I had the chance recently to ask Kayla Engelhardt some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Kayla is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was six years old
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I currently dance with Colorado Ballet as a pre professional student
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en point for about four years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear Capizio Avas
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom put me into a ballet class when I was little and loved feeling like a princess
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
t’s hard to pick one variation but I would say my favorite variation is Swan Lake act 2 Odette
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I’m trying to keep my options open but I would love to work for Colorado Ballet or I am also looking into other contemporary companies
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I think one of my favorite memories in ballet has been performing Graduation Ball where I performed the role of fouetté girl. This was such a fun ballet and I loved portraying my character
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
Being able to work so close with the Colorado Ballet company dancers has truly been a blessing and I am inspired by so many of them. Dana Benton and Maria Mosina have been big role models of mine since I was little
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice a teacher has given me is to come into the studio everyday with one thing that you want to fix. At times, I would catch myself trying to fix so many things at once that I wouldn’t actually fix any of them. When I come into the studio with one specific goal in mind, I can accomplish one goal everyday
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Advice that I would give to my younger self would be to be more patient with myself. Progress and success don’t come overnight. It takes time and effort to accomplish your goals
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing about being a ballerina is being transform into any character on stage. I love the challenge of it. I also love the pretty tutus!
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is the strive to keep your determination. It can be very discouraging at some points but I have to keep reminding myself of why I love ballet
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 think that when I was little I was a very hard worker and always strived to do more. As i’ve gotten older I can see myself getting more burnt out. Some days I have doubts about my future ballet career and if this is the right path for me. I think that everyone my age can relate to this and relate to the wanting to be a “normal teen”. Overall, I love ballet and I wouldn’t want to give that up.
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
I love wearing classical tutus
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I tend to be prone to stress fractures in my feet. I have had four stress fractures that have taken me out of ballet for a couple months each time. Thankfully, nothing that has required surgery though
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
It’s hard to find free time because when i’m not dancing I will be working on school. But one of my favorite things to do is take trips to the mountains. I love hiking 14ers, camping, skiing and exploring with my family. Colorado is such a beautiful state and I love to take advantage of all the views it has to offer.