I had the chance recently to ask Carmen Rossi some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Carmen is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with great poise and elegance. Her dedication and passion for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 6, so 9 years ago.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at Eisenhower Dance Center in Rochester, Michigan
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for 4 years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Russian Pointe Encores.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom first put me in ballet when I was really young and I absolutely hated it. So, I started to do all sorts of other sports. I did basically everything (soccer, basketball, floor hockey, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, you name it) and I hated all of it. So I ended up back in ballet and I fell in love with it that time. I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation would have to be either La Esmeralda, Grand Pas Classique, the Kitri entrance variation, or Medora from Le Corsaire. Really anything that is quite the character or with a lot of turns!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would absolutely love to work for Ballet West or New York City Ballet. They are my dream companies!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I think one of my favorite memories would have to be when I found out that I got a full scholarship for Ballet West last year. I was on my way home from YAGP and I had just found out I had placed top 12 so I was already super happy. I got the email that said I had a full scholarship and it was such a huge moment for me. It’s the sort of thing that really gives you a huge confidence boost and reassures you that you actually might have a chance of making it in this field.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My ballet role models are Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, Sara Mearns and Allison DeBona. They are all such beautiful dancers!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
I think the best advice I’ve ever received would have to be that in the end, it isn’t going to matter if your leg is the highest or if you can do the most turns. What’s going to matter is if you love what you’re doing because if you love it, it will show and people will want to watch. Also, one of my teachers told me that when your turning/balancing and you start to fall, think about your tailbone and it will help you stay on balance. I have no idea why but it works amazing.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Classical tutu all the way. I love them!
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I’m not dancing I love to bake or hang out with my friends from dance. They’re all like my family so we tend to be together all the time.