I recently had the pleasure of asking Marina Halama some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Mariana graces the stage with presence, elegance, beauty and poise. Her dedication and passion to ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was three, at a little tot program in Chicago called “fairytale ballet”.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance with Preston Miller ( @tdacoach ) and take drop in classes at @hubbardstreetdance . It’s kind of unconventional, but I really love the flexibility in my schedule. It also allows me to experience really individualized private lessons/classes with Preston and large group classes from teachers that give me new corrections from a fresh perspective!
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I’ve been en points for four years, actually today marks exactly four years ago 😱
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear the Russian Pointe Encores.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I really liked ballet as a little kid but rekindled when I was almost eight at a serious summer intensive. That was really my first glance at a rigorous schedule in the world of ballet. From there, I started performing and I loved it! 💞
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I don’t know if I have a favorite variation. I think it’s really cool to portray yourself as a character through movement, and in a variation I look for things like jumps, turns, leg extensions, or hops en pointe. Connecting with a character comes naturally for me so it’s easy to love multiple variations – but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for all variations in Don Q ❤️💃🏻
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Honestly, I have no idea. I had an incredible summer in Houston with the Houston Ballet but when I came home I developed a serious injury that I haven’t yet recovered from and it’s taken a large toll on my schedule. Right now I’ve been able to explore others styles of dance that aren’t turn-out focused and I really like them. I’ve also done some work with on camera acting and I loved it. So to answer your question, I don’t know the kind of future I have yet.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory in ballet is definitely my experience at Houston Ballet’s summer intensive program. It was inspiring to take class with such supportive and dedicated dancers. The environment there was so professional, with both dancers and teachers. Everything about it was amazing and I would highly recommend the program! 😊
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I’m definitely inspired by dancers like Misty Copeland that use their platform to inspire and help others. She’s discussed important issues in society and helped people feel accepted. She’s an incredible role model in dance education and as an activist!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
“Don’t be afraid to be weird.” At the surface this doesn’t really mean much or sound like anything great. But in dance, a lot of girls/boys avoid the weird character interpretation and get over the awkwardness by laughing. But by challenging yourself to be unique or “weird” your going full-out in the moment and putting yourself out there.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Definitely classical tutu kind of girl! 😜
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I’m online schooled, and contrary to popular belief the curriculum is meticulous. I have to do a lot of work in a given day, but in my free time I love taking interior design quizzes and looking at houses. It’s kind of weird but I’m always on Zillow gaining inspiration!