I had the chance recently to ask Grace Davis some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Grace is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible grace and elegance. Her passion for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 9 1/2 years old
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at Classic Dance Academy in Denver, Colorado!
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I got my first pair of pointe shoes on my 10th birthday! So I have been en pointe for around 5 years now!
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear gaynor Minden pointe shoes and have since I was 12
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first got involved in ballet as kind of a recreational activity outside of horseback riding which I did at the time. I fell in love with ballet and ended up switching to a full schedule very quickly!
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I have so many favorite variations! My top two favorites are Giselle’s Variation from act 1 or Esmeralda because they are both such different characters but very fun to portray!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I don’t have the plan to go professional as a dancer, but if I did I would LOVE to dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
One of my favorite memories would have to be performing Clara when I was 13. I got to perform on a huge stage with a live orchestra and the rehearsals were so fun and magical. In general my favorite dance memories are from rehearsals and shows!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
One of my more famous ballet role models would probably be Dusty Button, but my nearest and dearest role model would probably be Ever Larson or Fransisco Estevez (both are with Colorado ballet)! Ever has always been very encouraging to me and she is just so captivating to watch as a performer. We share very similar mindsets and I love chatting with her about my goals! She is truly someone to aspire to be! Fran is a fellow cancer survivor who is a principal with Colorado ballet! He is one of my all time favorite teachers and role models!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
some of the best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher would probably from one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Ashley Hanson. I was 12 years old at the time that she told my class that we needed to think about being a dancer as being a candle. She said sometimes we get so caught up in the technique and hardships of ballet that we let the wax build up around the wick. She proceeded to tell us we needed to pour out the wax in order to shine, and that phrase sticks with me to this day!
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
If I could give my younger version of myself any advice it would probably be to take my time and trust the process. I tend to try to rush things when I feel they aren’t going my way in ballet and sometimes that takes away from the joy of the art. I’ve been better at it in recent years but i definitely was not good at that when I was younger. I would also remind myself that even though I had a late start to ballet, that it wouldn’t hinder me from achieving my dreams!
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
I think the best thing about being a ballerina is being able to connect to people. I love performing and I love getting to bring the audience into the story I’m trying to tell with my movement. It’s very rewarding when you can feel that connection with the people you are performing for!
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
Ballet can be so hard in the sense that you can get so caught up in being critical and self conscious. It can be really challenging to deal with because it truly affects your physical performance as an athlete. I find my best remedy for this is just taking time to get back to why I love dance. Sometimes that means doing a favorite variation and not worrying about messing it up, sometimes it’s just improving in my socks. It helps to bring you back in touch.
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”?
I’m a super detailed person, so I haven’t really struggled with ballet being demanding in that regard. I’ve had my doubts though, for sure! I tend to be really self-critical and thats made it difficult for me to continue sometimes. But it’s never enough for me to quit the art. I have a pretty normal life for the most part anyway: I work at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as a Junior Zoo Keeper on the weekends, I take AP and honors classes in school, and I have time with my friends after work on weekends!
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Thats a tough one! I love romantic tutus when they are really flowy and long, but I love the line of a good platter! If I had to pick, I’d probably choose classical!
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I’m currently recovering from one actually! I had sprained my SI joint about a year ago and kept dancing on it (bit of advice- DO NOT DO THAT) and ended up in super severe pain. I’m not in pain anymore and I’m working back up to grand allegro with my incredible PT!
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I’m not dancing or working at the zoo, I’m usually at home! I have a lot of pets since I want to be an exotic veterinarian! They range from your average dog and cat to bearded dragons, crested geckos, leopard geckos, and snakes! I take care of them and hang out with them on my deck when it’s not too cold outside. I also love to write and draw, and manage my social media account!