Category: Ballet

Q&A With American Ballerina Raleigh Ledford

I recently had the pleasure of asking Raleigh Ledford some questions about her progression as a ballerina. Raleigh is a wonderful dancer who dances so elegantly and with poise. Her dedication to ballet is fantastic. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 3 or 4

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

The Rock School for Dance Education

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

About 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Russian pointe

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was in pre-k I would never take nap time, so my mom put me in the ballet classes

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Lawrencia variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I love Balanchine as well as classical ballet, so I would have to say NYCB or Royal Ballet

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

When I was Clara in the nutcracker for the first time, and that was also my first nutcracker, and that was also my first pas de deux performance

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

My role model is Darcey Bussell

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

Don’t just take the corrections that the teachers give you specially, and take every correction that the teacher says

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I like to spend as much time with my friends as possible because we have very busy schedules

Q&A With American Ballerina Selena Knowlton

I had the chance to ask Selena Knowlton some questions about her journey as a ballerina recently. Selena is a fantastic dancer, she dances with real poise and elegance. Her passion and dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was five years old. Over the years I got more serious about it, for example I used to do competitive gymnastics but I had to make a choice.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

The Rock School for Dance Education

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for about 5 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Gaynor Minden pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My sisters danced so I was also put into classes by my parents but I ended up falling more in love with it than they did.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

There’s so many great choices but I think either Lilac Fairy or Kitri.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would be honored to be able to work for any company big or small.

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

When I got my first solo variation and I was waiting in the wings with anticipation. Then performing and loving every second, and then when I was done wishing I could do it all again.

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

Lauren Lovette, Isabella Boylston, Michaela DePrince, and of course my peers.

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

My one teacher once said to me, “I know you are a perfectionist but don’t worry about it. Just dance and show everyone how much you love it.”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Spend time with family and friends, bake, run, or any form of physical activity/exercise.

Q&A With American Ballerina Tessa Bertino

I recently had the opportunity to ask Tessa Bertino some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Tessa is an incredible dancer, she dances with great poise, beauty and elegance. The joy and happiness she has while dancing is infectious. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet about seven years ago.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at South Shore Ballet Theatre.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for about 3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Russian Pointe Rubans

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first fell in love with ballet at a young age. My mom got me ballets on DVD and I knew that’s what I wanted to do

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation would have to be the Gisele variation from act one

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company is American Ballet Theatre.

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

My favorite moment from doing ballet has to be when I performed at YAGP finals with my friends.

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

My ballet role model has to be Misty Copeland. She is an inspiration to me because she started really late and I knew that if she could do it I could do it and be able to catch up to be as good as the people my age who started ballet really young.

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

The best advice from a teacher I got was that ballet is 10 percent dedication and 90 percent hard work.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu definitely

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I like to be outside doing activities like biking, swimming, going to the beach. Some others are reading, cooking, watching movies and Netflix.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Lucy Murphy

I had the opportunity to ask Lucy Murphy some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is a fantastic dancer who has an immense passion for ballet, she dances with sheer joy and poise while on stage. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 (now 15)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at The Mcdonald College in Sydney

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for around 3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am wearing Energetiks, Safir style and I absolutely love them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My family is quite tall so my mum wanted me to have good posture and I started ballet

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

At the moment my favourites are Giselle and Aurora

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

There are so many amazing companies around! the Boston Ballet company is amazing and have such a gorgeous set of repertoire with stunning dancers and the Scottish Ballet company has so many different ballets and very neo classical and everyone is so amazing

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

Either dancing at the opera house with my dance school or just dancing everyday with my best friends

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

I don’t have one particular role model, I love just browsing Instagram and seeing people that are just so amazing and I just feel so inspired by everyone!

