Month: June 2018

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Bronte Barnett

I had the chance to ask Bronte Barnett some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Bronte is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and grace. Her dedication to ballet is amazing and her love for ballet is infectious. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 (2006)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Sydney College of Dance @sydneycollegeofdance

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been dancing en pointe since I was 11, so three years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Minden pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet when I used to dance around my house, and then once I was 3, my mum decided that she should put me into ballet classes. I have loved it ever since then

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is definitely giselle act 1

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for The Royal Ballet, Mariinski Theatre, English National Ballet or The Bolshoi Ballet

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

My favourite moment in ballet is every moment that I dance, I don’t have a specific moment because I love every moment that I live

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

My ballet role models are probably: Svetlana Zakharova, Marianela Nunez, Yasmine Naghid, Darcey Bussell

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

The best advice I have ever gotten from my teacher is that to become a ballerina, you have to be so mentally strong. Many amazing ballerinas don’t make it because they are not mentally strong, this pushes me to works hard and to believe in myself

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

I love to go to the beach, see friends or family, read and eat fruit

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Jade Marquez

I recently had the chance to ask Jade Marquez some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. She is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and beauty, her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. 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 do fulltime ballet at The Conlan College

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear energetiks pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got involved in ballet by watching my older sister dance, I wanted to be just like her

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is Gamzatti from La Bayadère

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for the English national ballet or San Francisco ballet one day

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

My favourite memory is meeting some amazing people who truely inspire me to dance and work hard

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

My ballet role model is Marianela Núñez as I love watching her dance as she has a lovely performance quality

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

The best advice that I have gotten from a teacher is to never give up and always work hard as that is the only way to improve

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

When I’m not dancing I like to spend time with my family and friends

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Q&A With American Ballerina Maddy Ruiz

I had the chance to ask Maddy Ruiz some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Maddy is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I was about 7 1/2

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

California

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

almost 2 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Bloch but am planning on switching

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom found it through a homeschool group

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Paquita variation 1

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Miami city ballet

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

My first triple en pointe

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

An old ballet teacher

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

My teachers don’t really give advice

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

Doing homework or getting ready for dance

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Phoebe Anderson

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 2 and a half

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at The Conlan College in Sydney, Australia!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for the past 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Sculpted Fit Gaynor Minden pointe shoes and I love them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved because of my sister… I started to sneak into the back of her ballet classes and try out the steps at the back

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation has to be Black Swan. I’ve never danced it but it is just so elegant and stunning when ever I see it!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would absolutely love to work with The Hamburg Ballet!

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

I love performing and some of my favourite memories are just being onstage with my friends!

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

I love Tiler Peck because she is an amazing artist and a great role model for young dancers!

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

My ballet teacher once told me that “if you want it enough, you will get it. But you must put everything you have into ballet, if it is truly what you want. Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard!”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love classical tutu’s because they always sparkle on stage and make you feel like a princess! 😋

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

If I ever have any free time, I always have my head in a book! I’m a huge book nerd!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Charli Reece

I had the chance to ask Charli Reece some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Charli is an excellent dancer, she graces the stage with poise and grace. Her dedication and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 2 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at The McDonald College, which is a performing arts school in Sydney

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for around 3 and a half years now

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am currently wearing Bloch serene in size 3 and a 1/2 B

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet because my older sister danced and I really did look up to her but after a few years of classes I eventually was old enough to realise that it was something I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life💗😊

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is probably Le Corsaire, Odalisque variation 2

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for The Royal Ballet, just because I think they are absolutely perfect

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

My favourite memory in ballet was probably when in my first ever pointe class when I got my double pirouette en pointe for the very first time

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

My ballet role models are definitely Ako Kondo from the Australian Ballet because she has such great performance, legs + feet and Svetlana Zakharova because she is just crazy amazing

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

The best advice I have ever received from a teacher was to do my best and it doesn’t matter what the outcome or prize is

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I’m not sure why, but I have always preferred classical tutus

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

When I’m not dancing I like to spend time with my friends and family and occasionally relax and watch Netflix😂😂

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Anna Turkington

I recently had the chance to ask Anna Turkington some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Anna is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise, strength and beauty. Her passion and dedication for ballet is unmatched. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

This past year was my second full year of professional ballet training. I did various forms of dancing beforehand (i.e acro, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, lyrical, music classes, and singing)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently attending The Rock School For Dance Education (@rockschooldance)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for nearly two years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

The pointe shoes I am currently wearing are the “Bloch Eurostretches”. I love them!!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I had first got involved in the world of ballet by testing out a summer intensive in the year of 2016. At first, I hated it!! But after a week, I fell in absolute love with it! From that pointe (haha, POINTE!!) forward, I knew that ballet was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

To be honest, I love all variations in their own unique way. I love Paquita variations for their fun style/sass. I love Tripod variation for its speed and musicality. I love Diana and Actaeon for its challenges and Esmeralda for its style and footwork! This list could go forever!!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t have a particular preference in companies just yet, but I do love ABT and The National Ballet of Canada. All companies are great in their own ways, but it mainly depends on which companies accept me when the time comes!

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

Every moment in ballet is special to me!

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

All professional ballerinas give me inspiration to do what I do. They all seem to amaze me, and are all incredibly talented! Tyler Peck and Iana Salenko are two of my favourites, if I had to choose. But really, I love all professional ballerinas in their own unique ways.

