I recently had the chance to ask Grace Fields some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Grace is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
When I was 3
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
Naples Dance Conservatory
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
About 5 years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My parents put me in ballet when I was three and I have loved it ever since!
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
Currently I am working on the sugar plum variation which I love, but I also really like Diane Actíon (I think that’s how it’s spelled haha) or Kitri
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Probably American Ballet Theater, but I would love to actually try to be on Broadway!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
This is hard because I have so many but it probably was performing as a snowflake in the nutcracker for the first time! It was absolutely magical since we had a fog machine on stage and fake snow, it made the scene feel completely unreal!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I look up to Skylar Brandt because she is literally amazing and also Shelby Williams, who is @biscuitballerina on Instagram, she is a principal dancer that just inspires so many young dancers that it’s ok to embrace your mistakes!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
I’ve gotten so many pieces of advice throughout my ballet lifetime but the best advice I get from a teacher (who I worked with for a few months over quarantine) would be Francisco Gella. He says that no matter how tired you are or unmotivated you are you just have to get up and keep going to reach your end goal, think of who you want your future self to be!
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Definitely to prioritize ballet and technique over other things. I used to be a competition dancer as well doing jazz and lyrical but it definitely distracted me and slowed down the growth of my technique. I would convince myself to switch to my ballet studio sooner!
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
I love being able to have something to work for. Seeing my progress every week and having goals really pushed and motivates me and that’s why I love ballet because of how hard it can push you to become better
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
Definitely I would say it would be an issue of body image just because you are staring at yourself in a mirror for 15 hours a week. It’s hard to not be obsessed with it but I’ve been doing stuff that helps me with that issue.
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”?
Yes! Especially when my school friends want to hang out. But I realize that dance is something I am working towards so I need to prioritize it!
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Probably romantic tutu
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
Not really (knock on wood) I do have an extra bone in my foot that sometimes, if I dance a lot, rubs against the tendons in my foot and makes it inflamed. It flares up every now and then but I cope by putting it into a bucket of ice water and using tiger balm.
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I love playing with my dogs, Angie and Herbie, I also do theater with my schools troupe so I am often times practicing or performing with them! I also teach ballet to younger students on some days so I like it take some free time to come up with new exercises for them to try.