I had the chance recently to ask Maddie Ward some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Maddie is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is fantastic. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 3!
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I’m currently in the PTD program at Ballet West
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
his will be my 8th year en pointe
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear Suffolk Spotlights!
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom took me to see Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker, and was on the edge of my seat during Waltz of the Flowers. I joined the academy right after.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I love the Hungarian variation from Raymonda, and 3rd Shade from Bayadère
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Any company that allows me to dance and perform for a living would be a dream! Some of my favorite companies include Ballet West, PNB, and Boston Ballet, to name a few.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
Attending the Art&motion summer intensive was an amazing experience. I am so thankful for all I learned, and for being challenged both technically and artistically!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
eckanne Sisk, Sara Mearns, Patricia McBride, Nayara M Lopes, Nikisha Fogo, and Marianela Nuñez (to name a few…the list is a long one!)
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
“Live within the layers of yourself…remember that you are a dancer, but to be a good artist, you have to experience life. You are more than just a dancer”. Also, “look at yourself like a scientist in the mirror. Remove emotional reactions to your reflection”.
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
There is no right way to be a dancer. You don’t have to look a certain way to be a ballerina. Do what you can with the beautiful body you have! Don’t sabotage your health to try and fit a mold of what you think you should be
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
I’m never satisfied! There’s always something new to explore or improve upon, and that’s an incredibly rewarding process
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
Same as the above…sometimes, knowing that you are never finished can be daunting. It’s hard to feel like you’ve accomplished anything or are making progress, so it’s easy to become frustrated. When I’m struggling with this, I remember why I dance, and focus on that joy and love instead of the frustration
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! All the time! Even now I sometimes have these thoughts. I allow myself to sit with these feelings when they do happen, but they’re always connected to me being frustrated with myself or my technique rather than my actual passion for dance and pursuit of it as a career. I love dance, and cannot imagine life without it
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
Yes…a few too many! Lots of ankle sprains, a chip fracture in my foot, and subluxation of my knee cap a few years ago (partial dislocation). I had to walk with a brace that didn’t allow me to bend my knee! Yikes!
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I love to write, and am really interested in philosophy and social justice, as well as politics! I hope to pursue all of these things alongside ballet 🙂