Tag: Arabesque

Q&A With Ballerina Maria Oka

I had the chance recently to ask Maria Oka some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Maria is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with amazing grace and poise. Her passion and love for ballet infectious. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

Started dancing when i was 3. Professionally age 17.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Ajkun Ballet Theater

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Approximately 13 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Gaynor Minden

Q5:How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mother took me to ballet school since I have loved dancing so much.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Paquita, Grand pas de deux female Va and Aurora act2

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

Being on stage with shining lights, wearing sparkly costume and dancing in front of audiences are the best moment ever in my life.

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

Misty Copeland, Wendy Whelan and Svetlana Zakarova

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

“you’re an actress”

When I was sad about my performance, my teacher told me that no one cares or knows about my mistakes or if I’m sad. I just have to push through and work harder in rehearsal. That made me a lot stronger.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Definitely classical

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

I watch any kind of dancing videos. It’s inspiring to watch different styles of dancing especially like Hip-hop.

Q&A With Australia Ballerina Charlotte Mitchell

I recently had the opportunity to ask Charlotte some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Charlotte is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and elegance, her passion and dedication to ballet is remarkable. 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 am currently dancing at the McDonald college in Sydney Australia

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on point for over 4 years now

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am currently wearing Bloch synergy

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum put me into ballet because she used to be a dancer

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have a ton of favourite variations but I really like Kitri act 3

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t know what my dream company is as it is constantly changing but I love the American ballet theatre

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

Some of my favourite moments in ballet is when you finally get a movement or a correction you’ve been working on for weeks, months, or even years (Its one of the best feelings in the world)

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

I’m super basic so I am obsessed with Misty Copeland just because of her work ethic and how she never gave up despite of what people told her. I also really like Jade Wood in the Australian Ballet just because of her expression in her dancing and how graceful she moves on stage

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

Just to keep your options open and try and be as multi-talented as possible because you never know what going to happen in a audition room

Q11: Classical or Romantic tutu?

Oh good question I really have a good appreciation for a good romantic tutu and because I’m tall I feel like it just looks really good on stage x

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

I don’t find myself with much free time since I dance full time and when I’m not dancing I’m studying, I do like to play piano and sing though when I have the time to practice.

Q&A With American Ballerina Sydney Poulsen

I recently had the chance to ask Sydney Poulsen some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Sydney is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, her dedication and love for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 10

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at international ballet academy

 Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Russian pointes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I transitioned from competition dance into ballet

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Paquita Nine

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Houston Ballet

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

Just performing in general

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

Soloist Alyssa Springerman from Houston Ballet and Lauren Lovette

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

hmmm I don’t know

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

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

Read, learn math, and bake

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Heather Warning

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

At age 9

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Cinevox Junior Company in Switzerland

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Around 8 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

The Grishko Allures

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I slouched a lot and ballet was to help my posture

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Anything in Sleeping Beauty, especially in Act II!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

RNZB, Queensland Ballet, Dutch National, all of them!!

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

Being on stage with a live orchestra

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

Isabella Boylston, Marianela Nunez, Maria Kochetkova, Svetlana Zakarova.

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

You never stop learning, there’s always a next layer

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical

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

Exploring the world, and the underwater world, whilst taking photographs!

Q&A With American Ballerina Ali Walters

I had the opportunity recently to ask Ali Walters some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Ali is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her passion and dedication for ballet is unmatched. 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 currently dance at Olympic Ballet Theatre.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en pointe for 4 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Grishko 2007s.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was really active when I was young and had a lot of energy. I was constantly dancing around the house. When I was old enough I asked my mom if I could dance and that’s where it all began.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

That’s a hard question. Right now my favorite variation is probably Satenella. But I also do really love anything Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, or Giselle.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream is definitely SFB. I love their rep and their dancers are amazing!

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

I have so many. Of course getting my first pair of pointe shoes and summer intensives. But I think my favorite was getting to preform as a willi in Giselle. It is my all time favorite ballet and it was such an amazing experience to preform it.

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

Maria Kochetkova is a dancer I’ve looked up to for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been amazed by her clean technique and the personality that she brings to every role she performs. My teacher has also always been a huge inspiration for me. I grew up watching her dance professionally and now being taught by her everyday is so motivating.

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

At the end of the day, ballet is so much more than perfect technique. It’s about your artistry and the emotion that you add to your dancing because that’s what makes you a true artist.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love both, but my favorite would have to be a classical tutu. There is something so stunning watching a ballet where every girl, even in the corps, is wearing an elegant tutu.

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

When I’m not dancing I cross train and of course school. But for fun I love to bullet journal and hang out with friends.

Q&A With American Ballerina Cassie Van Wolde

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dance when I was 5

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance in the Dutch National Trainee Program

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been en points for about 4/5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Soffolk Spotlights

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom placed me in ballet when I was young because I had so much energy and then I fell in love with it.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation is Giselle

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I’d love to work for any company in Europe but my dream is Het National Ballet

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

My favorite memory was performing in the Golden Swan Gala and seeing some amazing professional dancers perform from the wings!

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

One of my inspirations in Jessica Xuan

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

Work smarter not necessarily harder

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’m usually doing school so I can work on graduating early!

