Category: Ballet

Q&A With American Ballerina Siobhan Nickell

I had the opportunity recently to ask Siobhan Nickell some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Siobhan is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible elegance and poise, her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 8 at a small arts center in a small town in Ohio. The class was in an old ballroom and there were no barres!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Currently I am a trainee with Cincinnati ballet!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for 8 years. I started when I was 11 even though I wasn’t necessarily ready for it.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Currently I wear Suffolk Spotlights! This shoe really changed my pointe experience!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved in ballet after seeing Dayton Ballet’s Nutcracker. I would dance around the house in tutus until my mom finally signed me up for lessons!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have so many favorite variations. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one so I’ll share two! I really like the Giselle act 1 variation because it’s very me. Giselle is very dainty and fragile and I feel like she is a character that is easy for me to portray. On the other side of things I also love Raymonda act 3. This variation is very confident and sassy. Raymonda is very sure of herself and it allows me to bring out another side of my personality.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I try not to have a super specific company in mind because the ballet world is very unpredictable and you never know what a specific director is looking for when you are auditioning. But I hope to be in a bigger company one day dancing lots of full length ballets!

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

One of my favorite memories/ moments in ballet was dancing as Clara in the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker on Christmas Eve! The energy from the audience was incredible and it was really a magical experience!

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

A few dancers that inspire me are Misty Copeland and Kathrine Morgan. When I started getting into the ballet world when I was younger Misty Copeland captivated me. She defied the odds and achieved her dreams even though a lot of factors could’ve prevented it from happening. Similarly, Katherine Morgan inspires me because she had an illness that kept her from dancing for years but she was able to join a company again and dance professionally after some time off. Her persistence inspires me because I went through a similar experience when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease

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

The best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher is “perfection is in doing”. It really changed my perspective on what ballet is and what perfection is. Perfection cannot be achieved and the more you push for it the farther away it gets. Perfection is found in the way you do the movement, the way you dance. Nobody is you and nobody can dance like you. You are already perfect just by being yourself!

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Some advice I would give to my younger self is to enjoy the moment and not worry about the future. I was constantly worried about if I would make it, if I would be a professional, what the next opportunity would be and if it would even come my way. Everything comes with time and hard work, and if it is meant to be it’ll happen

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The best thing about being a ballerina is honestly working hard and getting the reward. It’s almost like an addiction to me. I love to put in the hours and work in order to improve or get promoted or get the role. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The hardest thing about being a ballerina, for me at least, is the self doubt. I have worked really hard to get better at this, but I can get into bad habits like comparing myself to other dancers in the room by wondering why I don’t look or dance like them or why I don’t get certain roles that others do. A good quote that puts things back into perspective for me is “you can’t measure your own path with somebody else’s ruler”. Your path is unique and it won’t look like other people’s paths, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get there

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”?

Honestly I never had any doubts in my career choice. When I find something I am passionate about it’s hard for me not to give it my all. Yes I did give up a “normal” school experience. I didn’t do the football games or school dances or parties, and I even moved out of state my senior year of high school. But I wouldn’t have it any other way and I wouldn’t change my experience for the world.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

For sure classical tutus! They make me feel like the ballerina I always dreamed of being when I was a little girl!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Luckily I have never suffered a serious injury, but I have had a few set backs the past few years that kept me from dancing for a few months and led me to start over from scratch in terms of technique and strength. In February 2019 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. This diagnosis was mainly characterized with nutrient deficiencies and weight loss, as well as many other symptoms. Since I didn’t have much extra weight to lose to begin with, lost muscle mass. After I got my symptoms back under control and I started dancing again. It wasn’t easy though because I had nothing to work with. I remember one time specifically when I was trying to do a grande plié and I didn’t have the strength to come back up. It was devastating but I stayed persistent and was eventually able to build my strength back. Then in 2020 after a failed trial of medication, I had a second flare up of symptoms, but lucky for me it was right when quarantine was starting in March. I lost almost every thing for a second time but I had as much time as I needed to rebuild. Both of these experiences were devastating but ultimately helped me become the dancer and person I am today. Overall I feel more aware of my body and it’s needs and I wouldn’t change the experiences I’ve had no matter how tough they were at the time.

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time (what little of it I have!) I like to bake with my roommate, make jewelry ( I actually have an Etsy earring business!) and I am currently working on getting certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique! I hope to start teaching some zoom classes in the near future!

