Category: Ballet

Q&A With American Ballerina Terri Jean Thomson

I had the opportunity to ask Terri Jean Thomson some questions about her fantastic journey as a ballerina. She is an incredible dancer who graces the stage with presences, joy and beauty. Her dedication to ballet is phenomenal and inspiring. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet//dance when i was 5

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently train at atlanta academy of ballet and dance

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for a little over 6 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear suffolk spotlight pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My aunt took me to see a ballet performance when I was 4 and I was so mesmerized by the dancers dancing “on their toes” and couldn’t get enough of it so I decided to ask my parents if I could try dance because all I wanted to do was to dance on my toes like the ballerinas in the show:)

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

hmm that’s a tough one!! I love Diana and Acteon, Grand pas classique and Medora

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company is Houston ballet

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

My favorite memory from dance (I have 2) 1- was dancing the wedding pas in sleeping beauty as aurora with my best friend as my prince and 2- when I got my first higher rank lead as tweedle dum with one of my longest closet friends who was tweedle dee in Alice in Wonderland

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

Honestly I’m inspired by so many dancers that’s a nearly impossible question to answer for me!

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

“To be a dancer you have to look and act like a dancer. be all in or all out there’s no in between”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

CLASSIC!!!! PANCAKE TUTU ALL THE WAY!!😍😍

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

Typically spending time with friends or just something chill like sitting outside with my puppy:)

Q&A With British Dancer Isabelle Bosher

I had the opportunity to ask the incredible British dancer Isabelle Bosher some questions in regard to her amazing journey in ballet. She graces the stage with poise and beauty. Her photos on Instagram are phenomenal and her passion for ballet and other types of dance are unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When i was 4

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 3 years now (started when i was 11)

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Bloch pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first started ballet classes at my school as a hobby because all my friends went

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation would be Bluebird variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

i would want to be a part of English National Ballet or Joffrey

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

My favourite moment in dance was getting into dance school on scholarship

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

Dusty Button is my ballet role model because of her perfect technique and being a unique ballerina and breaking the stereotype

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

Don’t over think what you are doing

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical Tutu

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

I don’t really have free time aha 😅 but if i do i love family time and to catch up with friends

Q&A With American Ballerina Sarah Wilkerson

I had the opportunity to ask Sarah Wilkerson some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is a fantastic dancer who dances so elegantly with copious amounts of joy while on stage. Her dedication to ballet is immense. Below are her answers

Q1: When did you start ballet?

So, I started dancing when I was about four years old. I had just seen the nutcracker and fell in love with it and begged my mom for months to let me try it and she finally did. But I only did jazz and tap classes. So technically I started ballet when I was 12. So, I had to work really hard to catch up to everyone else my age but luckily, I had great teachers to help me.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently in Oregon Ballet Theater’s Second Company.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe since I was 13 so about 6 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear custom Freed Classics. Usually in circle cross or butterfly maker.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I saw the nutcracker when I was 3 and loved it.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation isn’t well known but it’s called “la cigarette” from Suite In la blanc. Either that or Balanchine’s diamonds

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

PNB

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

One of my favourite moments was this past season I was dancing in waltz of the flowers in balanchines nutcracker and it just hit me that I had made it. Waltz of the flowers was my favourite as a kid, so it was really special to get to do it with Oregon Ballet theatre. Especially since I never thought I would even make it this far.

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

Some of my favourite dancers are Sara Mearns, Darcey Bussell, and Tamara Rojo.

