robert Desrosiers “Rendezvous” and a brand new full length “Anastasia”. Phillip was also apart of contemporary creations with choreographers such as Kathleen Rae, Malgorzata Nowacka, Daryl Hoskins and William Yong. Furthering his involvement with Toronto’s dance community Phillip joined Opera Atelier.
Dancing in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marksman”. Phillip also performed, with Opera Atelier, in “Armide” by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully. This particular piece traveled to Versailles, France and was performed in the original theatre located inside the Palace of Versailles. Another highlight for this Newfoundland and Labrador native was dancing and singing in the all Canadian cast of Cats in 2013, performing roles of “Plato” and the evil villain “Macavity”. Though mostly teaching these days, he still finds time to perform in small productions throughout the year and until this season, has returned to Montreal every Christmas to dance with “Les Grands Ballet Canadiens” Nutcracker. Phillip is happy to be apart of KICKS!