I had the chance recently to ask Emily O’Steen some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Emily is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and grace. Her love for ballet is incredible. 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 currently dance at my high school’s college preparatory dance program, the John Carroll school
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been en pointe since I was 11, so five years!
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Gaynor Minden pointe shoes
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
I first got involved in ballet because like most little girls, I started taking classes when I was little
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variation is Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to work for the Washington Ballet or American Ballet Theatre
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite moment in ballet was last year when I was performing Clara in the Nutcracker, I had to do fouettés and I finally landed them perfectly opening night!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My ballet role model is Julie Kent! I absolutely love how she teaches and the artistry in her dancing
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
The best advice I’ve ever been given from a teacher is to perform every single step, no matter if it’s a plié or a grand jeté
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
Advice that I would give a younger version of myself is that all the hard work you are putting in now is going to pay off greatly, so don’t get discouraged
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
The best thing about being a ballerina is the feeling when the curtain opens, or when you notice you’ve improved in your dancing
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
The hardest thing about being a ballerina is dealing with burnout, because you focus on dance so much of the time it gets hard to keep motivated. I just remind myself that if I ever stopped, a piece of me wouldn’t exist anymore, and that helps me keep going.
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”?
It is hard work! There were definitely some days where I just wanted to be able to hang out with friends instead of have to go to dance class, but I’m really lucky because my dance is incorporated into my high school! I get to see my close friends every day I go to dance which makes it really enjoyable.
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Definitely classical tutu!!
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
I’m lucky to never have suffered a serious injury, I keep working hard to remain strong and prevent injuries
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I enjoy playing piano, spending time with friends and my dogs in my free time!