I had the pleasure of asking Nikki Valentina some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Nikki is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her love for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I first began ballet I was at the age of 2 almost three!
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance at Qld National Ballet School and have been dancing there since 2015
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I’ve been en pointe since I was 11 ! So about 5 years now
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear the Grishko 2007 Mediums and I love them 🥰
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first got involved because my mother saw me dancing in the house to classical music when i was very young so she decided to put me in a dance class 💓
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
One of my favourite variations would have to be lilac fairy !
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to work for Netherlands Dance Theatre, Bejart Ballet, Vienna State Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett), Royal Ballet of Flanders and many other company’s !
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
Ahhh yes I do, it was while I was performing the Nutcracker with my school and the ‘snowflakes’ music started and we were coming on stage! The nutcracker is such a magical ballet to perform. I felt so alive when performing to such beautiful music and choreography
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I am inspired by Misty Copeland and Maria Khoreva because of their work ethics and the way they present themselves to their supporters! They give amazing advice and I’m grateful for all the tips they give out!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
– “Hard work and dedication will always be superior to someone with just good feet and legs.” The ballet industry is often very competitive and I think when I was told this it gave me some hope that my hard work would pay off.
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
I would tell my younger self to learn to take care of herself, listen to her mind and body as she would do for others and give it the attention it deserves and needs.
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing would have to be performing and all the important parts that lead up to it. From the rehearsals to trying on the costumes and all the time and practice put into it, that’s the best part
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing would have to be the high standards set in the industry. It’s very cut throat you’re either in or out so it can be very difficult to keep a stable mind set and continue to work your best everyday
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, definitely. I’ve had many days like that. I’ve always looked at the alternatives and taken them to consideration but in the end my life without dance doesn’t seem right.. I cant see myself not being overwhelmed in the art. It’s apart of me now
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
I’d have to choose romantic tutus! They’re so delicate and soft I love seeing the way they move with the dancer
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
At the very beginning of my previous dance school when I was about 7 years old I had Achilles Tendinitis and my teacher helped me with my technique as well as my physio and I never had pain again! Then in 2016 I had my first problems with my knees so I went straight to the ballet physio and they also were a great help and since then I haven’t had any issues with my knees. A few months ago I had an MRI for my lower legs and found that I had a stress reaction and shin splints in both of my legs so I’m resting at home now but i’m fortunate to have caught these serious injuries in the beginning because they could have been worse. I’m trying to get back into it slowly, I was testing out some barre work yesterday in my home studio but I still am getting some pain so I’m not ready yet. Hopefully by the start of next year I’ll be fully healed and ready to dance again !
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I love to do art ! Like painting, drawing and even creative makeup!! They are my favourite things to do in my free time.