Month: October 2020

Q&A With American Ballerina Peyton Darby

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?

Suffolk Spotlights

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?

Classical 100%

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.

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Clara Kearl

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.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Jemma Nishanian

I had the opportunity recently to ask Jemma Nishanian some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Jemma is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with great poise and grace. Her passion for ballet is fantastic. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was around 12 years old and I started dancing when I was 4

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance full-time at DanceWorks Sydney

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

The pointe shoes I currently wear are Grishkos 2007’s – I love them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I did jazz, hip hop and contemporary since I was very young. My dance school at the time introduced RAD ballet classes. I took 2 ballet lessons a week for a year and I fell in love with it. The year after I decided to leave my dance school to go to focus on ballet at a ballet school.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have so many variations I love. My favourites would have to be Giselle (act 1), 3rd shade from La Bayadere, and lilac fairy from Sleeping Beauty.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite company as it would be a dream to do what i love everyday anywhere in the world

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite ballet memory would be the feeling before going on stage. I love waiting in the wings before a performance I get such a rush of adrenaline and excitement every time

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

I have so many ballet role models. Marianela Nunez and Natalia Osipova are some of my favourite dancers as they exude such passion and energy on stage. Misty copeland is also an inspiration as I can relate to her feeling set back in ballet as I started relatively late also. My ballet teacher Miss Olivia is also big role model to me as she inspires to be resilient and to work hard everyday

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

“Stay in your own lane” – this advice reminds me to just focus on my own journey. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – Ballet has never been easy or has come natural to me. I have really had to work hard on every aspect of my dancing. I believe having a strong work ethic and discipline will lead to success in ballet

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

I would say to be more patient and kinder to myself. Not to feel defeated and upset with myself when I can’t do things perfectly. I would also say to enjoy the process

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The best thing about ballet I would say is getting to perform! Personally, I am a naturally quite a shy person and I love it because it is a form of art and self expression.

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Ballet is physically demanding on your body and dealing with injuries has been a struggle for me. I would also say balencing a busy ballet schedule with doing school also

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”?

Not really, I have always wanted to dance. I have never felt forced to do it, It has always been something I have wanted to do. When I couldn’t dance in quarantine and also being injured it really gave me time to think and realise how much I missed ballet. I felt lost without it as ballet is a such a big part of who I am

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love both! but i would have to say classical tutus!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Yes, I have! This has been a tough year for me as I have had to take time off ballet due to being injured. Despite the mental and physical challenges, I have tried to take this as an opportunity to learn and grow. I have realised going back to basics wasn’t such a bad thing as i could strengthen and change bad habits that has ultimately improved my technique

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my spare time, I love drawing and reading. I also enjoy going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Sophie Sibbons

I had the chance recently to ask Sophie Sibbons some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Sophie is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with great elegance and beauty. Her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 4 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

7 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Bloch Mirella Whispers

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Apparently I was always saying that I wanted to be a ballerina, so my mum took me to a ballet school that some of my friends went to

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I honestly don’t think I could choose! I have a sweet spot for Coppelia Act III Wedding Variation though, as I am working on it currently

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Any company would be amazing!

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

I have so many amazing memories associated with ballet, but one that has stayed with me for ever is the memory of re-watching a recording of the ballet “Petrushka” over and over again just so I could watch the girls dance en pointe!

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Maria Khoreva and Isabella Boylston, as well as all my amazing classmates, peers, and teachers at WAAPA

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Just go for it

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Give everything a go. Don’t hold back, and believe in yourself

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Getting to perform on stage and having the privilege of sharing such an amazing art form with people

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Not comparing yourself to others

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. When you’re tired or injured or things aren’t going your way, it seems simple to take the easy way out. You have to remind yourself of why you love to dance and why you see it as your future

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Achilles and knee problems, but nothing too serious

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to paint, swim at the beach, and spend time with friends and family

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Laura Harwood

I had the opportunity recently to ask Laura Harwood some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Laura is a fantastic dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I was 4 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for 6 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Capezio Airess

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum put me into a ballet class and I’ve loved it ever since

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Aurora Variation from Sleeping Beauty

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would be grateful to join any company that is willing to take me and suits my style

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

Probably dancing as one of the six couples in the ballet, Motif

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Marianela Nunez, Natalia Osipova and Isabella Boylston and Skylar Brandt

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

You have your own journey. The pudding will be cooked when it’s ready.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Although you do not shine now, you will one day and all the hard work will pay off.

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Bringing joy to people and giving something back that is so genuine and from the heart

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Trying to make everything effortless and consistent

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”?

Sometimes, I had that doubt that I wasn’t progressing but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Through the struggles it has taught me that everyone is on their own path to where they’re meant to be.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Both

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I was out for 6 months due to a lower back injury a long time ago but it has only made me a stronger dancer and I now have a new awareness with my body

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to knit and cook, definitely looking to find new designs and recipes to work on.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Emma Gavan

I had the chance recently to ask Emma Gavan some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Emma is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with great poise and beauty. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at the age 4 with my local dance school

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at The Australian Ballet School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en point since I was eleven, so 3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Bloch Heritage pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum enrolled me in ballet classes in my local dance school

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is the Flora variation from Awakening of the Flora

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for The Australian Ballet Company

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

My favourite ballet memory would have to be when I was cast to dance the role of Young Clara in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker The Story of Clara with The Australian Ballet company

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My ballet role models are Amy Harris, Marianela Núñes, Evgenia Obraztsova and Maria Khoreva

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Some great advise that I got from a teacher was to “make good use of every opportunity that comes your way”.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

I would tell a young version of myself to “trust yourself and make sure you love it”

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The best thing about being a ballet dancer is being able to have the opportunity to portray a character or tell a story on stage and perform it to an audience on stage.

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The hardest thing about being a ballet dancer is having the determination to push through something that’s hard

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”?

I have definitely had times where I just wanted to be a “normal teenager” but I have always been drawn back to ballet

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love both the classical and romantic tutu but I think I would have to go with the romantic tutu. I just has such a lovely feeling in a romantic tutu

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I haven’t suffered a serious injury

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing I love to cook. I love to create something in the kitchen.

Q&A With Spanish Ballerina Almudena Arrebola Crespo

I had the opportunity recently to ask Almudena Arrebola Crespo some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Almudena is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 5 or 6 absolutely non professionally and due to my dyslexia

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

This past school year I was studying at the Joffrey Ballet School but due to the pandemic I had to come back to Spain to my old school here in Valencia

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

For nine years on professional training

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I alternate between Grishkos 2007 and Freeds Studio Professional

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I tried a lot of different sports and activities as a child due to my dyslexia and just fall in love with ballet

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Satanella, Giselle and Raymonda’s Pizzicato

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Joffrey, English National Ballet, Ajkun Ballet… but really there are a lot of wonderful companies

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

All the people I met throughout these years have been special somehow; I have lots of funny moments while partening or in the Russian Dance in The Nutcraker

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Dusty Button, Marianela Nuñez, Olesya Novikova, Evgenia Obratszova, Steven Mcrae and Edward Watson

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Tendu is the base for everything / Dance is not about pictures but movement

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Keep doing it, it’ll pay off when it is meant to be

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The connection between your body and your feelings, all the emotions that can be felt and the reassurance of how amazing the human body is being able to do more than you expect

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Constant judgement both from in and out of oneself

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”?

Actually I was happy trying to balance it all because I was doing what I loved though there have been a lot of moments of burn out

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Tearing of the Ischio has been the worst one so far

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Reading, walking, playing instruments (piano and guitar) and crafting

Q&A With Mexican Contortionist Melody Caballero

I recently had the opportunity to ask Mexican contortionist Melody Caballero some questions about her journey as a contortionists. Melody is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerised by what the human body can do. Melody is a third generation contortionist with her mother and grandmother also being contortionists. Melody has had the opportunity to perform in her families circus, Circus Caballero, and also appeared on America’s got Talent in 2013. Below are her responses.

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

I’ve done contortion for 11 years

Q2: How did you start contortion?

I started because I remember seeing the contortion girl work and I knew that’s what I wanted to do

Q3: What inspired you to start doing contortion?

Well same thing I saw this girl and she was amazing

Q4: How often do you train and for how long?

I train everyday for about 2 hours

Q5: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

It has to be the Marinelli Bend

Q6: What has been your best contortion experience?

The best one I’ve had was when I performed at radio city music hall

Q7: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My goal is to work in the biggest circus in Europe

Q8: Best advise you’ve give someone interested in contortion?

Be prepared to work hard good things don’t come easy

Q9: Best advise you’ve received?

Best advise is from my mom is to never give up on your dream

Q10: Biggest contortion inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has to be my teacher Nara

Q11: What does a usual day of training look like?

It startes with jumping rope, running a little to get the blood flowing then it does to warming up my splits and then by back and then my wrists and arms

Q12: What is your preparation for a performance like?

It’s warming up 2 hours before a show to really be prepared

Q13: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

It really has to be my mom

Q14: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

I’m a very nervous person so I really have to get prepared mentally lol

Q15: Do you get nervous?  How do you overcome your nerves?

I do get nervous but I’m my head I tell me self this is what I love to do and I enjoy doing it

Q16: Describe yourself in 5 words

I think I’m a kind, caring, and a working hard kinda person.

Q&A With American Ballerina Grace Davis

I had the chance recently to ask Grace Davis some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Grace is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible grace and elegance. Her passion for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 9 1/2 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Classic Dance Academy in Denver, Colorado!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I got my first pair of pointe shoes on my 10th birthday! So I have been en pointe for around 5 years now!

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear gaynor Minden pointe shoes and have since I was 12

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet as kind of a recreational activity outside of horseback riding which I did at the time. I fell in love with ballet and ended up switching to a full schedule very quickly!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have so many favorite variations! My top two favorites are Giselle’s Variation from act 1 or Esmeralda because they are both such different characters but very fun to portray!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t have the plan to go professional as a dancer, but if I did I would LOVE to dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

One of my favorite memories would have to be performing Clara when I was 13. I got to perform on a huge stage with a live orchestra and the rehearsals were so fun and magical. In general my favorite dance memories are from rehearsals and shows!

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

One of my more famous ballet role models would probably be Dusty Button, but my nearest and dearest role model would probably be Ever Larson or Fransisco Estevez (both are with Colorado ballet)! Ever has always been very encouraging to me and she is just so captivating to watch as a performer. We share very similar mindsets and I love chatting with her about my goals! She is truly someone to aspire to be! Fran is a fellow cancer survivor who is a principal with Colorado ballet! He is one of my all time favorite teachers and role models!

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

some of the best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher would probably from one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Ashley Hanson. I was 12 years old at the time that she told my class that we needed to think about being a dancer as being a candle. She said sometimes we get so caught up in the technique and hardships of ballet that we let the wax build up around the wick. She proceeded to tell us we needed to pour out the wax in order to shine, and that phrase sticks with me to this day!

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

If I could give my younger version of myself any advice it would probably be to take my time and trust the process. I tend to try to rush things when I feel they aren’t going my way in ballet and sometimes that takes away from the joy of the art. I’ve been better at it in recent years but i definitely was not good at that when I was younger. I would also remind myself that even though I had a late start to ballet, that it wouldn’t hinder me from achieving my dreams!

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

I think the best thing about being a ballerina is being able to connect to people. I love performing and I love getting to bring the audience into the story I’m trying to tell with my movement. It’s very rewarding when you can feel that connection with the people you are performing for!

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Ballet can be so hard in the sense that you can get so caught up in being critical and self conscious. It can be really challenging to deal with because it truly affects your physical performance as an athlete. I find my best remedy for this is just taking time to get back to why I love dance. Sometimes that means doing a favorite variation and not worrying about messing it up, sometimes it’s just improving in my socks. It helps to bring you back in touch.

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”?

I’m a super detailed person, so I haven’t really struggled with ballet being demanding in that regard. I’ve had my doubts though, for sure! I tend to be really self-critical and thats made it difficult for me to continue sometimes. But it’s never enough for me to quit the art. I have a pretty normal life for the most part anyway: I work at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as a Junior Zoo Keeper on the weekends, I take AP and honors classes in school, and I have time with my friends after work on weekends!

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Thats a tough one! I love romantic tutus when they are really flowy and long, but I love the line of a good platter! If I had to pick, I’d probably choose classical!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I’m currently recovering from one actually! I had sprained my SI joint about a year ago and kept dancing on it (bit of advice- DO NOT DO THAT) and ended up in super severe pain. I’m not in pain anymore and I’m working back up to grand allegro with my incredible PT!

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing or working at the zoo, I’m usually at home! I have a lot of pets since I want to be an exotic veterinarian! They range from your average dog and cat to bearded dragons, crested geckos, leopard geckos, and snakes! I take care of them and hang out with them on my deck when it’s not too cold outside. I also love to write and draw, and manage my social media account!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Madeleine Powell

I had an opportunity recently to ask Madeleine Powell some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Madeleine is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible beauty and poise. Her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started classical ballet when I was about 9 years old but I started dancing when I was 3.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently training at Prima Youth Classical Academy.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Only three and a half years surprisingly

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear the energetics Stella pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I always loved dance! I knew I was going to do something involved with dance. But I actually hated ballet with a passion. I swore I was never going to do it. When I was about 9 I was told that I had the right body for it and nice facility hence why I started doing it.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Very hard question! I’ve never learnt it but I love the look of the Giselle variation and the Aurora act 3 variation is a personal favourite as well.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I know it sounds very cliche but the Royal Ballet in London has always been my dream and it still is. I also love the Dutch national!

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

I’m sure there will be many more memories and events that I will cherish forever. For now my favourite memory would be performing at Alana Haines Awards in New Zealand and YAGP Barcelona because these have been the two international competitions I have attended.

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

My ballet inspiration has always been Misty Copeland, I believe her story shows such strength and determination. She will always inspire me!

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

I don’t think I can really answer this question well because I’m sure I have received some great advice over the years but unfortunately I’m unable to remember anything.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Don’t rush things. Don’t focus on others. Don’t let other peoples achievements in the moment intimidate you or let them doubt yourself. Allow other people to inspire you to do better and work harder.

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The best thing about being a ballerina is having the ability to do and perform an art form a lot of people are unappreciative of or unaware of its beauty. Being a ballerina allows me to show people how incredible ballet is.

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The hardest thing about being a ballerina is that you are constantly striving for perfection when perfection is not achievable. This sometimes causes frustration and the feeling that you’re not doing enough or you’re not improving but in reality no one will ever be perfect.

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”?

This is such a great question, I love it so much and think it is so important to talk about. Being only 14 years old and already striving for a career it’s certainly not considered “normal”. I have certainly had many many days where I have considered if I’m doing the right thing or if I do want to be a “normal” teenager. This is something that I have thought a lot about lately and have decided that there is no such thing as “normal” and it’s incredible to have the opportunity to do something many people dream about doing. So why not embrace it and live out my dream rather than do what most people do.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

I would say Classical!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I wouldn’t say I have suffered a serious injury but I have definitely had a fair share of accidents. One of my worst being when I split my knee open on a bush walk forcing me to stop dancing for a month.

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing which is very very rarely 😂 I love shopping, going to the beach and hanging out with my friends.