Month: September 2018

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Sophie Cotton

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started when I was 5 but left at age 6 and picked it back up when I was 11.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Katharine Mantle Performing Arts Academy (KMPAA)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

3-4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I’m in-between Freed Studio Professionals and Grishko Novas at the moment.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was enrolled by my mum (not sure if I asked or not hehe) at a local dance school.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

This is a hard one. My favourite variations at the moment are 1st shade, Satanella, Giselle act 1, Fairy of Temperament, Fairy of Generosity and Don Q Bridesmaid 1 variation. I’m also studying the Manu soloist at the moment from La Bayadere to perform in our end of year performance.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Any company is a blessing 🙏🏼 my absolute favourite is Alonzo King LINES Ballet

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

Moving to fulltime ballet has got to be my favourite moment so far. Seeing how far I’ve come in only a year is so rewarding and exciting.

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

I look up to so so so many amazing dancers but specifically – Misty Copeland, Michaela De Prince, Dusty Button, Juliet Doherty, Theresa Farrell and Diana Vishneva.

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

That exams and performances are only a reflection of where you are now, not where you will be in 1 day, 1 week or even a year. To focus on yourself is the most important thing.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

CLASSICAL! Glitter and dip dyed tutus are so stunning

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

I love to go on walks, do makeup, swim and draw etc. I love going to the movies as well hehe

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Sophie Walters

I recently had the opportunity to ask Sophie Walters some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Sophie is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, 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 old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently dancing at Annette Roselli Dance Academy and have been dancing there all my life!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe when I was 10 1/2 so I’ve been en pointe for around 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

At the moment I have been wearing Bloch Serenade pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet when my mum saw that I had so much energy, and I was always dancing around the house. She decided to take me to a ballet class and I have loved it ever since!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation right now is either Kitri Act 3 or Finger Fairy!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love and be so lucky to get into any company, but I would love to dance overseas in Europe, England or America.

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

My favourite memory is probably when I found out I was excepted into the Houston Ballet Pre-professional Program!

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

My dance role models are Marianela Nuñez, Michaela DePrince, and all of the ballet teachers that have taught me.

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

The best advice I have received from my ballet teachers are to just be yourself, and to not be too hard on yourself especially when your having a bad day. Everyone has their own path.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I honestly really like both, I can’t decide!

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

When I’m not dancing, which isn’t very often 😂 I love to go shopping and hanging out with friends but also spending time with my family, dogs and my two Alpacas.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Tessa Karle

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 4 years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I’m currently in my first year at the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, but I’m originally from Canberra, Australia.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I went on pointe when I was 11, so I’ve been on pointe for around 5 1/2-6 years now!

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Bloch Heritage pointe shoes. They were my first style of pointe shoes that I tried when I was 11 and whilst I’ve tried other styles and brands since then, I’ve always just loved Heritage shoes so I’ve stuck with them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was always fascinated with ballet as a kid, Angelina Ballerina was my favourite show and whenever classical music was playing I would always dance to it. My parents never forced me into dancing, I actually begged them to enrol me in ballet lessons! I am so grateful that my parents have always been so laidback about dance so that it has been simply my passion for dance that has got me this far and not my parents pushing me.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation would definitely have to be Giselle. Whilst I love the technical challenge of other variations, there is something so special about a variation that focuses on artistry and telling a story through the movement. I’ve been really lucky this year to work with several teachers and guest tutors on the Giselle variation and it has amazed me how many different things you can learn from each teacher about the one variation and how you approach it artistically.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to be in the Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet or West Australian Ballet as it would be so amazing to find a company closer to home so I would be able to visit my family more readily. Overall though I would be willing to go to one of the many different companies around the world as I know how competitive it is to find work as a ballet dancer and just would love to be able to do what I love professionally anywhere in the world.

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

I think some of my favourite ballet memories involve performance opportunities. There is nothing better than the feeling of being onstage with people who you’ve worked so hard in the studio with for months and finally getting to show all of the work you’ve put in. There’s nothing like a tough show or piece to bring you closer to people and that’s one of the things that makes ballet so special.

