I recently had the chance to ask Hannah Semler some questions about her wonderful journey as a ballerina. Hannah is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage wtih poise and grace, her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started dancing at the age of 3 in beginning movement classes.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I dance at a studio in Indianapolis
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for 5 years now!
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I just switched pointe shoes as I am currently wearing Bloch Elegance. They are split sole and I love them! I have nothing bad to say about them and they have really helped me strengthen my feet.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I began dancing at a local YMCA. I took ballet and Hip Hop. Ballet was my way of calming down when I was little. I was so focused and automatically fell in love with it. 14 years later I’m still doing it and love it just as much and maybe even more!
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
This is a hard question! I can’t just pick one variation as my favorite because I like multiple for many different reasons! I love Diana and Acteon because of the power Diana possesses and the strength she gives off in her character. I also love the Grande Pas Classique because of the challenging aspects of it and the beauty of the music. I also love the Act 1 Aurora Variation from Sleeping Beauty. It is so beautiful and elegant.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I began to realize that I wanted to become a professional dancer around the age of 15. I am always striving to improve my dancing and artistry, and being able to dance as a profession is an absolute dream of mine. My dream company would have to be either Cincinnati Ballet, Joffrey Ballet or Houston Ballet.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory or moment from ballet would have to be when I got to perform as the FireBird in my companies Winter Showcase. This role was a very challenging yet rewarding role. It was all new choreography and different movements. I felt that from this experience it taught me the importance of being a well rounded dancer and not being afraid of trying new things. The role of “The Firebird” really pushed me past my limits and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have been able to perform that role.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My ballet role models are Natalia Osipova, Isabella Boylston and Tyler Donatelli! Natalia Osipova has an amazing stage presence that I can not keep my eyes off of. I really look up to her not only because she is an amazing dancer, but her ability to portray so many different character seamlessly. Her jumps are also amazing too! Isabella Boylston is absolutely beautiful! Her grace and technique are impeccable! I am also a huge fan of the Cindys! Tyler Donatelli is a very inspiring person. Her story of how she got to Houston Ballet is something that I really look up to. She is such a hard working dancer and her turns are also amazing too!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I have ever received from a teacher would have to be you have to just believe in yourself and be yourself. It is something I constantly have to remind myself of. It is very important to be yourself and try your hardest. As artist we have to use what we were given in order to be the best versions of ourselves, and I think that is really important to just be yourself because the first part of believing in yourself is accepting and loving yourself for who you really are.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
I love both kinds of tutus, but classical tutus are definitely my favorites!
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I am not dancing I love to excercize! My favorite thing to do is go one walks with my dogs and just enjoy that fresh air outside! I also love baking and cooking for my friends and family!