Q&A With American Ballerina Savannah Quiner

I had the chance recently to ask Savannah Quiner some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Savannah is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible grace and elegance. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

At the age of 3

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

At the ABT JKO School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

For 9 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I where Grishkos

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My older sisters did ballet

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

That’s a hard one. I don’t really have a favorite but some that I like are Swan Lake Odette Act 2, Swanilda from Coppélia, and Giselle Act 1 variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

ABT has always been my dream company

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

A couple highlights were performing in the ABT’s 2019 summer intensive, performing Odette in Hunterdon Hills Ballet’s 2019 Spring Show, and performing the Sugarplum Fairy for Hunterdon Hills Ballet’s Nutcracker

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

I have a lot but to name a few I love watching Hee Seo, Skylar Brandt, Maria Khoreva, Sarah Lane, and Catherine Hurlin

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

I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from all my teachers. The one I think of at the moment is, “Dance like your expensive,” – Robert La Fosse

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Don’t hold back. Give it your all.

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Performing and seeing your progress

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The long hours of classes which was especially hard during quarantine

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”?

Yes when I was little I actually didn’t like ballet

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

No. But I do have shin splints that can get really painful sometimes

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love spending time with my family while watching movies or playing board games, I crochet sometimes or work on a craft, and I love taking a tub or anything relaxing.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Meg Blackburn

I recently had the chance to ask Meg Blackburn some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Meg is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

Age 3

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

The Queensland Ballet Academy

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe work when I was 12 so 6 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Energetics

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was a very active child and loved to run around and climb trees so my mum put me into ballet to improve my balance and coordination and I loved it!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I don’t have a favourite but I love some variations from Giselle, La Bayadère and Romeo and Juliet

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Queensland Ballet

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

I love the moments when things finally work after all the time and effort you put in. Feeling an improvement in your work is truely rewarding.

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

I love to watch Lucy Green and Mia Heathcote from the Queensland Ballet. Li Cunxin, the artistic director of Queensland Ballet is such a big inspiration to myself and dancers all over the world also

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

“Freedom comes from great calculation”

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

To be more confident in myself and to trust the process.

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Meeting wonderful friends, hearing inspiration stories from teachers, performing onstage and working hard to achieve your goals. I also believe training in ballet helps you become a very strong person mentally and physically

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Ballet is a huge commitment and you sacrifice so many things for something you love. It can be physically and mentally straining at times, especially when you are away from your family and loved ones. And of course the sore toes!

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 it is just a part of realising how incredible this art form is. I have faced adversity and felt like giving up at times but I use ballet to escape any problems I am having on the outside. I am glad that I had the strength to stick to it.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Probably romantic but they are both beautiful!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I have manageable problem with my back which is chronic

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to draw/paint, go to the beach, cook and spend time with my friends.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Bri Skehan

I had the chance recently to ask Bri Skehan some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Bri is an amazing dancer, she graces 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 3 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Queensland National Ballet School

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Grishko Novas

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

There was a TV show called The Fairies that I loved when I was little. They always did ballet. My mum said that I used to walk around the house on my tippy toes, so she enrolled me into my first ballet class

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Aurora’s Wedding Variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I love Royal Ballet and I also love Houston Ballet as well. But I’m always open to other opportunities.

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

Performances are always where I make some of my favourite memories!

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

Marianela Nunez, Yasmine Naghdi, Clare Morehan, Justine Summers, Karen Donovan!!

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

Dance for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Be patient, everything comes with time

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Performing and evoking emotion from audience members

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Constantly struggling with my body image

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”?

Those days happen fairly often! But then I get into the studio and start dancing and it just reassures that this is what I want to do as a career!

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical Tutu!!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I had a knee injury at the start of this year but it’s all healed now

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing I enjoy cooking, doing craft and watching Netflix!

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Ruby Keast

I had the opportunity recently to ask Ruby Keast some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Ruby is a fantastic dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion for ballet is phenomenal, Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 5

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Sonja Dene Dance Studios

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Bloch pointe shoes with the style grace

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I guess I just wanted to start dancing

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Queen of the Dryads or one from Giselle

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Either the Australian ballet or one in Europe but I’ve never really had a favourite

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

Not really one particular memory I just love my classes and I love dancing with my friends

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

I think that all professional dancers are amazing but some of my favourite would be Misty Copeland and Marianela Nunez

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

You have to dance for you and because you love it not because others want you to

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Doesn’t matter how talented you are when you start, the people who get the furthest are the ones who try the hardest

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

You get to make people smile when you dance

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

A lot of time, very mentally and physically hard on your body

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”?

