I recently had the chance to ask Emma Kaufman some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Emma is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her passion for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was two years old, but more seriously when I was twelve (I also train in all styles of dance).
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at The Rock School For Dance Education
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for five years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear Bloch Heritage pointe shoes. I love them, they’re the only ones that I have found that work really well for me
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first got involved in ballet when my parents put me in a ballet/tap combo class when I was two!
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
That is a really hard one. I love Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Giselle Act I, Swan Lake Act II Coda, Sleeping Beauty Act III, Emeralds, Dances at a Gathering, Kitri Act I, and so many more. I love them all for different reasons! I love anything that is really artistic and/or has jumps!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
At the moment, I would love to work for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, or Pacific Northwest Ballet. I also want to be on Broadway when I am older
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
Most of my favorite memories and moments are from performing on stage. I performed in New Jersey Ballet’s “Nutcracker” this past year (2019) and that was one of my favorite performances. Another one of my favorite memories is when I fell in love with dance when I saw New York City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker®️”…I was three then!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
In no particular order, my biggest ballet role models are Misty Copeland, Kathryn Morgan, Tiler Peck, Indiana Woodward, Margaret Mullin, Isabella Boylston, and way more. I honestly look up to every single person that I have ever seen dance; everybody is so unique and inspiring!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I have received from a teacher is to always tell a story when you dance, do things you are not the most comfortable with, and always connect with the audience and make them feel something
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Advice I would give a young version of myself is to remember that everything happens for a reason and to focus on the people in your life that will always love and support you
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing about being a ballerina is performing and affecting the audience through the performance
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is staying motivated on your bad days and realizing your strengths through all of your weaknesses
Q14: It seems like such hard work, did you ever have days growing up where you were like “ugh maybe I’ll just pick an easier career so I can be like a normal teenager”?
Never! I’ve always wanted to dance!
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
I would probably have to say classical but I love both! I’ve only really ever worn a romantic tutu for one piece, so I do not really have the fairest judgement. Wearing tutus in general is so special though so give one to me and I will wear it!
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I am very thankful and grateful to have never broken any bones, but I did have a stress fracture on my second metatarsal a few years ago. I was out of dance for around three months, but was back to fully dancing pretty quickly afterwards
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
My absolute favorite thing in the world is to spend time with my family; we love playing games, watching TV shows/movies, having dance parties, and just hanging out. I also love to read, travel, cook, and bake!