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

The best advice I have received from a teacher would be to lift out of your spine and root your feet! I know that is a correction rather than a word of advice, but it really really helps.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Hmm, that’s a tough one… My answer would have to be both! Both classical and romantic tutus are great. They both supply a dancer a different feeling/style.

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

When I am not dancing, I am mainly doing homework tbh! But if I’m not dancing, or doing schoolwork, or sleeping, or eating, I LOVE going for walks, taking artsy pictures, creating neat recipes, art, FISHINGGGG, making furniture out of fallen trees, winning board games (I am very competitive…), boating, SHOPPING OMG, and hanging with friends. Safe to say, I like a lot of things!!

Q&A With American Ballerina Eva Pooler

I had the chance recently to ask Eva Pooler some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is an excellent dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing at the age of three, taking ballet and tap! I now take ballet, jazz, PBT, and hip hop, and have gotten really serious in ballet over the years!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Carolina Dance Center in NC.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe since November of 2016.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am currently wearing Suffolk Stellar pointe shoes and love them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

As I mentioned, I have taken dance since I was three. At the time I was also doing gymnastics, and after my first recital I knew I loved dance and ballet and had to stick with it!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have many favorite variations, but a few of them that come to mind are Gamzatti, Diana and Acteon, Medora, Lilac Fairy, and Esmeralda!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream companies would be New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theater, but I would love to dance with Carolina Ballet since it is local and an amazing company! I would love to work with any company that I am given the opportunity to!

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

I loved competing my first variation at YAGP! When my name was called, I couldn’t believe I was going on, but once I was on, it felt like I belonged. I loved working with my teachers to prepare and I appreciate all the care and time they put into helping me! Another favorite memory is the Carolina Ballet SI in 2017… those weeks were some of the best ever, and I’m thrilled to go again this year and improve tons!

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

The older dancers and teachers at my studio really inspire me, as well as Carolina Ballet dancers Jan Burkhard and Margaret Severin-Hansen. I have taken class as well as watched both of them in performances, and they are incredible!

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

Some good advice I have gotten from teachers is that I should never compare myself to or worry about others. I am my own person and I need to focus on making myself the best I can be, not trying to be like someone else! I am so thankful for all of my incredible teachers who have guided me!!!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

A few years ago I would’ve said hands down classical, but now I love both classical and romantic!!!

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

In my free time, I am usually resting, doing homework, or hanging out with family and friends! I dance all weekend and week nights, so free time is limited, which I’m sure many of you can relate to!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Shani Wilkens

I recently had the chance to ask Shani Wilkens some questions about her wonderful journey as a ballerina. Shani is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage so elegantly and with real poise. Her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 7 years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance with Queensland Ballet Academy.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I got my first pair of pointe shoes when I was 11.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Energetics Sapfir Flex Medium.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My younger sister started and when I saw that she was enjoying I wanted to join in.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation would have to be Odalisque 3rd Variation from Le Corsaire.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would really love to be apart of The Queensland Ballet when I’m old enough.

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

My favourite memory was either when I performed at the Alana Haines Australasian Awards or the Sydney Eisteddfod.

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

Some dancers that inspire me are Margot Fonteyn, Misty Copeland and Li Cunxin.

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

Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get in wrong.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer a classical tutu although I do enjoy dancing in both.

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

I really like reading and drawing and spending time with my family and friends.

Q&A With American Ballerina Kassandra Lessi

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?

Classical 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.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Liv Grieve

I recently had the chance to ask Liv Grieve some questions about her time as a ballerina. Liv is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with beauty, poise and strength. Her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at the age of 3 as a recreational thing. I didn’t actually begin professional full time training until I was 13.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am actually currently taking a break from the ballet world and am now a cast member with Disneyland Hong Kong.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I began pointe work at the age of 13. When I started full time ballet. So I’ve been en pointe for about 9 years now! Crazy!!

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I like to wear Bloch heritage pointe shoes. I find them the most comfortable to work in and they mould to my foot nicely compared to other shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum was actually a dance teacher at a local dance school. So that’s where I began and where I was introduced to Ballet itself. It wasn’t until I was older that my mum and ballet teacher recognised some talent in me and my love began to form before I realised I could even create a career for myself in my ballet world

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

my favourite variation would have to be act 1 Giselle. I love Giselle as I feel she is a character I can emotional connect with easily.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company was always the royal ballet of course. However I was always focused on aiming my goals toward Ballet west in America 🙂

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

My favourite memory or moment from ballet would have to be after my first soloist role with a ballet company. I remember the first step I took on stage and the excitement in my body!

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

I absolutely adore Alina Cojocaru. I think she is absolutely divine in the way she moves. She indulges strongly into every role she plays. She certainly knows how to take my breathe away.

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

The best advice I ever received from a teacher would have been to think pink! I was struggling mentally one day and she told me not to over think it at all! Just “think pink” and it’s the best thing! Whenever nerves get to me or I have a rough day in the studio I just try to think pink and let my body take over to do what it knows and does best!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I do love myself a romantic tutu because I love the romantic style of dance. However every ballet dancer adores a gorgeous classical tutu hehe!

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

In my free time I love to hang out with friends and I’m not going to lie, I’m quiet the shopaholic!