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

I have one tip that is so amazing that my teacher gave to me and it was get a little foot tub and fill it with luke warm water and put table salt in it all in and on your feel for 15-20 minutes and the next day your feet are ready for a new day! I swear my this and when I’m having a really sore foot day or I’ve been on pointe for hours it really helps them rejuvenate

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical for the win but I do think romantic tutus are stunning

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

If I’m not at school or dancing i love to go shopping! buying new leotards or clothes I’m a shopping addict seriously. I am also a very big traveller, my family lives for travelling and we couldn’t get enough of it!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Josephine Pratten

I had the pleasure of asking Josephine Pratten some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Josephine is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with real energy, beauty and poise. Josephine’s passion for ballet is outstanding and this is evident through her technique and performances. Below are her responses

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 6 and a half years old at a local dance school, Brisbane Academy of Dance.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I moved to Sydney to continue my training in full-time ballet at Tanya Pearson Academy under the artistic direction of Lucinder Dunn OAM.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started en pointe the month before my 13th birthday. It has been a little over 3 years since my first pointe class.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I have been wearing Grishko 2007’s for almost 10 months, in both medium and hard shanks.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My older sister took up ballet to maintain a friendship from primary school. When I realised my sister was doing ballet, I asked mum everyday for a term before she allowed me to start ballet lessons.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is Pas de trois act 1 from Swan Lake. It happens to be the variation I am currently working on.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I am unsure what specific company I would like to work for, but I would love to join a company in England or America. As long as the company has the right feel to it, I don’t mind where I end up.

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

My favourite moment in my training would definitely be when I got accepted into my first youth company, Ballet Theatre of Queensland. It was the moment I realised that all my hard work had finally paid off. The memories and friendships I made in that experience, will be with me for the rest of my life.

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

The dancer I have always looked up to since I was very young is Darcy Bussell. She is down to earth and so stunning to watch. I aspire to be like her when I’m older

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

My previous ballet teacher taught me the importance of putting myself in a bubble whether I was at a competition or audition. This would help me focus on myself and not the people around me. I often got nervous in auditions when I was younger and putting myself in a bubble made me a lot more confident and calm.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love classic tutu’s however I have always wanted to dance in a romantic tutu, as they are so beautiful.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time I love to relax and just watch my favourite shows on Netflix. I also love FaceTiming my family and friends.

Q&A With American Ballerina Emmery Hermann

I had the opportunity recently to ask Emmery Hermann some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is a fantastic dancer who has poise and elegance when she dances. her dedication to ballet is astounding. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old, but became serious when I was twelve.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at The Art of Classical Ballet under the direction of Magaly Suarez.

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?

I recently switched to Russian Pointe Rubin pointe shoes and I love them!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet like any little girl when my mom put me into a creative movement ballet class.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

It’s so hard just to pick one variation. I love all of the Kitri variations because of the amount of charisma and enthusiasm it demands. I also love the Odette variation from Swan Lake because of the light and fluid movements.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for any classical ballet company, preferably Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet or Dutch National.

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

My favorite moment is anytime I am on stage and performing. I love the butterflies I get right before I go on stage and performing reminds me why I want to make this my career. It’s the end goal and the reason why dancers put hundreds of hours into rehearsal and training. My goal is to be able to connect with the audience and have them feel different emotions.

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

My biggest idol in ballet is Isabella Boylston from ABT. She is such a passionate dancer and truly dances from the heart. Her lines never end and her quality of movement is effortless, which takes my breath away.

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

The best advice I have ever received from a teacher was to always breath and to take every class like a performance. A true dancer is one who dances with quality and shows passion. I am so thankful for my all of my teachers for supporting my aspirations and inspiring me to reach my full potential.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer romantic tutus all the way.

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I am not dancing, I am homeschooled so I work on my online classes. I also love to binge watch Netflix (Grey’s Anatomy is life!) and hangout with friends and family. I sometimes like to bake as well, but I end up throwing away everything I make because none of my food ever tastes good.

Q&A With American Ballerina Anastasia Cheplyansky

I recently had the opportunity of asking Anastasia Cheplyansky some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Anastasia is a wonderful dancer owns the stage when she dances and dances so effortlessly and elegantly. Anastasia’s dedication to ballet is unmatched. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I don’t know if this counts, but I started dancing in front of a TV when my mom first showed me “Swan Lake”. I wasn’t enrolled in an actual ballet school until I was five though.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Bayer Ballet Academy.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for 7 years now.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I’ve been switching between Grishko pointe shoes and Gaynor Mindens.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom showed me a video of The Royal Ballet performing Swan Lake.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I can’t choose a favorite variation. I love so many of them.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I’d love to work for Atlanta Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Berlin State Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and many more.

