I had the opportunity recently to ask Evelyn Borden some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. Evelyn is a phenomenal dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and elegance, her passion and dedication to ballet is incredible, below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started a dancing class before I turned 2 years old.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I train at the Art of Classical Ballet under the direction of Magaly Suarez. She is such an amazing and wise world renowned teacher! All the teachers there are so helpful and amazing!
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I started pointe at 10 years old. So 6 years of pointe.
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I wear Grishko 2007 pointe shoes.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My grandfather was a professional dancer and worked on Broadway in a movie. He and his twin brother were a tap dance and singing act called, “The Blackburn Twins”. He always told us that we needed “good ballet classes and a good ballet school”. When I started pointe, I fell in love with ballet and started to understand what he meant. I had a great teacher named Viky Smith and she helped me believe in myself. She told me that I had the potential for ballet and coached me more. I added more Ballet classes and wanted even more. My studio at the time gave me a love and passion for all forms of dance, then I left to train at a ballet school focused mostly on technique and unique concert contemporary. I fell in love even more with ballet technique and learned so much.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favorite variations are Queen of the Dryads from Don Quixote and Raymonda Clap variation. I’ve done both for competitions and it was an honor and dream to study them. Both are strong and elegant variations.
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
I would love to work for Ballet West or Pacific Northwest Ballet. I admire tall, strong and beautiful dancers in those companies. I am a tall ballerina and it’s important to find your people to look up to!I am obsessed with the contemporary work at PNB. Contemporary choreographer, Crystal Pite, works with the company and it’s a major dream of mine to dance in one of her pieces.
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favorite memory and moment in ballet is my very first class with Olivier Pardina when I was 11 years old. I knew what ballet really was supposed to be when I took class from him. He is world renowned and is one of the greatest teachers I have ever met. His love and passion for ballet comes out in his teaching. I understood the beauty of ballet through him. He teaches all over the world and I am so happy to always have time to have him for class. I learn so much and my face is sore from smiling in his class as much as my muscles are sore from the hard work.
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My main ballet role models are my teachers. Magaly Suarez is a major role model. She is beautiful when she demonstrates. She is tough but also loves her students so much. I want to be like her when I grow up. As far as current professional dancers, I’d say Allison DeBona of Ballet West. She is beautiful when she dances, intelligent and teaches. She is my height. It’s important to find the dancers to see as a guide for movement quality. I hope to meet her some day!
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
Best advice from a teacher is difficult to say. When you have excellent teachers, every day you get great advice. There’s always something that is memorable!
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Classical! Show the legs!
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
In my free time, I love to cook and I also love to choreograph. I want to share meaningful contemporary dance with a message. My last piece was about social media and the challenges teens face. This was part of a school project and I recruited my sister, Erica Borden, for the piece.