I had the opportunity recently to ask Erica Borden some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Erica is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with excellent poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
? I started dancing at 3, did all styles until I was 8 years old, and then I focused on ballet and contemporary
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I dance at The Art of Classical Ballet in Pompano Beach, Florida
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
About 7 years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My parents and teachers could see that I could feel a connection to ballet when I was younger. It made me so happy. I started asking about taking more ballet classes
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I don’t really have a favorite, because I like to experiment with different characters. Currently I’m learning Pharoh’s daughter, and it’s a lot of fun
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to work for Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Complexions or Netherlands Dans Theater. I love ballet and contemporary, so I would be happy working for many companies
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
I really loved performing the Arabian Pas De Deux in the Florida Classical Ballet Nutcracker. The costume is awesome. It makes me happy the response I get at the end of the show from audience members
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
Marianela Núñez is my professional dancer role model. I love how she performs and she really feels the music and the character she is playing. Chloe Albaret of NDT inspires me in contemporary dance
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
My mentor, Olivier Pardina, has given me the best advice for so many years. I learned to stay true to the art and passion for classical ballet and to take time to revisit the very basics at all stages of training
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Drink more water. I’ve gotten very dehydrated before when I was younger, and it’s not a good experience! I’m still working on it
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
Performing and learning to play new characters is the best thing about being a ballerina
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
I wish I had more control of my career like I would in other careers. We can feel like we can’t control our future. We can be our best, put in the work, peform well, work consistently, have real passion for ballet, and not get a chance to work. In other careers, when you have that, you can usually get work doing what you want somewhere. We have so many factors that impact our future and the things other careers don’t have to focus on. Height, size, a “look”, politics, money, and just luck. Unpredictable career, but worth a try if you really love it!
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”?
At times the thought comes up when I want to spend time with my non-dance friends. I do have some amazing friends since 6th grade that I’ve made because of ballet. I think we are so busy that we miss a lot of negative parts of being a “normal teenager”. It’s worth it. Balance is important so we don’t burn out. I still find a little time for normal teenage fun. It’s healthy.
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
Thankful that I haven’t had any serious injuries
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I like being with my friends, going to car shows, driving around, being creative and getting rid of stress. I also have a job working at a law office for a lawyer who is also a dancer, dance teacher and danced professionally!