Yes I have but then I think ‘what would I do without dance like I would miss it so much’ and also I love it

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

No but I have Achilles issues which sucks

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

Read, sew & draw

Q&A With American Ballerina Samantha Murphy

I had the chance recently to ask Samantha Murphy some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Samantha is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with great poise and elegance, her passion for ballet is fantastic. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet around 3 years old but didn’t start seriously training till around 10

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am a current student at Slo Movement Arts Center

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for 3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Currently, I wear Bloch Sonata pointe shoes but I am looking into trying Freed of London

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved into ballet because my mom was a figure skater and always wanted her daughter to be a ballerina, so she enrolled me at a young age. Then once I started getting older I fell in love and haven’t looked back since

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company to work for is ABT

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

My favorite memory from my ballet journey was getting my first solo roll in a ballet my old studio used to put on. I had wanted that roll for years and I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I saw my name on the cast list for that part

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

My ballet role models are Skylar Brandt, Scout Forsythe, Dusty Button, and Isabella Boylston. They inspire me every day and I can’t wait to be like them when I’m older!

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

The best advice I’ve ever received from a teacher is to always challenge yourself, even when it’s difficult. To never feel comfortable, because once you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never grow. Taking those extra leaps of faith is what sets certain dancers apart from others. Another piece of advice is finding ways to make yourself stand out. Little things that you can do at an audition or open call that can catch someone’s eye. Those moments are what the people holding the audition will remember.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Advice I would give my younger self is to not let other people hold you back. I never wanted to take those leaps of faith because none of my friends were or I wouldn’t go to that audition because my friends weren’t going. I would tell myself to focus on my own path and my own future because doing that now has made a world of a difference in my training

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

To me, the best thing about being a ballerina is having an escape from the world. Being able to be in that studio all night and forget about all the troubles surrounding your life, and just being able to do what you love. Also, there is always something to work on and grow. There’s never a “okay that’s perfect now I don’t have to work on that” moment. The opportunity for growth is all around you, and you’ll never get bored of it

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

For me, the hardest thing about being a ballerina is the constant judgement on myself. I will find myself picking apart everything about me and being way too hard on myself. Now, I’ve gotten better and telling myself that I did a good job, but I still definitely struggle with it. There are also certain sacrifices that have to be made such as a really involved social life. However, when you get to do what you love every day, it’s all worth 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”?

YES! I’ve definitely had my fair share of days where I felt like it was all too much and I just wanted to quit and take up an easy sport. Especially during quarantine where all I could do was dance alone in my house, I was really struggling to find motivation to keep going. But every time I would try to take a break, I would miss it to much and I was back at it in no time

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Yes, I have struggled with achilles tendinitis since I was young but it’s gotten much better.

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

In my free time I like to spend time with friends, paint, journal, go to the beach, and just relax!

Q&A With American Ballerina Isabella Luppo

I had the opportunity recently to ask Isabella Luppo some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Isabella is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her dedication to ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when i was just 2 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Encore Dance Studio in Michigan

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 wear Russian Pointe

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom danced professionally when she was younger and decided to open a dance studio, so she put me in dance right after I could walk

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation would have to be kitri act 3, I love it so much but there are so many to pick from

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company is ABT, I’ve always wanted to dance professionally in New York and I am so inspired by Isabella Boylston

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

I don’t really have a specific moment but I just love being able to improve and grow with all of the dancers around me and getting so close to my dance family

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

Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Sascha Radetsky, and James Whiteside

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

You should never compare yourself to other dancers, you should only compete with your past self

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

The advise is would give my younger self is that I wish I wouldn’t have stressed out about so many auditions and performances and just have fun!

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

For me the best thing about being a ballerina is that I have learned discipline and being very coordinated because many people wish they could have went through strict training that ballerinas went through

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The hardest thing is definitely the amount of hours you spend at the studio each week.

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”?

All of the late nights and dedication you put into everything there were so many nights when I had doubts and struggles about my ballet career. Especially when I got into high school, my friends would hang out every night, go to football games, and just live their life as a normal teenager and have fun while I was at the studio every night

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I haven’t had a very serious injury but I have torn many ligaments in my toes and torn many muscles and the recovery process takes a while. You have to make sure you’re icing your injury multiple times a day and giving it proper care

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

On my free time I really enjoy playing the ukulele, I am not very good but I love learning new songs

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Jasmine Gruar

I had the chance recently to ask Jasmine Gruar some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Jasmine is a fantastic dancer, she graces the stage with great poise and grace. Her passion for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

When I was six years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Ballet Theatre Australia!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Bloch Heritage

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I loved watching ballet on tv, and my nana and mum would love watching me dance at home

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

So many to choose from! I love the flute variation from Suite en Blanc

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Australian Ballet!

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

Doing comps with my amazing friends last year, we would have so much fun

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

So many! I love Maria Khoreva, Misty Copeland, Svetlena Zhakarova, Marianela Nunez, and Natalia Osipova

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

Always show who you are on stage, and why you are a dancer

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Never hold back and take every opportunity you can!

