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60 seconds with Crys Whitewoods

In a nutshell describe your job and how you got into it:

As Director of Development, I am responsible for overseeing all income generation (fundraising) for Northern Ballet, from Charitable Trusts and Foundations, companies and individuals. The most important part of our work as a Development Team is to build good relationships with our existing  supporters and firends. I have been involved in fundraising since leaving University almost 12 years ago and have worked for a number of large and medium scale national charities including British Heart Foundation, Princes Trust, Shelter and Brooke      

Where can you be found when you’re not at Northern Ballet?

When not spending time at work, you will usually find me and my husband catching up over a glass of red wine or out and about with our kids, family and friend. My two passions are food and dance so I guess the ideal evening after work would be to watch the ballet and then go out for a nice meal.    

Which is your favourite Northern Ballet production and why?

I have been aware of Northern Ballet for many years, having spent my childhood training in classical ballet. Sadly however, the first Northern Ballet performance that I have seen live is Cinderella…but what a fantastic experience and a really innovative adaptation.

If you weren’t a Development Director what would you be?

One of the things that I love about my job is that I get to meet lots of people and to find out more about them. I also like problem solving so perhaps a Police Officer or Doctor. When I was really little I wanted to be an archaeologist and ride on a camel to see pyramids.    

Who would play you in a film of your life?

If anyone were to make a film about me, I think would prefer it if they wait a few more years. I still have so many things to achieve and experiences. So who would play me? Hopefully someone like Sir Ian McKellen, he is an incredible actor and truly an inspiration.    

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

2 pieces – one from each of my parents: 1) The greatest gift you can give a person is time and 2) Never ask anyone to do something that you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself   

What song will always get you dancing?

All I’ll say is if you can’t find at least one ABBA track that makes you want to dance – you don’t have a pulse  

What scares you?

Looking at photo’s of me as a child in the 1980’s – a lot of hair gel, shell suits and luminous colours…SCARY!

What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?

CHRISTMAS! It is my favourite time of year and I love everything about it – the food, decorations etc. I can name all of Father Christmas’ reindeer too so I think I would do well to choose this for my time in the chair.    

What do you want to do before you die?

It is a VERY long list but picking just one thing – to travel across India. I spent some time there when working with the Brooke and the colours, people and food really made a lasting impact. It is an enchanting country and I feel I have only seen a tiny part of what India has to offer! 

It’s your dream dinner party – which six people (dead or alive) would you invite?

What a great question! I love sarcasm and a witty sense of humour so the likes of like Sue Perkins, Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Joan Rivers would be fun. Nelson Mandela was such an inspiration so he would have to be on the list. Finally, I would have to say the Queen. She has met so many people (past and present) I am sure she would have some incredible stories and anecdotes. What a mix of guests!    

Describe yourself in three words?

I would have to say adaptable, passionate and fair. I also think it is really good to able to laugh at oneself so I would have to put that in there too.