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

I don’t really have a particular favorite moment in ballet, but some of my favorite memories are from late night private lessons with my teachers or from sharing the stage with some of my closest friends.

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

Natalia Osipova, Evgenia Obraztsova, and Nadja Saidakova are my main dance role models.

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

You have to be the hardest working person in the room in order to keep improving. No one was born a great dancer. They had to work to where they are now. Believe that you’re capable of pushing your own boundaries and start working.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love anything that involves learning. I love reading books (especially mystery & detective novels), learning about psychology and criminology, researching, and writing. I also really enjoy spending time with friends, cooking, doing yoga, or just relaxing and watching a good TV show.

Q&A With American Ballerina Peyton Anderson

I recently had the opportunity to ask the phenomenal Peyton Anderson some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Peyton is an amazing dancer who graces the stage with incredible joy, determination and ownership. Without a doubt, Peyton will inspire the next generation of dancers who idolize ballerinas. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 4 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Currently dance with The Washington Ballet in a Washington DC

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

En pointe for 7 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Currently wear Grishko pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom was a dancer so she put me in dance at the age of 4 and I have alwaysssss loved it 🙂

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Fav variation is Aurora sleeping beauty or one variation from Paquita (they don’t have names)

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I currently work already with TWB but if I were to be in any company in the world it would be Royal Ballet

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

Fav memory is being offered a trainee spot with a full scholarship in person by Julie Kent after performing my variations at the ADC IBC competition

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

I absolutely love Natalia Osipova, Alina Somova, Iana Salenko, and Julie Kent

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

The best advice from a dancer is when I wasn’t feeling good one day but I pushed myself and forced myself to smile through it and my teacher said to me “keep that up and you’ll make it”… very simple but it has stuck with me for a while and really has made a difference in self discipline

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love the classical tutu. Shows the line better and more beautiful to the eye in my opinion

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I like to work out and do a lot of self care. I like learning about food, I’m very spiritual so I’m always reading about how I can improve my connection with body, mind and soul, I wring in my journal and I also classify my Instgram and taking pictures journaling too since I post something about everyday that happens in my life .. kind of like a blogger in a way

Q&A With New Zealand Ballerina Breana Drummond

I had the pleasure of asking Breana Drummond some questions about her wonderful journey as a ballerina. She graces the stage with real poise and elegance and with pure joy and happiness which radiates throughout the theater. Her passion and dedication to ballet is unmatched, Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 3

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Tanya Pearson Academy (Full-time)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Since I was 10, so about 7 years now.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Energetiks Sapfirs. (Russian Pointes)

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

After watching Barbie and the Nutcracker I begged my parents to take me to classes!!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Probably Odile, I absolutely love how challenging that variation is.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would be over the moon to work with any company, but I would love to perform with the Royal New Zealand Ballet one day so my family and friends can see me perform.

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

As cheesy as it seems, any moment when I’m performing on stage. I absolutely love performing for a live audience and the feeling I get from it is indescribable.

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

I absolutely love Ulyana Lopatkina, I think she’s such a beautiful dancer.

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

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Always a classical tutu:)

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Spending time with friends, I especially love going to the beach!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Brittany Duwner

Recently I had the pleasure of asking Brittany Duwner some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. She is a fantastic dancer who graces the stage with poise and confidence. Her dedication to ballet is unmatched. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at the age of 2

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently study at the New Zealand School Of Dance

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on point for about 8 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I swap between 2 types. Bloch mirella and energetic sapphire

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My nanny was a ballet teacher and a dancer when she was young so she took me to classes

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation would have to be Esmeralda

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for Queensland Ballet

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

My favourite memory would have been performing Snow White in my last ballet concert with Newcastle dance academy

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

Marianela Nuñez

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

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Rest!!!! Most important thing for a dancer is rest