I recently had the chance to ask EmmaRose Forbus some questions about her incredible journey as a ballerina. EmmaRose is a phenomenal ballerina. She graces the stage with incredible poise, grace and elegance. Her passion and dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet thirteen years ago, just after I turned three.
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I am in the Professional Training Program at Houston Ballet Academy. I just completed my second year, and I start my third in August!
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I have been dancing en pointe since October of 2013, so just under five years!
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I started the year off going through a bit of a pointe shoe crisis. I decided to voyage across Houston to find my perfect shoe. I tried on almost every shoe on the market, and finally fell upon Suffolk Stellars. I love wearing them with my PerfectFit Pointe Shoe Inserts for my bunion pain.
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mom decided to enrol me in ballet classes because she was really impressed with her friend’s daughters who danced. She loved how poised and disciplined they were.
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
My favourite variation to perform is La Fille Mal Gardee, act II. It was actually my variation for a couple of competitions in 2016. I am specifically drawn the crisp footwork and sweet, yet energetic personality of Lise. My favourite variation to watch is definitely Giselle, act I. In my opinion, it is one of the hardest variations technically and artistically. It is so satisfying to watch when performed well!
Personally, I struggle with that delicate quality the variation thrives on. I get so excited when a dancer can capture the acting and technical details of the role!
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
It would be a dream come true to work for Houston Ballet, but I will be happy wherever God puts me!
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My most memorable moment has to be rehearsing party scene with just Clara and some of the company in a few Houston Ballet Nutcracker rehearsals. There were about 7 party girls in each cast, but they were all in school when these rehearsal were going on. I was the only party girl out of my level, so I did all of the party girl parts with just Clara! It was the craziest experience ever!
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I am constantly inspired by all of the women of Houston ballet, but I especially look up to Karina Gonzalez Edwards, Tyler Donatelli, and Kiki Hunsberger.
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
“Don’t be your own worst enemy, just dance!” I tend get so caught up in the details and perfectionism of what I’m doing, that I mess up by overthinking. I get so scared of making mistakes, but that fear causes me to make more. Perfection seems to be a huge part of this high pressure world, but I like using the word excellence instead.
I remember that same teacher telling me that she would rather me make a mistake while having fun and letting go, than making a mistake from overanalyzing and overthinking. It’s important to find that balance of excellence and not being too hard on yourself, especially when you feel so much pressure from so many sides. In the end, mistakes are truly what shape us into the people and dancers we are.
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Definitely romantic! My favorite roles to perform are peasant roles. I adore the femininity that comes along with romantic tutus!
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I don’t have much free time with school and weekend performances, but my free time pretty much consists of three things. Swimming, sewing pointe shoes, and eating! On the weekends, you can always find me at the pool! It’s the only way to beat the Houston heat! I’m constantly preparing pointe shoes these days, and It doesn’t help that I have to darn them and three-quarter them too…
On weeknights and weekends, my mom grills out by the pool almost every day. Eating some delicious steak or BBQ chicken is my absolute favorite thing to do with my family! In addition to all of that, quite a bit of my free time is spent driving to the dance store to get pointe shoes, cleaning up my room, and catching up on school. Dancing 35+ hours per week and trying to graduate high school is like juggling two full time jobs! That being said, I’m doing what I love, so it is completely worth it!