Month: August 2018

Q&A With American Ballerina Annabelle Thrash

I had the chance recently to ask Annabelle Thrash some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Annabelle is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance, 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, but I started my classical training at 5!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at 2 studios: South Mississippi Ballet Theatre and DanceSouth.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I got my first pair of pointe shoes when I was 10. I have been en pointe for 3 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Mindens.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom put me in ballet when I was 3 and I have loved it ever since!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I don’t have a particular favorite variation, but I love all of the kitri variations!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to dance for Colorado Ballet or Joffrey Ballet!

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

I don’t have a favorite memory!

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

One of my favorite dancers is Sylvie Guillem!

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

Some of the best advice I have ever received is to focus on the in between steps. 1: the impact it can have on a variation is amazing. 2: it makes all of the steps look like a dance rather than a bunch of tricks!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic!

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

I go to school, so I usually don’t have very much free time! But in my free time I love to play tennis and be with my friends and family!

Q&A With American Ballerina Erin Arndorfer

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was pretty young, but was a competition dancer. I focused on mainly tap, jazz, and lyrical. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I really started ballet.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently a dancer on the Studio Company at Colorado Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for 6 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Freed Classic Pro pointe shoes with a hard shank. I wear a few different makers depending on what is in stock, but my favorite is the D maker.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was accepted into a performing arts high school called Chicago Academy for the Arts and they required the dancers to take ballet everyday (and also go on pointe).  That was when I got involved in ballet!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

That is such a hard question!! If I had to try and pick one variation that is my favorite, I would probably say Gamzatti Act 1. Playing Gamzatti in La Bayadere is one of my dream roles because she is such a strong character. I love the variation because it has so many jumps and I love grand allegro!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

A dream company for me has always been the Royal Ballet. I danced in Europe for a year as a Trainee with the Dutch National Ballet and I would love to go back to Europe to dance. There are so many companies I would love to dance for but all the companies in the UK really catch my eye (Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet).

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

I have a lot of memorable moments in ballet but I think my favorite actually happened this past April. I was able to guest with Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and perform the role of Cinderella. This was my first principal role in a full length ballet, so it was a pretty big moment for me. I learned so much in the process and I was able to share the stage with my friend Yosvani Ramos as my Prince. He is a Principal dancer with Colorado Ballet so I am constantly looking up to him. He was so much fun to perform with and he really helped me prepare for the role.

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

My favorite dancer is Marianela Nuñez from the Royal Ballet. She is so strong, technical, and artistic….in my opinion there is no other dancer like her. There are a lot of dancers that inspire me but some of my favorites are Soo Youn Cho from Houston Ballet, Maia Makhateli and Anna Ol from Dutch National Ballet,  Isabella Boylston and Skylar Brandt from ABT, and Leta Biasucci from PNB.

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

To relax!! I tend to be really tense but as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to understand how to control it.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical Tutu

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

I like to hangout with family and friends and walk or bike around and explore the city.

Q&A With American Ballerina Caitlin Van Driessche

I recently had the opportunity to ask Caitlin Van Driessche some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Caitlin is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with poise, elegance and grace. Her passion and love for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when i was six, and I started to train professionally when I was about 13.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I just finished my second year as a trainee with Nashville Ballet. And I this summer I am with The Athens Theatre performing in Broadway shows.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 7 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Suffolk, Stellars

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got involved just by being inspired from older dancers and it became a goal of mine.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is probably the dying swan.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would absolutely love to be in a Broadway company.

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

My favorite moment from ballet was when I tried on my first pair of pointe shoes.

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

I look up to many professional dancers, but my main inspiration comes from those that i am surrounded by everyday. I find that they push me the most and I learn from them.

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

The beat advice I have ever received is do think one thing at a time. We often get too caught up in what is coming up, that we loose what we are doing in that moment.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

While I find that I dance in a romantic tutu more often, I love the look of a classical tutu.

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

In my free time I spend a lot of it with my family, reading, knitting, or cuddling with my dog.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Abbey Haller

I recently had the chance to ask Abbey Haller some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Abbey is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and grace, her passion and dedication for ballet is unmatched. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was two and a half

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Queensland national ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

4 years I think

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Grishko Novas

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Always wanted to do ballet since I was 2, I was saying ballet around the house and was dancing in front of the tv and around the house. I was always walking around on my toes trying to be a ballerina. So my mum decided to put me in ballet lessons. And I have  absolutely loved it.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Don’t have one, love so many. But currently doing Esmeralda.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Have never had a dream company or anything like that. So not sure to be honest. All schools and company’s are great for different reasons.

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

Love every moment but probably just dancing every day at Queensland National Ballet. And watching companies perform on stage.

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

Yanela piñera and Marianela Núñez. And more but these are my favourites

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

Hard question, but probably, you can’t be anyone else but yourself so don’t try and be like anyone else when your on stage be the best version of you and do the best that you can.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

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

Not really ever not dancing and if I’m not dancing I’m doing school but love being with friends in any spare time.

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Maggie Whyte

I had the opportunity recently to ask Maggie Whyte some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Maggie is an incredible dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible grace and elegance. Her passion and love for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

Two and a half years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently a trainee at Ballet West

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Going on 10 years- I start pointe fairly young

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Suffolk solo hard shank, but I 3/4 them

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My parents put me in ballet as one of many activities to try and it stuck right away

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Paquita Wedding has a special place in my heart, but I honestly just love doing variations and couldn’t pick an all time favorite

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

It would be amazing to be with Ballet West or Dutch National in the future

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

I don’t think I have a single favorite moment in ballet, but rather there are so many moments- good and bad- that have shaped me into the dancer I am and I wouldn’t change any of them.

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

Emily Adams at Ballet West is a personal idol and mentor of mine. She has been so amazing to get to know and being able to talk personally with one of my role models is a great honor. She is tall and gorgeous, yet can move in every way at any speed and that is something I’m trying to work towards. I’m also in love with Sylvie Guillem.. I mean how could you not be!

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

One of the best things I’ve learned in this career is:

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have- Natural ability only takes you part of the way, the rest comes from not only working hard, but working hard, and have the heart to go for it. You’re only going to make it in this art form if you do it all and work with what you have to the best of your abilities.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Probably classical, I like seeing how the legs are working

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

I love reading, music, hiking, brunch is always a good idea, and being with the people who love and support me every step of the way!

Q&A With Japanese Ballerina Risa Takeshima

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 3 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

The Australian Conservatoire of ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

For 12 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Grishko

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was young, I really like to dance, and then I watched ballet video.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Grand pas Classic

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

English National ballet

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

All performances are my great memories.

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

Akane Takada and Katherine Barkman

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

Don’t Forget to “dance”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer classical tutu

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

I like to go to cafes and have good coffee or tea.