I recently had the opportunity to ask Dana Jensen some questions about her experiences as a ballerina. Dana is an amazing dancer who has a strong passion and dedication for ballet. She graces the stage with poise and beauty. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 12 – a lot later than most! I wish I had started when I was younger.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I dance at Goucher College.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for 6 years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Grishko Nova Flex!
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My family always took me to the ballet when I was little, but for some reason I never liked it! However, when I was 12 I had a change of heart, and after watching a performance of Peter Pan, I decided I wanted to take ballet lessons.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
2nd Odalisque variation from Le Corsaire!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I don’t think I want to dance professionally – I’m more interested in choreography, and I would love to choreograph for many different companies!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
Although not a specific moment, I really loved performing in the Nutcracker. It wasn’t even what happened on stage that I found the most fun; the backstage atmosphere was just so lovely and exciting. Since classes weren’t in session over the holidays, Nutcracker performances were when I got to hang out with all of my friends, and we had a good time no matter what our part was!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I have so many! Isabella Boylston, James Whiteside, Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder, and Misty Copeland, just to name a few!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
I think the best advice I’ve ever received is to leave all my “baggage” outside the studio. Ballet class is a place to escape from negative emotions and all the stress that comes along with our busy lives. If you go into a class with a less-than-positive mindset, not only are you not going to improve, but you’re not going to have fun. Ballet is hard, that’s for sure, and it’s impossible to always be upbeat, especially when you’re struggling with a step or skill. However, doing your best to come into the studio with an open mind and a willingness to learn and enjoy yourself is so important.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I love drawing and doing other crafts – recently I’ve started making artwork with dead pointe shoes! I also enjoy spending time with my friends, watching YouTube videos, and going on bike rides.