I recently had the opportunity to ask Claire Silverman some questions about her phenomenal journey as a ballerina. Claire is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her love and dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I took a Mommy & Me class when I was two and fell in love with ballet. I started dancing seriously at age nine.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I’m an Upper School student at SLK Ballet School in New York City.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I went on pointe in February 2012, so a little over six years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear Bloch Serenades and I love them! They look a lot like Freeds, which is what most girls at my studio wear.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
Like I said earlier, I took a “ballet” class when I was two and fell in love. I remember checking out dvds of ballets from the library, specifically Cinderella and The Firebird, and I knew I had to be a ballerina.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I have so many but I really love the Aurora Act III variation from the wedding pas de deux, and the first variation in the Paquita Pas de Trios. In general, I love all the Paquita variations.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Boston Ballet! Their repertoire is perfect and I love the city and the facilities. I did their summer program last year and I really got a sense of the great work ethic there, and their teachers (many of whom are in the company) really inspired me to work my hardest every day. Also, the company is really diverse and that it something I think is really important in ballet.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I love the feeling of exhilaration when I’m dancing first in the show and I see the curtain rise from the wings and when the music starts there’s this really magical moment where time slows down and I feel the excitement filling me up. It’s a really specific feeling in my chest around my heart and I love it. As for a specific memory, probably when I danced the role of Carlotta Grisi in Pas de Quatre. I think that’s the role I’m most proud of.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I love Evgenia Obraztsova, I got to see her American debut as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet with ABT a few years ago and that performance changed my life. My teacher, Ms. Knight, is a really big inspiration to me as well. I also really love Maria Kochetkova, Misa Kuranaga, Megan Fairchild and Lauren Cuthbertson.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
My teacher, Ms. Knight, told me that instead of getting sad when something doesn’t work, I should try to analyze what is throwing me off. That, and she also said that instead of having a “little rain cloud above my head”, I should dance as if there is sunlight above me, which I think is a really great visual.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
As much as I love the romantic ballets, I’d have to say classical tutu. There’s something about is that makes a role seem extra special.
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
Well, I don’t have much of it because I’m still balancing going to school for half a day, my commute and my ballet, but when I am free, I like to read and work on my poetry, and I’m really into music. I also have a youtube channel, Ballerina Claire, and a photography account on Instagram, @csilvphotography.