Month: June 2018

Q&A With American Ballerina Anna Sawyer

I recently had the chance to ask Anna Sawyer some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Anna is in amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with poise, grace and strength. Her passion and love for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 8.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at South Mississippi Ballet Theater in Hattiesburg Mississippi.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for 6 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko 2007.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I saw my first nutcracker and I thought it looked really cool!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variations are Kitri 1st act and Cinderella 2nd act.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work with any company really but I think Miami city ballet would be really cool!

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favorite moment was when I placed 2nd in pre competitive ballet at dallas yagp in 2015.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My dance role model is Michaela Deprince.

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice would be to just enjoy yourself on stage. It shouldn’t be stressful.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutus to look at but romantic tutus to dance in.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing I like to read, shop, and travel.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Sasha Dreyer

I recently had the pleasure of asking the amazing Sasha Dreyer some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Sasha is an amazing dancer. She graces the stage with real poise and grace. Her passion and dedication for ballet is phenomenal. Sasha will no doubt inspire the next generation of dancers. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at the ‘Akademie des Tanzes’ Mannheim, Germany.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for almost 7 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear ‘Sansha Ovation 3/4’ pointe shoes.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

From a young age I was always drawn to dancing and ballet in particular. I was a big fan of the children’s cartoon “Angelina Ballerina” and the show really sparked my love at the young age. I begged my parents to let me take ballet lessons and from that moment on I never stopped.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I really love Raymonda’s dream variation and wish to perform it one day.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

At this point in my life I can’t name just one particular company I would work for but my big dream is to work for a large well established ballet company. To name a few… Staatsballet Berlin, English National Ballet, The Australian Ballet, ABT.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite memories are usually performances! The feeling you get when the audience is applauding is unlike anything else and it makes me feel so grateful for what I do. My annual end of year performances I did when I was younger and studying at home are memories that I always cherish and the performances were something I looked forward to every year. Most recently I was able to perform in a ballet gala in Karlsruhe, Germany and that was most definitely an unforgettable moment. Being able to take class, watch, and meet some of the most incredible dancers of this time was undeniably a moment to never forget.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

I am really big fan of Natalia Osipova. Just like her, I am small myself and she has proven to be one that could not be missed with insane Allegro and height in her jumps along with a very charismatic stage presence.

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher is to know what you are good at and show yourself off! As we know, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the best thing we can do is work with what we have. Aspects such as coordination and port de bras come very natural to me and so I have learnt to use these positive traits in order to present myself in the best way possible, even if I haven’t naturally been gifted with everything a ballet dancer would hope for.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

This is a hard choice to make! To be honest I am a fan of both but I may have to go with the classical tutu.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing, I enjoy going out with my friends, especially outside like a park or pool in the summer. During the colder months I enjoy cooking and baking with them too. I have also recently gotten into podcasts and so I enjoy my alone time relaxing on my days off while still getting in a bit of education and enlightenment.

Q&A With American Ballerina Camryn Potts

I had the chance recently to ask Camryn Potts some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Camryn is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance, her passion and dedication to ballet is incredible. There is no doubt that Camryn will be inspiring the next generation of dancers. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was three, but I actually didn’t start intensive ballet training until I was fourteen.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

This past year, I studied at the Kansas City Ballet School’s Day Program.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’m going into my sixth year en pointe.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko Novas! Hard shank Grishkos are the only shoes that last me longer than a class or two…

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Like a lot of little kids, my mom sent me off to ballet class one day for entertainment and exercise, and it just blossomed into something else entirely. I love to act, but I also love to MOVE, and dance is the perfect marriage of the two. I also started researching the life of a ballerina- rehearsing all day and performing all night, dedicating countless hours to their art and being able to express themselves to the absolute best of their ability- and knew that it was a life I had to live.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is Odette Act II from Swan Lake!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to dance for any European company with a repertoire mainly featuring story ballets! To me, acting and artistry are the most important things in ballet.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favorite memory is getting to perform Odette’s variation from Swan Lake this past March. The dream of Swan Lake is part of the reason why I wanted to become a ballerina, and getting to experience just those two and a half minutes of it was purely magical. I immersed myself completely in my character and thought about nothing but expression, and somehow, my technique fell into place as just another means to get my message across the feeling I had onstage reminded me that all the struggle I go through for a potential career in ballet is completely worth it.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My all-time favorite dancers are Sylvie Guillem, Darcey Bussell, and Gelsey Kirkland, but I’m really drawn to and inspired by any dancer with a devotion to artistry and working as hard as they can.

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher is to think of technique like a science and remove yourself emotionally from problems in class. Instead of getting frustrated because a pirouette isn’t working, pretend you’re a computer and scan yourself for bugs. Nearly every technical issue can be fixed with basic knowledge of physics and anatomy. Also, that your seat muscles are the most important muscles in ballet and that you should use them always.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classic! They’re just so flattering.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I’m an avid writer- I write all the time, and I’m actually working on a novel! Also, I’m an enormous lover of anime, and I spend a lot more time than I should watching it.

Q&A With American Ballerina Avery Davis

I had the chance to ask Avery Davis some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Avery is a fantastic dancer, she graces the stage with poise and grace, her dedication and passion for ballet is unmatched. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 2.5 but at that time you know it’s just waving wands and being in butterfly position

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Charlotte Ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 7 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Suffolk’s

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mother thought I had too much energy

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Kitri

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Really anywhere

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

I think the first time I danced in the Charlotte ballets nutcracker was kinda magical for me

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

I love Patricia McBride because she is one of my teachers and Is just fabulous

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

You can only be your best so don’t compare yourself just be a better you

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical all the way

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Hang out with friends or my pups

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Kendall Gray

I recently had the chance to ask Kendall Gray some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Kendall is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and strength, her determination and passion is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old because my podiatrist recommend I start it due to my rolling feet.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at the Tanya Pearson Academy in Sydney, Australia but will be starting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for 7 years (since age 11).

