I had the opportunity recently to ask Peyton Darby some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Peyton is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and grace. Her love for ballet is fantastic. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started at age 3
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I dance at Lynch Ballet in Long Island, New York
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
About 4 years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom but me in a tap and ballet class when I was three and then when my current dance studio first opened I went a took only ballet classes at age 4
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation is one I have performed recently, Gamzatti. I also really love the Medora variation.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
would love to work for either the American Ballet Theatre or Carolina Ballet
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory was from Nutcracker 2019 where I played the role of Dew Drop and I had just finished doing the finale fouettes and as soon as I got off stage all my best friends were hugging me and we were all so happy. I miss moments like those so much
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
Skylar Brandt is such a huge inspiration for me. She constantly shares the behind the scenes of her craft, always showing that she’s constantly working hard for hours. Another big role model for me is Maria Khoreva. She has shared numerous videos with encouraging messages to young dancers and it truly leaves an impact on me
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I have ever received is to never show the audience that you messed up. I make mistakes all the time, I am human, but I’ve always been told if you just smile and act like nothing happened the audience usually doesn’t even know
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
I would tell my younger self is to not compare yourself to the other girls. I’ve come to learn that I don’t need to compare my skills, body, or ballet life to any of the other girls in my class. I learned to just focus on myself, which is something I wish my younger self knew
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing is definitely being able to make people feel emotion through movement. Whenever I hear that an audience member felt something when I danced without having said a word, it’s the greatest reward
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is the long days on your toes, the many injuries, and giving up a normal social life as a high school. But I don’t mind these difficulties because I love what I do.
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”?
Of course, there has been numerous times where all my friends were going to a football game or hanging out together. I knew if I gave up ballet and did something else that I would be able to spend that time with them but as I said previously my passion for the art causes me to forgo being a normal teenager so that I can keep practicing and perfecting my technique
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I fortunately haven’t suffered from anything very serious but I have had to deal with a sprained ankle and tendinitis right before a performance. An upcoming performance always makes me feel pressured to jump back into rehearsal but I know in the long run it’s better to make sure I fully heal
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I love to play tennis and also volunteer and participate in service clubs at my high school.