I recently had the chance to ask Kassandra Lessi some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. She graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her dedication and passion for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her answers.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I took my first ballet class when I was 2; however, I didn’t begin training seriously and consistently till I was 10.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I am currently in training at SLO Movement Arts Center, where I am also a member of their youth company, The Movement Arts Collective.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for four years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
For pointe shoes, I wear Suffolk sonnets. I absolutely love them!
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
Growing up, there was always music playing in my house; I believe this contributed to me gaining an appreciation for expression through music very early on in my life. As soon as I could walk, any time there was music on, I was dancing. I think my mom took note of this and decided that dance would be a good fit for me. So, she put me in a ballet/tap combo class. From that very first class, I fell in love with the beautiful art that is ballet.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
That’s a hard question! Currently, my favorites are La Fille Mal Gardee Lise act 1 variation, Pharaoh’s daughter act 2 variation, and Kitri act 3 variation.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
My dream companies are Dutch National Ballet and Houston ballet. Of course all companies are amazing, but I really enjoy the diverse repertoire of these two companies and really admire their dancers.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I have had so many unforgettable moments throughout my ballet journey, but I think the one that I am most proud of, as of now, is placing third in the senior contemporary division at Yagp this year. It was so unexpected and also so incredibly rewarding and special to have been recognized at such a prestigious competition. I am so grateful for that experience.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
Another tough question… I would have to say though that Isabella Boylston and Maia Makhateli are the dancers who inspire me most. They are both so technically and artistically amazing!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice that I’ve received from a teacher is to always remember why you started dance. As dancers, we are always striving for perfection, and because perfection is never truly attainable it is easy to become frustrated. However, when you’re having a bad dance day where nothing seems to be going right it really helps to think back to that young girl you once were who loved dance not because she had perfect feet and turnout but because she found joy through movement.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I am not dancing, I love to cook and bake. I also love to get together with my family and play board/card games.