I recently had the opportunity to ask Ella Norlen some questions about her inspirational journey as a ballerina. Ella is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, her love and dedication for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 2 1/2.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
Currently, I dance at the Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been on pointe for about four years now. I started pointe when I was 11.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
At the moment, I am switching from russians to gaynors. I started on pointe with suffolks, for about a year and a half, and then switched to russians for the next 2 1/2. I started wearing gaynors this week!
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
When I was 2 1/2, my mom took me to see a ballet. After the show, a dance teacher was having a spontaneous class for all the little kids. I joined in, and after the teacher had finished, she told my mom to give me ballet lessons.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I love so many variations! I would have to say that Princess Florine or Kitri act 3 are my favorites. Odelisque is fun too.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would like to work for PNB, the Paris Opera or ABT, or really any other famous company.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory is probably from this past years nutcracker. I got to perform Chinese with one of my really good friends, and it was incredibly fun.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My main role model is definitely Gillian Murphey. My mom cut out a photo of her from a performance she did of cupid when I was little and I still have it tacked on my cork board.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
My teachers always tell me to cool down, because sometimes I get excited and put too much effort into things. It’s important to be able to chill out when you’re pushing yourself too hard.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
I would say classical, because they’re so pretty to look at, and are fun to have on. Romantic tutus are pretty, but classical tutus are cooler.
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I’m not dancing, I’m usually at school. Besides schoolwork, I love reading and drawing. Watching ballets is also something I like to do.