I had the chance recently to ask Clara Kearl some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Clara is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with great poise and beauty, her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started focusing on ballet around 4 years ago
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at International School of Ballet.
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I’ve been on pointe for four years. I started when I was 11 and a half.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Grishko Mayas, the only pointe shoe that works for my feet. I love them so much
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I did a week-long ballet summer intensive around 4 summers ago and just fell in love with it. That year I decided to attend a studio that only focuses on ballet and I’ve continued studying ballet I tensely ever since
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation is Swan Lake pas de trois
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to work for San Franscisco, Royal Ballet, Houston, or NBoC
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
One of my favorite memories in ballet was attending YAGP Finals in NYC. Such an incredible eye-opening experience. I also loved attending Canada’s National Ballet School where I met the most amazing people and faculty
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I absolutely love Tiler Peck, Skylar Brandt, and Marienela Nunez.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I’ve received is to simply relax while dancing. I get very tense and thinking of relaxing my neck, arms, and jaw improve my artistry, turnout, posture, stability, and pretty much everything else.
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
I would tell myself to focus on what I want to do and not what others want me to do. It’s easy to get caught up on the opinions of others when you should only be listening to yourself and your own desires
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing about being a ballerina is being able to express your emotions in a way not everyone else can. When I’m having a bad day, ballet is always there to help me get back to my old self. Many other people don’t have the ability to cope in this way and end up stuck with their feelings within them for much longer than they should.
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is losing your childhood. With so much training and commitment and not very much free-time, it’s hard to create a social-life for yourself. You can’t be a “normal” teenager as a ballerina
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”?
Definitely. As ballerinas, we know what we’re losing, but we also know what we’re gaining. Everyone goes through phases of doubt but at the end of the day, if you really love ballet, the sacrifices are so worth it
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
I love classical tutus the most
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I injured my ankle around a year and a half ago. It was an extremely hard time for me as I was off of dance for almost a month and was supposed to compete. Miraculously, I took the right amount of time off for it to heal and within two weeks, I retrained myself on pointe, learned an entirely new variation, and was able to compete where I did very well
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends, play basketball with my brothers and dad, and bake.
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