I had the chance recently to ask Alexis Applegate some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Alexis is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with phenomenal poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was six, currently I have just started my twelfth year of ballet (I will be 18 next month).
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I am currently a student at American Dance Center in Overland Park Kansas. I am also part of their pre-professional company called American Youth Ballet Company.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe for 5 years, I started my 6th year at the beginning of the summer
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Currently I am trying Russian pointe muse’s but I don’t like them a whole lot so I am going back to the pointe shoes that I have loved the most which are Grishko Maya’s.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
This is a little complicated but when I was really little my mom started me in gymnastics because my sister did gymnastics but I didn’t really like it I had a few friends had danced and my mom had originally stared my sister in dance when she was really little so when I was six I decided to stop gymnastics and try ballet and after just my first class I knew that I wanted to do ballet and see where it led me from there.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I absolutely love learning new variations but I would have to say either black swan from swan lake, lilac fairy from sleeping beauty, or Kitri act one from Don Quixote. I would also love to someday learn the Esmerelda tambourine variation
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I’m not exactly sure what company I want work for. I plan to got to college and just see where that takes me and find the perfect company for me from there.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I would say one of my favorite memories would be the first time I danced snow corps in the nutcracker with the snow falling three years ago. It was amazing and such a great challenge and although the snow was tough (especially when you accidentally inhale it) it was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I would say most of the dancers that truly inspire me are other dancers around my age, the ones that don’t give up and persist through the hard times. I would also say that Michaela De Prince, Misty Copeland, Alina Cojocaru, Polina Semionova, and Kayla Rowser
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
I have been given a lot of great advice from my teachers over the time that I’ve been dancing but I think one of the best pieces of advice I have gotten would be to pursue your dreams for you and don’t let others pull you down or get in the way of what you want in life be yourself and follow what you believe is right for you.
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
I would tell myself to be confident and be yourself, don’t let your insecurities stop you from what you love and to always just dance what you feel.
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
I would say the best thing about being a ballerina would be getting to express yourself/ your feeling through such an amazing art form and of course getting to find your second home and second family at/ through dance.
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
I would say the hardest thing about being a ballerina would be the dedication to your trading and then one day having to find your place in the professional world and not always getting paid for the hard work that you do once you are in a professional company.
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 of course I have days where I think about why I chose dance and what life would be like if I had quite but I have learned that even if something may be difficult that if you love it and you are scared of letting it go just to figure it out for yourself and see if it’s worth your time to you.
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
I love both kinds of tutus but if I really had to choose one I would pick the romantic tutu because I love the way it makes a dancers lines look and how beautiful and flowy they are.
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
No I have never suffered a serious injury the worst injury I have had would either be when I had a minor sprained ankle and I still danced on it or when I had severe whip lash
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I’m not dancing I love to do different kinds of research and watch a lot of TV and movies because I also really love acting and I am very interested in film. I also love to play with my pets and usually I have quite a bit of homework