Tag: Arabesque

Q&A With American Ballerina Olivia Hansen

I had the opportunity to one of my favourite dancers on Instagram, Olivia Hansen some questions about her life as a ballerina. She is an incredibly stunning dancer who gracefully dances across the stage with a high level of commitment and dedication to ballet. She dances faultless and effortlessly, she has a love for ballet that is unmatched and undoubtedly will strive to be the best dancer she can be.

Instagram: olivia.eve.hansen

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 3 years old and started focusing on ballet specifically and intensely when I was 9.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

Currently I dance with my teacher George Birkadze, a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia. For the past 2 months I have been taking open classes and privates with George. I also studied with Katya Strelnakova about 3 months ago. She is a graduate of the Perm Ballet School.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for about 5 years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Currently I am using Grishko pointe shoes and also Freed of London pointe shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mother danced when she was a child. She did ballet up until I was 4 years old. She did not do ballet professionally but loved the art form.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation would have to be either Giselle act I, Laurencia Act I or Don Quixote.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company would be Houston Ballet or Boston Ballet.

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

One of the most memorable moments for me would have to be performing the white swan pas de deux from Swan Lake. It’s is so technically and emotionally demanding as well as being a very long piece. I love being able to portray the white swan and develop Odette’s complex character.

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

My ballet role models are Ashley Ellis, Miss Kuranaga and Natalia Osipova.

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

The best advice I have ever received from a teacher was from my teacher George Birkadze. He told me that you have to believe in what you are doing, believe in yourself and the movement will come.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

In my very small amount of free time, I play the ukulele and I like to watch movies while I stretch. In the summer time I like to sail and surf. Other than that, I like to hang out with my friends

Q&A With American Ballerina Holly Munns

I had the chance to ask my Facebook friend Holly Munns some questions in regard to her journey as a ballerina. She is such wonderful dancer, so elegantly owning the stage with perfect technique. Plus she’s a kind and courteous person. Her love for ballet is immense and one day without a doubt Holly will fur-full her Ballet dreams.

Instagram: dancerschmoosh

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 4, but I didn’t get serious about it until I was 13. Meaning it was just a hobby at first.

Q2: Where do you currently dance? 

I danced with Nashville Ballet for two years in their Trainee program. Now, I’m looking at Ballet Palm Beach.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for? 

I have been on pointe for about six years now. I stared late, at age 13, when many dancers begin pointe around 9-11.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Suffolks spotlight pointe shoe. I started pointe with Grishkos 2004.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I don’t remember exactly how, but my mom tells me I watched dance shows growing up (like Annie) and I asked if I could start it. I took the beginner ballet/Tao class and I just fell in love with everything about it.

Q6: What is your favourite variation? 

This is a hard question. I love many variations and have yet to see/do one that I didn’t like. They are all so unique and different with their own difficulties. My favourite ballet is Sleeping Beauty and my dream role is to dance Aurora.

Q7: What company would you love to work for? 

I would love to dance professionally with Nashville Ballet. I love the way the company moves and how they are so invested in what they do. I love that the company is strong in both classical and contemporary ballet.

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

Growing up you have teachers tell you corrections over and over, but one of the best moments in class is when it clicks. You finally understand what previous teachers and current teachers want. I also love the feeling of flying in ballet. I love jumping and traveling, so taking up space really makes you feel like you are flying through the air. My favourite memory was getting my first pair of pointe shoes.

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

There are many dancers that I look up to, some at Nashville Ballet and some off YouTube. Three dancers I look up to are Misty Copeland, Michaela DePrince, and Alicia Alonso. There are many more dancers that inspire me, some even my own classmates. However, these three women stick out to me. They are fighters and believers for themselves, it was a struggle to reach their dream but they made it. They are beautiful dancers with great power and integrity.

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

One of my favourite quotes is from my teacher at Nashville Ballet, Ms. Koenig said, “You have to think of the titanic. Beautiful on the top with a fiery engine on the bottom. No matter what is going on with the legs, the top must remain calm.”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Most people relate ballet to the classical tutus, but the romantic truths are pretty with their own statement. Gisele would look different with classical tutus and wouldn’t get the same feeling that romantic tutus give. I like both tutus, they both make me feel pretty and ready for stage.

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

I like to stay busy, so I am usually working or taking classes at college. Staying busy keeps me focused, but it damages my mental health. I am taking the next year to find more stress relief and relaxation methods so I can become a better me and dancer. I love photography and writing. I’m terrible at painting but it’s fun to do. I’m always up to try new things, I’d consider myself an adventurous person.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Elisabeth Wenta

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask outstanding Australian dancer Elisabeth Wenta who currently is dancing at Washington Ballet in the USA. Elisabeth is an incredible dancer who graces a stage so wonderfully. Her poise and grace is unparalleled. Elisabeth has an incredibly bright future in ballet. Her passion for ballet is infectious. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 6 years old but begged to start earlier. I was allowed to start when I started school.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I’m currently in my last semester at the Washington School of Ballet in the Pre-Professional Program but am soon going back to train at Premiere Elite over the break.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe work at 11.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Energetiks, Almaz and have for the past 3 years.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I first got involved by watching tv shows growing up like Angelina Ballerina and I begged my mum to start, also my mum was previously a ballet dancer and is now a ballet teacher.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have a couple favourites, I love Esmeralda, The 3rd Odalisque solo from Le Corsaire, the Pas D’esclave also from Le Corsaire and the Odile black swan variation.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for Queensland Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Orlando Ballet, but in general I would just love to work and dance.