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The discipline on working every tiny movement to its maximum capacity, it takes years to get right.

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

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”?

Definitely! Especially while working from home some days I have been a bit unmotivated, but then you remember why you dance and how much you love it.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love classical Tutus, but romantic are gorgeous

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

Not a serious injury, but I’ve had a few little niggles that have required me to sit out for a bit

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love modeling!

Q&A With American Ballerina Karissa Ng

I had the opportunity recently to ask Karissa Ng some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Karissa is a fantastic dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and elegance, her passion for ballet is excellent. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 3 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance with the Las Vegas Ballet Company

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for almost 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

. I currently wear Bloch Balance European pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Well my cousin danced and she inspired me to be just like her and my mom also just put me in dance class and I stuck with it!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I love a variety of variations, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be Grand Pas Classique

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work with Royal Ballet or American Ballet Theatre (ABT)

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

My favorite memory was Nutcracker 2019. It was my favorite Nutcracker that I have done because there was just the best backstage moments that happened and I performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy!

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

My ballet role models, just to name a few, are Natalia Osipova, Svetlana Zakharova, and Skylar Brandt

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

The best advice that I’ve ever received from a teacher was to not think and just dance.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

I would advise my younger self to feel the music and let your body go

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

The best thing about being a ballerina is getting ready for a performance from the gorgeous costumes to the makeup. Also pushing myself to be the best you can be

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

The hardest thing would be having an off day and getting frustrated when nothing seems to work out

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”?

Yes. There were definitely some times where I would question my decision of doing ballet as an extracurricular activity but I would keep telling myself that I’ve come so far to quit now

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer classical tutu

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I am grateful to say that I have never suffered a serious injury, but I have had some minor injuries throughout my career as a ballerina

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

When I’m not dancing, I like to paint, listen to music, and spend quality time with my family and friends

Q&A With American Ballerina Natalie Cisco

I recently had the chance to ask Natalie Cisco some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Natalie is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance. Her passion for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 2, I began to pursue ballet more intensely at 4

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am dancing at Texas ballet theater in Fort Worth! and I am accepted into their studio training company! one step away from that company contract

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I got my pointe shoes when I was 11. this is my 5th year en pointe

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Suffolk sonnets! best shoe ever

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I began dancing because I went to go see Texas Ballet theater’s nutcracker at bass hall for the first time and I told my mom I wanted to be that ballerina! and now that ballerina is now my teacher! my mom noticed how bad I wanted to be a ballerina and said that she had never seen that sparkle in me before!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is anything with a Spanish flare and lots of jumps. I really like Gamzitti from La Bayadre too

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to join Texas Ballet theater since that has such a special place in my heart. I also love Orlando ballet and the character that company has

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

My favorite memory was my show last year. I was the youngest dancer in the company and I had been cast so many lead roles, solos, and duets with my favorite partner. I had worked so hard and I felt that the show really put my hard work on display. The love a dancer gets is the best support you can give them and that was exactly what I felt that night of the opening show

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

My ballet idol is Marianela Nunez and Natalia Ospiova. they are both impeccable and I had the opportunity to take a ballet class with Marianela! My dance teacher, Nicole Von Eck, a principle dancer with Texas Ballet Theater, is also such a caring person and I admire her hard work and beautiful soul

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

Best advice from a teacher was, “no excuses.” that has pushed me to be my best today. Another piece of advice from my teacher which I hold near my heart is to never let yourself fall back, you dance because you love it and nothing about that can change you.

Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?

Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?

Best thing about being a ballerina is the close bonds you make with fellow dancers, teachers, and every other dancer in the tiny world. Also the tutus are pretty awesome too!

Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?

Hardest thing about being a ballerina is all the sacrifices you make. You don’t live a normal life and you miss a lot of things, but in return, it’s your best life and I would never exchange it for anything

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”?

When I was younger, yes, ballet was not my super super focus. I often picked other things over dance. now, I don’t even look back and think I should have another career. It’s hard work, but it’s the hardest, most beautiful and fulfilling work for an artist.

Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu! A classic tutu makes you feel like a long, beautiful legged princess!

Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?

I have luckily never suffered an awful injury other than an ankle sprain that took awhile to heel. Injuries are heart wrenching and I feel for every ballerina who is going through one right now! I know that you can come back stronger and that it is okay to learn from the sidelines for awhile❤️

Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to be outside! I am a very active person and high energy activities are my go to. I love to wakeboard on the lake with our boat. I also love to spend time with my friends and my little sister. I enjoy watching the TV show, Friends!!!!