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

Some of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received are “If they can do, so can you”, “ Don’t train to be a Corp de ballet dancer, train to be the principal” and “it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish” that spoke to me especially because I started so far behind my peers, but if you love something and work hard enough at it nothing will stop you from reaching your goal.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

When I’m not dancing I love hanging out with my friends, going on hikes, and trying out new places to eat.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Mimi Swinton Fiennes

I recently had the opportunity to ask the amazing Mimi Swinton Fiennes some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. She’s an amazing dancer, graces the stage so beautifully and with real poise. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was 2 (although it was baby ballet- I started seriously when I was about 10)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Elmhurst Ballet School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Mirella ‘Whispers’

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum sent me along to ballet class at 2 and I’ve been in love with it ever since

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Cupid Variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Royal Ballet

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

I guess my favourite memory/ moment is whenever I finish on stage and I come off with a feeling of such satisfaction and fulfilment and I just wish I can go back on

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

My old ballet teachers Hilary Kaplan and Vicki Attard and all my old friends from Academy Ballet and Alegria Studios (both in Sydney, Australia) who have always supported me (and each other) and have been there for me (and each other). They all mean the world to me and have always inspired me in every way possible

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

Don’t loose sight of your goal, no matter what obstacles you face xx

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic Tutu

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

I love watching old films, love photography and have an odd obsession over baking hahahha

Q&A With American Ballerina Sydney Silva

I had the opportunity to ask Sydney Silva some questions about her progression as a ballerina. She’s an amazing dancer with excellent technique and a real passion for ballet that is unparalleled. Below are her responses

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I start ballet when I was 6

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Portland School of Ballet in Maine

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for a little over 2 years now

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am currently wearing Russian Pointe Rubins

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got involved because I was little and hyper and my mom want something for me to do

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is probably The Wedding Pas variation from sleeping beauty

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for ABT or Royal Ballet

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

My favorite memory in ballet is when I got into the pre professional division at my school

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

Dancers that inspire me are Misty Copeland and probably Tiler Peck

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

Best advice I’ve gotten from my teachers is never to give up

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

In my free time I like to play ukelele and hangout with my siblings

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Robbie Downey

I had the opportunity to ask Robbie Downey some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina, the grace and poise she has on the stage is incredible and her dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Robbie with out a doubt will inspire dancers from around the world, her love of ballet is immense. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 4 years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I have been training at Master Ballet Academy for the past two years.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for about 8 years. I went on pointe at around age 11 and I am now 19.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Gaynor Minden Pointe Shoes.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

California Ballet came to do the Nutcracker where I danced in Victorville, CA. They held auditions at the local studio and I got a part. Then when I moved to San Diego I started dancing at California Ballet.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

It is so hard to pick just one variation, but I prefer more exciting variations such as Kitri and Gamzatti.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Well my big dream would be The Royal Ballet, but I will be happy anywhere with a great director and good repertoire and opportunities that challenge.

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

I feel really honoured to have been accepted as one of the seniors’ competitors in the USA IBC. It is a prestigious competition that happens every four years, many of the top dancers around the world have competed there in the past.

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

Polina Semionova will always be one of my favourite ballerinas. She inspired me to want to become a professional ballet dancer when I saw her music video on YouTube at age 10.

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

I’ve received a lot of great advice from all of my teachers. Something that has always stuck with me is when Mr. Ellison told me to stay out of my head and to always dance all out. He told me this when I was about 13 so I think that is why it stuck with me.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

That’s tough, but I really do love the romantic tutus

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

I love to head back to San Diego to see my friends and family in California. I miss the ocean when I’m away! I also love music, so seeing bands play is always fun. (Hunny and The Growlers are some of my favourites.)

Q&A With American Ballerina Molly Woodard

I had the opportunity to ask Molly Woodard some questions her journey as a ballerina. She is an amazing dancer, owns the stage when dancing and dances with great presences and energy. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started august of 2014… and I was 14 at the time

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I recently graduated from Brooksher Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for a little over 3 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Wear Moi customs

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

A friend of mine suggested it to me because I was hyperextended and had good feet. I had never danced before then.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Raymonda piano variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I really love Staatsballett Berlin

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

I have a few. One that comes to mind is a recent performance. I really felt the joy of being on stage and giving a character to the audience.

