I recently had the opportunity to ask Emily McAllister some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is an amazing dancer, She graces the stage with poise and grace. Her dedication and passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was two years old.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I love the training and atmosphere. In addition the teachers are very supportive and care for each of the students, giving us each the individualized attention and corrections to help prepare us to succeed in the ballet world. At the Rock School I am taught the basic ballet technique that allows me to adapt to the style of any ballet company in the future.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for about four years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Russian Pointe Rubins. I love the way they support me and look on my feet.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first started ballet at a small studio when I was two. For a few years I just did it as an extracurricular activity to past the time and have fun. However, when I was six I developed a passion for ballet and began to take it more seriously. At that point I left my smaller studio to go to the rock school and begin serious ballet training.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I feel that I honestly love all ballet variations each for different reasons! I especially love variations that mainly focus on technical ballet steps with opportunities for artistry. Some of my favorites include: Gisselle act 1, Grande pas Clasique, Aurora sixteenth birthday variation, Aurora wedding variation, all variations from Swan Lake, and so many more I can’t really type them all.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I really would love to work for any company but I especially love larger companies such as NYCB, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, ABT, Bolshoi ballet and so many more that I can’t really name them all.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
There are multiple memories that have stood out to me in Ballet. I remember being so happy whenever I achieved something that I have been working to improve on. Many of my favorite ballet memories are when I’m onstage. For example, I was so excited and happy to play Abbey (the equivalent to Clara or Marie) in the Rock School’s Nutcracker.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I am incredibly inspired by principal dancers including: Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck, Michaela Deprince , Svetlana Zarakova, Sarah Mearns, Marianela Núñez, Sarah Lamb, Isabella Boylston and so many more. I love watching these dancers and feel as though I learn from them each time I see them dance. They remind me where hard work and dedication can lead and help to inspire me to persevere and work hard in the studio every day.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
At the rock school my teacher Gina Grace once told be that “Ballet is a marathon not a sprint”. These words mean a lot to me and remind me that to be successful in ballet one must have patience to give themselves time to reach their goal. Dancers must realize that ballet isn’t going to come in a day and that’s okey. This quote reminds aspiring ballet dancers to not get frustrated and feel like they have to be technically flawless and company ready right away. It explains that dance should come with time and the massage helps me now as a student.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Classical tutu! (though I do like both)
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I’m not dancing I love to read books, spend time with my family, and go shopping. I also love going to see ballets and getting the opportunity to watch company dancers perform. I am a huge Disney fan and really enjoy visiting the Walt Disney World Parks in Orlando Florida. There I especially love shopping and going on the rides (particularly rollercoasters).