I had the chance recently to ask Michelle Quiner some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Michelle is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her passion and love for ballet is immense. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was 2 years old.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I’m in American Repertory Ballet’s Second Company
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been on pointe for 12 years.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Grishko pointe shoes
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom thought I would look cute in a leotard and tights, so she put me into ballet.😊
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation is the Giselle Act 1 variation, and La Esmeralda
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to someday be in American Ballet Theatre’s company!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
One of my favorite moments was getting the call from our Ballet Master at American Repertory Ballet, Ian Hussey, saying that I was going to be promoted to the second company!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My ballet role models are: Ulyana Lopatkina, Irina Dvorovenko, Skylar Brandt, and Catherine Hurlin
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I’ve received from a teacher is: Focus on your strengths and the things that make you stand out as a dancer. Highlight those things instead of focusing on what you don’t have
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Advice I’d give to a younger version of myself: Hard work will always beat talent. Determination and drive are the most important tools you need to make it as a ballerina. Never give up.
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
I think the best thing about being a ballerina is getting to perform for people. It is the best feeling in the world to get to share my emotions through movement with an audience.
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is that we are constantly striving for perfection. Because of that, it can get discouraging at times. But I think that’s also what makes ballet exciting. If we reached a point where everything was perfect, it would be so boring!
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”?
Ballet is hard work, but I would never give it up. It has taught me so much about discipline, determination, and dedication
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I’m very lucky that I have not suffered from a serious injury
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I like to bake and crochet in my free time.😊