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

My all time favourite dancer would definitely have to be Marianela Nunez! I adore the way she combines both beautiful technique with such raw emotion and artistry. She is truly the epitome of the perfect ballerina for me.

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

To never stop working hard and to stay dedicated. Even if you don’t have the best facility or aren’t the most talented person in the room, you stand out if you work the hardest and love ballet with everything you have. This is something I try to think of even if I am having a hard day or if things aren’t working out exactly as I imagined. You will get where you want to be eventually if you keep going!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

As much as I love romantic tutus, classical tutus will always have my heart. I still remember the excitement of getting to wear my first tutu when I was younger!

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

In my free time, I love to bake and cook, watch YouTube, and do things with my friends. Never underestimate the value of spending quality time with friends, it can improve your mood so much and set you up for a great week. It’s so great sometimes to get away from dance and experience new things, and often you can use those experiences to bring something new to your dancing.

Q&A With American Ballerina Margaret Rhea

I recently had the opportunity to ask Margaret Rhea some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Margaret is an amazing dancer. She graces the stage with grace and elegance, her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was three years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I recently moved to Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for 7 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Minden’s, but sometimes wear Suffolk’s or Freeds.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in dance because my sister started taking lessons and I wanted to join too.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is a tie between Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux and Pharaohs daughter.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I honestly don’t have a dream company to work with, I would just be happy to get a job haha

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

My favorite moment in ballet is in nutcracker when I catch the eye of my friends when we are performing! I feel like it just reminds me of the love and family that I am lucky to be performing with 🙂

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

Sara Mearns, Katie Boren, Karin Averty, Tatiana Pali are some of my biggest professional role models. I also take inspiration from my amazing friends to work hard.

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

My teacher Tatiana Pali always tells me to not be afraid and to really go for it. I tend to hold back, and she says to “sell yourself” to the audience. It’s helped me to expand my horizons and explore the artistic side of ballet.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical for sure!

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

I love to cook and bake, work out at the gym, draw/paint, do puzzles, play with my dogs, read, and watch YouTube and Netflix in my free time.

Q&A With British Ballerina Poppy Frankel

I had the opportunity recently to ask Poppy Frankel some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Poopy is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her passion and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 18 months old but obviously only baby ballet!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at the Royal Ballet School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Bloch and Freed

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum says that I was dancing before I could walk, whenever there was music on I would just start moving to the music! She took me to ballet classes and I’ve never looked back.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

There are so many but I love Giselle Act 1, Odette Act 2 and all the Le Corsaire varations!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream is to work with the Royal Ballet Company

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

Every time I am performing on stage, it’s the absolute best feeling!

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

My absolute inspiration is Marianela Nunez, she is an incredible dancer and also a lovely person:)

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

Don’t let anyone tell you your not good enough and don’t let anyone make you feel down or come in the way of your dreams.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical, but I also love romantic!

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

Training vocationally you don’t get much free time so I’ll either be watching Netflix, sewing pointe shoes, shopping, finding cute little cafes and coffee shops, or spending time with my family and friends + my dog and cats:)

Q&A With American Ballerina EmmaRose Forbus

I recently had the chance to ask EmmaRose Forbus some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. EmmaRose is a phenomenal ballerina. She graces the stage with incredible poise, grace and elegance. Her passion and dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet thirteen years ago, just after I turned three.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am in the Professional Training Program at Houston Ballet Academy. I just completed my second year, and I start my third in August!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been dancing en pointe since October of 2013, so just under five years!

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I started the year off going through a bit of a pointe shoe crisis. I decided to voyage across Houston to find my perfect shoe. I tried on almost every shoe on the market, and finally fell upon Suffolk Stellars. I love wearing them with my PerfectFit Pointe Shoe Inserts for my bunion pain.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom decided to enrol me in ballet classes because she was really impressed with her friend’s daughters who danced. She loved how poised and disciplined they were.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation to perform is La Fille Mal Gardee, act II. It was actually my variation for a couple of competitions in 2016. I am specifically drawn the crisp footwork and sweet, yet energetic personality of Lise. My favourite variation to watch is definitely Giselle, act I. In my opinion, it is one of the hardest variations technically and artistically. It is so satisfying to watch when performed well!

