I recently had the chance to ask Toni SR some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Toni is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, her passion and dedication to ballet is incredible. Below are her repsonses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started dancing as soon as I could walk and enrolled in several different types of movement classes when I was younger. However, I didn’t start taking proper ballet classes until I was about 6 or 7.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I dance at Pacific Ballet Academy in California’s Bay Area.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for a little over five years!
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I alternate between the softer Suffolk Spotlight and the harder, more durable Suffolk Stellar. I darn my Spotlights and I 3/4 the shank of the Stellars.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first got involved in ballet when I signed up for some tap / ballet classes and decided that I preferred ballet over anything else I could have done.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation is either Sleeping Beauty Act III or Grand Pas Classique. Sleeping Beauty is such an elegant ballet and takes a special blend of technique and artistry to pull off. Grand Pas is a sheer test of technique and endurance.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Really anywhere, as long as I keep dancing! I love the Royal Ballet, ABT, as well as Boston Ballet. I had the honor of attending Boston Ballet’s summer intensive last year and am a few days away from starting Royal Ballet’s intensive!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite moment in ballet is when you take the first step onto stage during a performance. Nothing beats the feelings of months of preparation, sweat, and hard work that goes into making the show possible. And a pretty tutu doesn’t hurt, either!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
One of my all-time favorite dancers is Misa Kuranaga, from Boston Ballet. She’s so strong, has gorgeous feet and lines, impeccable technique, and a wonderful quality that makes her such a joy to watch.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
To let the music guide your movements and to remember that dance isn’t all technique — it’s an artistic sport which means emotion and expression is part of the 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 am most likely trying to frantically catch up on my school work. 😉