 

Q&A With American Ballerina Hannah MacLeod

I recently had the chance to ask Hannah MacLeod some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Hannah is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with incredible poise and grace, her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I did a year of pre-dance when I was 4, but stopped until I was 9. Then I did not dance seriously (more than two days a week) until I was 13. I began training with the goal of a career in mind when I was 14.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently training with the Manassas Ballet Academy, and I have attended the American Ballet Theatre (ABT)’s summer programs in California and New York City.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Since I was 11 and a half, so about 5 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Bloch Suprimas.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom originally placed me in pre-dance, but took Meyer out after a year because she didn’t think I would like it long term. When I was 6 I got to see the Washington Ballet perform The Nutcracker at The Kennedy Centre, and my biggest dream became performing in the Nutcracker. I begged my mom for three more years to put me back into ballet for that reason alone!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I absolutely love the Esmeralda variation! I performed it for YAGP last year and it was so much fun 🙂

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Some of my favorite companies include ABT, Houston Ballet, and Washington Ballet, but I haven’t decided on any particular company yet. When I’m old enough to audition, I’ll try for different companies of all sizes and see if someone will hire me 🙂

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

It’s so hard to choose, but my favorite memory is probably the first time I was told that I’m talented. Teachers tended to ignore me because I danced so little until I was older, and no one had ever told me I was good at ballet, so I naturally didn’t think I was. By age 14 I was strongly considering quitting. But one of my teachers asked to coach me and told me that he thought I was very talented and could even become a professional one day (which I was totally shocked to hear), and since he began to coach me I haven’t looked back!

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

Misty Copeland, Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, Tiler Peck, and Sara Mearns.

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

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Always strive to be the hardest worker in the room.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer a classical tutu, but it’s still a very hard choice!

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

I love makeup and fashion!! I love shopping, watching makeup videos, and playing around with clothes in my closet to see what kinds of outfits I can make. I also looooove tea and coffee and could drink them all day long!

Q&A With Ballerina Julia Conway

I recently had the chance to ask Julia Conway some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Julia is a phenomenal ballerina. She graces the stage with incredible poise and elegance, her passion and love for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started with baby ballet when I was about 3 years old. But I began more serious lessons when I was 9.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I’m currently with the English National Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I went on pointe when I was 9 years old. I’m now 18, so it has been about 9 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear freed classic pros.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Growing up in London, my mother always took me to see the Royal ballet and English National Ballet. I always pictured myself onstage like the beautiful dancers I watched.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

There are so many beautiful variations. Of the ones I have danced, I really like Aurora act 1.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I’m so lucky to be working in a company that I love. English National ballet has always been a dream of mine.

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

Dancing bluebird last June was very special for me because it was my first soloist role as a professional

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

I am so inspired by Marianela Nunez and Isabelle Guerin

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

To listen and take corrections while remaining true to my own way of moving and dancing. Not to get lost in what others want.

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 go to museums, go out for meals with friends and play with my cats

Q&A With American Ballerina Charlotte Westman

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

4 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

BalletMet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Almost 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Freed Classic Pro 90 Maker L

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I don’t really know, my mom put me in it and I have done it ever since then

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have so many! But I really like La Fille m’a Gardé and Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for New York City Ballet or San Francisco Ballet

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

I don’t really have one but I do remember when I found out I was going on pointe I was very excited!

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

Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland and Victoria Jaiani and April Daily from Joffrey Ballet

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

Probably just to get out of my comfort zone and really go for it!

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love both so much I can’t decide!

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

I like to draw and take pictures

Q&A With American Ballerina Jenny Colavito

I recently had the opportunity to ask Jenny Colavito some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Jenny is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion and dedication for ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 5 so a little over 10 years now

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance in Maine at Thomas School of Dance and for the pre-professional ballet company Bangor Ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on Pointe for 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear custom Freeds by A maker

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I started ballet just like most 5 year olds in a combination tap/ ballet class. Around 7 I was moved into a level two class, it’s funny for a couple of years I wanted nothing to do with ballet, but my oldest sister had a dancer friend that told me to stick with it and that everything would click. She was right and I can’t imagine a day going by without dancing ballet.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favorite variation, ooh gosh that’s a tough one, there are so many. I really like a lot of variations from Bayadere I don’t think I can pick just one!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I just want to dance! I’m 5’10” so a tall girl company. Maybe Ballet West, or PNB, or Nederland there are so many. Alonzo Lines is pretty cool too.

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

Favorite memory would be when I was given my first pointe role in the company, I was 11 and was a Flamingo in Alice. I also should have mentioned that my most recent memorable moment was participating at YAGP for the first time and making it into the top 12 at Chicago for classical. I’m looking forward to participating again this year

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

My ballet role models would be my very first instructor Ivy Clear, she has inspired all of her students and has given me the solid technical foundation that I have today. She was one of the very first company members of the original Joffrey Ballet.

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

Best advice, “If you rest, you rust” as well as “dance for yourself first and the rest will follow”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical there is nothing prettier than a beautiful pancake tutu!!

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

In my free time I love to go to our camp and fish and swim. I also like to teach younger kids, it’s really rewarding to be able to give back. I also like to draw, play the piano and hang out with my friends