Personally, I struggle with that delicate quality the variation thrives on. I get so excited when a dancer can capture the acting and technical details of the role!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

It would be a dream come true to work for Houston Ballet, but I will be happy wherever God puts me!

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

My most memorable moment has to be rehearsing party scene with just Clara and some of the company in a few Houston Ballet Nutcracker rehearsals. There were about 7 party girls in each cast, but they were all in school when these rehearsal were going on. I was the only party girl out of my level, so I did all of the party girl parts with just Clara! It was the craziest experience ever!

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

I am constantly inspired by all of the women of Houston ballet, but I especially look up to Karina Gonzalez Edwards, Tyler Donatelli, and Kiki Hunsberger.

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

“Don’t be your own worst enemy, just dance!” I tend get so caught up in the details and perfectionism of what I’m doing, that I mess up by overthinking. I get so scared of making mistakes, but that fear causes me to make more. Perfection seems to be a huge part of this high pressure world, but I like using the word excellence instead.

I remember that same teacher telling me that she would rather me make a mistake while having fun and letting go, than making a mistake from overanalyzing and overthinking. It’s important to find that balance of excellence and not being too hard on yourself, especially when you feel so much pressure from so many sides. In the end, mistakes are truly what shape us into the people and dancers we are.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Definitely romantic! My favorite roles to perform are peasant roles. I adore the femininity that comes along with romantic tutus!

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

I don’t have much free time with school and weekend performances, but my free time pretty much consists of three things. Swimming, sewing pointe shoes, and eating! On the weekends, you can always find me at the pool! It’s the only way to beat the Houston heat! I’m constantly preparing pointe shoes these days, and It doesn’t help that I have to darn them and three-quarter them too…

On weeknights and weekends, my mom grills out by the pool almost every day. Eating some delicious steak or BBQ chicken is my absolute favorite thing to do with my family! In addition to all of that, quite a bit of my free time is spent driving to the dance store to get pointe shoes, cleaning up my room, and catching up on school. Dancing 35+ hours per week and trying to graduate high school is like juggling two full time jobs! That being said, I’m doing what I love, so it is completely worth it!

 

Q&A With British Ballerina Jess Templeton

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was about 4 but I only took it seriously from the age of 12.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Tring Park School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for about 4-5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Bloch aspiration pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got seriously involved in ballet when I started the Royal Ballet associate program at the age of 12

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Ah I can’t choose but I really love variations from Don Quixote as they are so full of character and energy.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for the Royal Ballet, ENB or Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures

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

I have lots of amazing ballet memories but my favourites are performing at Sadler’s wells and attending the Royal Ballet Summer School.

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

My inspirations for ballet are Yasmine Naghdi and Steven McRae but I also massively look up to Lukas McFarlane as a dancer and a person.

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

Best advice I have ever received is just to relax and breathe as sometimes dancers think so much about being perfect and working hard that they forget the most important part….the performance.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu definitely

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

I generally don’t have a lot of free time but when I do I love swimming and reading.

Q&A With American Ballerina Sophie Gilpin

I recently had the chance to ask Sophie Gilpin some questions about her jounrey as a ballerina. Sophie is an excellent dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, her passion and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 10

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am about to start the year at Ellison Ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Gaynor Minden

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I went to a school that had recreational ballet classes and my teacher introduced me to a serious Russian teacher (Olga Pavlova)

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

White Swan

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

ABT

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

I loved performing the Vaganova Academy exams in March

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

Evgenia Obraztsova!!!!

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

“Focus on yourself. you should always be in competition with yourself only”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

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

I like to make slime, read, and play with my cats😂😊