I recently had the opportunity to ask Sarah Shaw some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Sarah is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible grace 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 four years old but I began my pre-professional training at thirteen years old.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
Currently, I am training with private coaches Javier and Isabel Dubrocq. I also get to perform with The Rosemary Youth Ballet directed by Wendy Johnson
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for five 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 my parents took me to see the Nutcracker and Coppalia. I loved them so much and not long after, I began taking ballet lessons at my local ballet studio.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
This is a hard one… but I would either say that Giselle or Grande Pas Classique are my favorite variations.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Actually, I am not sure yet. There are so many great companies that I would love to dance with. I am just excited to see what the future holds!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory in Ballet was this past May when I received the opportunity (thanks to my coach Javier) to take class with master teacher Laura Alonso’s ballet company in Havana, Cuba. I feel humbled and honored that I was also able to work with Laura Alonso privately and receive coaching on my Giselle act 1 variation. It was definitely a day that I will never forget!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
There are so many talented dancers that I would consider my role models. Each has their own special qualities that I admire so I could never be able to choose.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
Some of the best advise I have received is from my coach, Isabel. On days that I feel frustrated that I am not improving fast enough, she always reminds me to look back from where I have come. She says that slow and steady improvement is good, even if you don’t see it over night. It may take weeks or even months for the improvement to be visible so it is important to be patient. She often encourages me to take videos to track my improvement.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
I love both but classical tutus are my favorite.
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I am not dancing I am usually doing homework but in my free time I enjoy reading books, decorating ballet costumes, and doing agility with my dog, Matilda!