Month: July 2018

Q&A With American Ballerina Naomi Babcock

I recently had the chance to ask Naomi Babcock some questions about her inspiriational journey as a ballerina. Naomi is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with strength and passion. Her love and dedication for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Instagram: ballet_pointe_pirouette

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started at the age of 3

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Naples Ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Russian Pointe. Rubins and Bravas

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom put me into it

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Gisselle act 1 Variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Houston Ballet

Getting cast as Dourmousse and snow queen, and being on the news for getting cast as an angel, dancing for my church’s Christmas Eve service

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

Getting cast as Dourmousse and snow queen, and being on the news for getting cast as an angel, dancing for my church’s Christmas Eve service

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Nathalia Arja, Kathryn Morgan

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

To never give up and to keep working for my goals

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I like to read, watch YouTube, art, and eat

Q&A With American Ballerina Annika Bergofin

I had the chance to ask Annika Bergofin some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Annika is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 8

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently dancing at Miami City Ballet School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for about 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Freed classic pro 90’s or classic pros

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was 8 my mom took ballet classes at a small local dance studio. After seeing me dance around the hallways of the studio my mom’s ballet teacher strongly encouraged me to give Ballet a try. Very shortly after I started dancing I was cast in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker and the rest is history!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

(It’s hard to pick just one variation!) My top two favorite variations to dance are probably blue bird and stars and stripes but I also love Aurora’s variation from sleeping beauty and odalisques from Le Corsaire.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

There are so so many companies I would love to be a part of but Miami City Ballet and English national ballet are two!

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favorite moment was the first time I performed at the Metropolitan Opera House with ABT en pointe. It was also the first time I got to bow at the end of the show with the company. It is a very special moment for me that I will cherish and remember forever.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Some of the dancers who have inspired me the most are Isabella Boylston, Cassandra Trenary, and Lauren Fadeley.

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I have ever received from a teacher is basically to believe in yourself. A lot of times in dance the thing holding you back the most is your own thoughts. When you are struggling with a a step it is often much more mental then you would think. As soon as you get rid of whatever mental block you might have had and tell yourself you can do it you will start to see improvement much more quickly then before.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu!

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Although I am always dancing, when I do have free time I like to spend it with my friends and family. I enjoy going to the beach, I enjoy walking and hiking, I enjoy skiing if I am on vacation (although it’s been a while since I last skied), and I also enjoy baking.

Q&A With Ukrainian Contortionist Elizaveta Chursina

I recently had the chance to ask the amazing Ukrainian contortionist Elizaveta Chursina some questions about her life as a contortionist. She is an incredible contortionist who works incredibly hard and always strives to be the best performer she can be. She has a variety of different acts from Hola Hoops to Duo acrobatics to table contortion routine. She is one of the best contortionists ever and always has a smile on her face while performing.

Instagram: lizachursina1234 & elizaveta_lunaa

How long have done contortion for?

I started to be engaged in contortion from 5 years old.

How did you start contortion?

I felt that I had a flexible back and decided to try contortion.

How often do you train and for how long?

I train five times a week for about three to four hours.

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

My favorite contortion element is a triple fold.

What has been your best contortion experience?

I take part in various festivals and concerts. I like to perform.

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

I want to continue to work in various circuses of the world. Travel. Share your experience. To give master classes.

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Q&A With Australian Ballerina Ally Champion

I had the chance recently to ask Ally Champion some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Ally is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion and dedication for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Queensland National Ballet school

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My Mum was a ballet dancer so she enrolled me when I was little

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is tchaikovsky pas de deux

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company is ENB

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite ballet memory is my European audition tour

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My role models are Evgenia Obraztsova and Maria Kotchetkova

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The best advice I’ve been given is to relax and enjoy my dancing and not to stress about being perfect. To dance because I love it and not get so caught up in how perfectly I perform

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time I love cooking and making new recipes!! I also love going to the beach

Q&A With American Ballerina Ashlynn Rutherford

I had the opportunity recently to ask Ashlynn Rutherford some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Ashlynn is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage everytime with a level of poise and grace that’s unmatched. Her passion and dedication for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years and began seriously training at around 11

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently semi-privately and privately trained and next year will be joining Ballet West as a trainee 😊

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I received my first part of pointe shoes at about 11 1/2 years old

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Minden

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My parents put me into dance classes when I was really young but I always loved performing.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

That’s a hard one! I would probably have to say Walpurgisnacht because I love the character and it has some of my favorite steps but I also love Black Swan

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Right now I can’t wait to begin working with Ballet West!

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

I think my favorite memories are the times I’ve spent with my amazing friends and teachers. If I had to pick one definitive moment, I would probably say the night I won third place at Universal Ballet Competition and receive a scholarship to the Ballet West summer intensive in 2017. That moment was truly a blessing that led to the traineeship I have now.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My teachers have always been a big inspiration to me

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

The mindset of maximizing my own potential is probably the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s easy in the dance world to become disheartened by a lack of something rather than by enhancing the gifts we already possess as unique individuals.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

If I’m not dancing I’m probably studying. School work aside, I really enjoy art, specifically colored pencil work, as well as photography!

Q&A With British Ballerina Sarah Trinder

I recently had the chance to ask Sarah Trinder some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Sarah is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and grace. Her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old. Although I always wanted to pursue it as a career, I began taking it more seriously when I was around 9 years old. At age 10, I attended my first summer school at the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

At the moment I train locally at a small school called Susan Robinson School of Ballet but next year I am moving to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to attend the Dutch National Ballet Academy. It will be my first year in full time ballet training so I am very excited.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for almost 6 years now. My first pair of pointe shoes were from Freed of London and I got them a few days after my 11th birthday.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

At the moment I wear Freeds Studio Professional shoes. I have recently started using these shoes and I really like them because there are slightly harder so I have more support and they last longer.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was 3 years old, my mum signed me up for a baby ballet class near to where we live. Then, after 2 years, I moved to my current dance school where there was more emphasis on technique and performance so I could dance more often and had more opportunities.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation that I have performed is the Swanhilda Act 1 variation which I performed at YAGP but two other variations which I would love to dance are the Paquita 4th variation and Pharaoh’s Daughter Act 2 variation. I also think it would be really fun to learn a Balanchine variation like one from Who Cares or Rubies in Jewels.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream companies include the Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet but I would love to dance with any of the big classical companies in Europe.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite experience and memory in ballet would have to be the YAGP semi-finals in Barcelona. It was an honour to perform in front of school and company directors from around the world and receiving 3rd place and short term scholarships from the Royal Ballet School, John Cranko Schule and Ballettschule Theater Basel was a dream come true.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My biggest role models are Marianela Nunez, Natalia Osipova and Svetlana Zakharova and I’m really lucky to have seen all three of them perform live. Some of my other favourite dancers include Yuhui Choe, Yasmine Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell from the Royal Ballet and I also love Maria Kochetkova.

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

My teacher once told me that there is always someone better than you or someone who works harder than you and this inspires me to work my hardest and push myself in class and on stage.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I would have to say classical tutu as this is the type which is worn by Aurora, Odette, Odile and the Sugarplum Fairy amongst many other major classical roles. I am very fortunate to own several of my own classical tutus, including one which was made in Japan!

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time, I like to read, cook, go shopping, and spend time with my friends and family. At the moment, I’ve been loving the TV show Grey’s Anatomy and I also enjoy watching films. My favourite directors are Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino.