I had the opportunity recently to ask Hannah Martin some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Hannah is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and beauty. Her passion for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I think I started ballet at 2 or 3, only very basic steps and rhythms but I knew from that moment that dance was going to be a big part of my life
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I am currently in my graduate year of training at the Elmhurst Ballet School
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I bought my first pair of pointe shoes on my 12th birthday 🙈
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
So pointe shoes have been a little bit of a journey for me this year. I was wearing the Cloe Merlet shoes for a long time, but then my teacher suggested that I try a few others to see if they better suited my feet. I tried the Grishko 2007s but I found they were quite loud and very hard. At the moment I’m trialing the Bloch Graces, but I still haven’t decided whether they are the Cinderella slipper for my feet yet
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mother took me to lessons when I was a little girl. She had such an appreciation for the art form being a former dancer herself that I guess it rubbed off on me
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
This is a really hard one, as so many variations come to mind. I love the simplicity and the music of the Dying Swan, whenever I watch it, the mix of emotion and notes of the composition brings tears to my eyes. But contrastingly I also really love the stronger characters in ballet such as Kitri and Esmeralda. When I dance these variations I feel so empowered as a dancer
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
In the crazy times we are in, to land a contract with any company would be a dream come true. I do really love all the British companies and their rich heritages
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
It’s difficult to say what my favourite memory in ballet is when there has been so many. One that comes to mind is the first time I performed as a Principal Dancer with the Southern Youth Ballet in their production of “Pineapple Poll” at age 14. I remember how alive I felt when I performed on stage! It was a revelation to me. That was the moment I realised performing was what I wanted to pursue
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
Again, this question has so many answers, but I love Marianela Nunez and Natalia Osipova. Their strong physiques and beautiful artistic qualities are so inspiring to me as an aspiring professional
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
I am so grateful for all the input each one of my teachers and former rhythmic gymnastics coaches have put into my progression as a dancer and as a person. Perhaps the best advice I have ever received is to just relax. Not in the physical sense as we are athletes we must always work hard, but mentally. Don’t stress out about everything that could go wrong! Think about what could go right. God always has a funny way of working everything out, it’s not always the way you had planned it, but usually it’s something better then you had even imagined
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
I think I would go along similar lines. Don’t be so stressed about the future. The future will take care of itself, just keep your head down and keeping working hard, enjoy every second of the journey!
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
Officially I am not a ballerina yet as that title only goes to the incredible Principal dancers of this earth 🙈. But as a ballet student it is hard to note just one thing that I love about it. Perhaps the performance side is my favourite part. Not only is it exhilarating, it also gives you the chance to display all the hard work you have done behind the scenes
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest part of being a ballet student is the long and at times tedious hours it takes to work and refine the technique. I love the work and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but there are some days where I am both physically and mentally exhausted and I struggle to push through. Often in these moments is where I find the most strength and grow the most as a dancer
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’ve never really lived what some might say a “normal life”. Being homeschooled till 16 and going through education somewhat unconventionally. Yes, there are sometimes days that I wake up and don’t want to work hours in the studio, but rarely do I think I ever want a “normal life”. I honestly don’t know what I would do with myself 😂. Dance is a part of who I am, and I enjoy the hard work and dedication of it. It is an art form that is so difficult but so incredibly rewarding
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Definitely Classical, I love the definitive, clean finish it gives
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
Luckily I haven’t had any major injuries throughout my training so far. Yes, I may have had a few sprains or pulled muscles here or there, but nothing that has taken me off my feet for more then a couple of weeks
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
When I am not dancing I enjoy creating YouTube videos for my channel, cooking yummy healthy recipes and writing poetry. I also do enjoy Netflix at the end of the day to relax my brain after all the hours of training.
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