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

My role models are my own teachers (Joshua and Natasha Brooksher), Iana Salenko, Maria Khoreva and Natalia Osipova

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

There are two pieces of advice that I think are the best. The first is to give yourself when you dance… don’t be internal and selfish. It’s for the audience. The other piece of advice is to enjoy life… work hard but make sure you are enjoying all the moments.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

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

I enjoy painting in my free time 🙂

Q&A With American Ballerina Tara Schiphof

I recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to Tara Schiphof about her journey as a ballerina. She is an amazing dancer with real poise, grace and presence while dancing. She has a level of dedication to ballet that is unparalleled and which is evident. Below is her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

At the age of 2

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at UNCSA

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for 9 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Minden

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom put me in competition dance which had ballet classes

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Aurora wedding variation or Stars and Stripes lead

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

ABT or Boston Ballet

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

The process of becoming the snow queen in the nutcracker

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

Isabella Boylston, Whitney Jensen, Beckanne Sisk, Gillian Murphy

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

“you can’t be anyone but yourself, so embrace it. If a company doesn’t like you for being yourself in your dancing, well you don’t want to dance for them anyways”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

I sell makeup products and part of the money contributed to a foundation partners with the makeup company that supports sexually abused women!

Q&A With American Ballerina Erin O’Dea

I had opportunity to ask the amazing Erin O’Dea some questions about her magnificent journey to becoming a professional ballerina. Erin graces the stage with real poise and beauty, her love and dedication to ballet is incredible and is paramount for someone in her position. There is no doubt Erin is inspiring the next generation of ballerinas when on stage. Below are Erin’s responses

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started Ballet when I was 10 years old. I played soccer for a long time before I started Ballet. At 11 my mom made me decide between soccer and ballet and I chose Ballet.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I’m in the Corps de Ballet at Pennsylvania Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe since I was 11. I started very young and very soon after I started Ballet. I don’t recommend this for everyone. Personally, I think you should wait until your ankles and feet are strong enough and your techniques is strong as well.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko 2007

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was in second grade I took a hip-hop class. We did a little performance at the end of the year and I got to see Ballet Dancer’s for the first time in the show as well. I was mesmerized by fouetté turns on pointe. That’s all I wanted to do.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I love lilac Fairy variation.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

PA Ballet has been a dream come true. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a Ballet company. The director is incredible. Very humble and positive. Easy to work with and so smart.

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

My favourite moment so far in Ballet was this past season performing my first variation on stage with a professional Company. The thrill and adrenaline was crazy.

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

Misa Kuranaga, Seo Hye Han, Mayara Pineiro, and Jeff Cirio are some of the Dancer’s I look up to.

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

“Not every day is going to be a good day, the bad days will make you better”-Rosemary McCarter

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

I love to read, crochet, watch movies at the movie theatre or at home, go to the beach, shop, hangout with my boyfriend and spend time in California with my family.

 

 

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Vanessa Childress

I had the opportunity to ask the phenomenal Vanessa Childress some questions about her journey as a ballerina. She is an incredible dancer who owns the stage when she dances and dances so effortlessly and elegantly. Vanessa’s dedication to ballet is unmatched. There is no doubt we world will love know of Vanessa and she will inspire the next generation of ballerinas. 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 am currently dancing at International Ballet School, but next year I will be going to Escola Artística de Dança do Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon, Portugal

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for about 8 years now.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko 2007 Pro Flex

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was 2 years old my mom had put me in ballet classes at the Rex center and I always loved to dance, but when I was 15 I knew that I wanted to pursue ballet as a career.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite is either Giselle’s Variation or Harp Variation from Paquita

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet or Polish National Ballet

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

My favourite memory in ballet is the year that I performed Clara in the Nutcracker and I after the show I just started crying because it was the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.

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

Dancers that have inspired me the most in my dancing as in an artist is Svetlana Zakarhova, Marianela Núñez, and so many other talented artists!!!

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

Ballet isn’t just about the technique, it’s about the story and emotions you bring to people.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love romantic tutus!!!!

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

I love yoga, photography, and relaxing when I’m not dancing, which is very rare!!!