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Energetiks pointe shoes in the style Sapfir. I have very narrow, small feet so really love the streamlined look of the shoes.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

(kinda answered already) My parents put my into ballet classes when I was 3 years old at the recommendation of my podiatrist as my feet rolled rather badly. Throughout my training “don’t roll, Kendall” has been a very frequent correction as I strive to lift my arches. Though I no longer hear this correction as much, it’s still something that I have to be very conscious of correcting.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is the Gamzatti Temple variation (Marianela Nunez doing this variation is one of my all time favourite things!)

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would honestly love to work for whatever ballet company offers me a contract! It’s such a cutthroat profession and there’s so many good dancers and not enough jobs for all of them that I know I can’t be too restrictive when looking at the companies that I would like to be a part of.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

This is going to sound rather cliche but every moment on stage is a treasured memory. That constricting, nervous feeling you get right before going on that slowly dissolves as you begin to dance is always so euphoric! I love being on stage and it always reminds me of why I do ballet; because I love it.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Marianela Nunez is my favourite ballerina and biggest inspiration. She doesn’t just dance the roles, she performs them and fully embraces whatever character she is portraying. Alina Cojocaru, Natalia Osipova and Maya Plisetskaya are also other inspirations of mine.

 

 

Q&A With South Korean Ballerina Doyoon Kim

I recently had the chance to ask Doyoon Kim some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She graces the stage with finesse, poise and control. Her dedication and passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 4 years old but I really think that I want to be a dancer like ballerina was when I was 8 years old!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Kirov Academy of ballet Washington DC

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

10 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Grishiko

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was little I did it with my friend

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Esmeralda

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Korea National Ballet

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

When I start first pas de deux and go out competition

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Evgenia Obraztsova

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Don’t get nervous or afraid before you try

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I usually listen ballet music but also just pop music too and I’m looking for my leotard with online shopping!!

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Maya Lukasik

I recently had the opportunity to ask Maya Lukasik some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Maya is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise, grace and presence. Her level of dedication and passion for ballet is immense. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was about four years old, which was almost ten years ago.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at Classic Dance Academy (CDA) in Colorado.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for approximately three years (since I was ten).

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko 2007s.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved with ballet because my older sister, @balletgirl328, took classes, and I wanted to be like her.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I really like Kitri Act I because the character is fiery and passionate. It’s very fun to perform!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for San Francisco Ballet/ABT.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favorite ballet memory is from last summer, when I went away to my first out of state summer intensive program. I attended ABT Irvine and made valuable friends as well as furthering my dance education.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My older sister Gabi inspires me, as well as Maria Mosina (a former principal dancer with Colorado Ballet who was just breathtaking to watch).

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I’ve ever received is this: “Don’t focus on the prize; focus on the process. If you’re too obsessed with winning, you’ll miss out on the perhaps more valuable steps you take along the way.”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love reading, writing, and eating food. 🙂

 

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Claire Synhorst

I recently had the chance to ask Claire Synhorst some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Claire is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with elegance and poise. Her passion and dedication for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I just left the Orlando Ballet school, I am currently dancing with Brandon Ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for 8 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Suffolk Spotlight

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom put me in it cause I would always dance around the house

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Gamzatti but the one in the red dress

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t know

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

When I performed four littles swans with three of my closest friends

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Allison Dibona

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Just let go and enjoy the movement

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I enjoy working out and reading about psychology

Q&A With Australian dancer Hannah Millott

I recently had the opportunity to ask Hannah Millott some questions about her journey as a dancer and more specifically as a ballerina. Hannah is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with poise, strength and elegance. Her passion and dedication for dance is immense. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I started dancing at the age of 3. And I started fulltime ballet at Classical Coaching Australia when I was about 13.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Dance Force in Tweed Heads, NSW

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for about 5 years

Q4: What poinI wear energetiks pointe shoeste shoes do you currently wear?

I wear energetiks pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got involved by doing ballet exams and a program called Brisbane City Youth Ballet, and I loved it and that’s why I started full time.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I love all the kitri variations, I think they suit me the best

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for Netherlands Dance Theatre (NDT) or anywhere in Europe somewhere that’s more contemporary

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite memory in ballet is probably fulltime in general I miss ballet a lot. Or when I was the green witch for “The Wizard of Oz” that was really fun as I got painted!!

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

I love Misty, Natalia and Sylvie! They are all so amazing and inspiring I could watch them all day

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I have received is probably being aware of people and how they would do anything to take you down. So I always just not worry about other people and be the best I can be not who anyone else wants me to be and don’t let anyone get in your way or try and ruin you

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic tutu

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time I like to go to the gym, spend a lot of alone time to clear my head and think. And also love spending quality time with my good friends who are always there for me

Q&A with American Ballerina Suzanne Mitchell

I recently had the chance to ask Suzanne Mitchell some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Suzanne is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and elegance. Her dedication and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing at the YMCA when I was three years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Piedmont School of Music and Dance. In the fall, I’ll begin training with the University of South Carolina Dance Program!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe since I was 11 so about 7 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Russian Pointe Rubin

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I liked to dance around the house when I was little so my mom signed me up for dance classes and I’ve been dancing ever since.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Who Cares?: My One and Only

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Either Nashville Ballet or Charlotte Ballet

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favorite memory is probably performing as Lead Marzipan in The Nutcracker.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Misty Copeland and Ariana Lallone!

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Do what you can do well the first time!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical!

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to sing and paint! I also love to hang out with friends and family 🙂