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

Dancing twice, over in New Zealand at the Alana Haines Awards was pretty memorable and special, and also the week before I moved over to America I completed my solo seal exam and didn’t know that I had gotten my solo seal until months later whilst I was overseas, that was special as it was my last RAD ballet exam to complete all of them and I was quite nervous and stressed about it.

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

My teacher Miss Sara (Sara Moore) has inspired me since I started having her at age 12, and still does and I’m so excited to go back to see her. She continually pushes me and brings out the best in me. I love watching Esmiana Jani, who is a company dancer here at the Washington ballet, I love the way she dances. Also, Iana Salenko … she has the most incredible lines and fluidity and still has such beautiful artistry.

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

From Miss Sara and Miss Kahlia back at home have always said that if you’re not working hard than someone else is working harder which is so true and has always pushed me, and also from Miss Gaither (Elizabeth Gaither) here in Washington has told our class that we need to treat every day in the studio like it’s our last because we don’t know what could happen, a bad injury or anything, so it could be.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer a classical tutu, although in Giselle I think the simple romantic tutus are beautiful.

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

In my free time I love to swim! Or if possible go to the beach, I love preparing my food and cooking and I love spending time with my friends, besides ballet my friends make me the happiest.

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Imogen Wallace

I had the opportunity to ask the magnificent Australian dancer Imogen Wallace some questions about her experiences in ballet. She is a wonderful dancer who dances so elegantly on stage and the level of dedication to dance and ballet is unparalleled and graces the stage so exquisitely. Below are her outstanding responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was about 10 but started taking it seriously at 14,

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at Rogerson Elite Classical Training

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for about 3 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

The shoes I am currently wearing are Bloch and the style Concerta.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum put me in my first dance class which was jazz, I then started contemporary and soon my dance school decided to start a RAD ballet class and have done it ever since, I started to take it seriously once I moved to Rogersons.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is definitely Aurora act 3 I have never done it but it’s so beautiful when done well haha

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

As I’m an aspiring contemporary dancer Netherlands dans theatre would be my dream company, Scottish dance theatre or Sydney dance company.

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

Nothing specific I can remember but I love watching old videos of myself dancing and seeing how far I’ve come, it’s so rewarding seeing the hard work pay off.

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

I love Misty Copeland and Violetta Komyshan, they have a mature and elegant look about them and are both very athletic, they aren’t the stereotypical ballet dancer which I love, as well as being down to earth, I think its hard to find dancers who not only dance but live their own life and inspire others.

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

The best advise I have ever been told was by a dancer from Australian Dance Theatre while I was there for a secondment week in the April just past, he told me to “live as much life as I can and keep getting experience, grow your mind as well as your body, no one wants an uneducated dancer” and I couldn’t agree more.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic tutu for sure, so elegant.

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

I love making healthy raw desserts when I’m not dancing and watching Netflix

Q&A With American Ballerina Rory Kathryn Myers

Recently I asked my followers on Instagram if they would like to partake in a Q&A, Rory Kathryn Myers responded with excitement and I happily asked her questions about her journey in ballet. Rory is a phenomenal dancer with such dedication to ballet and incredible poise and confidence. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

So long ago I can’t remember…. Though I didn’t start dancing seriously until I was 8 or 9ish.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

International Ballet Theater Academy

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Seven years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

Gaynor Mindens!!!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

Mommor (my grandma) took me and a friend of mine to a mommy and me ballet class

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

There’s so many, and it changes depending on my mood. I love watching rare variations. My current favorite is Nikia’s death scene. It’s so beautiful and tragic, as well as tecnically challenging, and this makes it such a difficult role.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for any ballet company! I especially like Boston Ballet. Misa Kuranaga and Larrisa Ponomarenko are my role models.

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

My favourite ballet memory would have to be my debut as Sugar Plum Fairy last Nutcracker. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to partner with a principal dancer from the Armenian National Ballet. My mom and I also redecorated her old tutu for me to wear. It was definitely something I will never forget.

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

Larissa Ponomarenko, Misa Kuranaga, Nina Ananashvilli, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Olesya Novikova, Natalia Osipova, Anna Nikulina, Evgenia Obraztsova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Ekaterina Shipulina, Michaela DePrince, Evelina Godunova, and many more

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

Feel confident and embody your role, then nobody will notice if you mess up a little or don’t have perfect technique

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Pancake/Classical tutu

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

When I’m not dancing, you will always find me either reading or horseback riding and occasionally babysitting

Q&A With Australian Ballerina Paris Doyle

I had the opportunity to ask Paris Doyle some questions about her experiences as a ballet dancer. She is a phenomenal dancer who continues to strive for greatness, she’s such an elegant dancer poise and grace. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started when I was 4

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I’m currently dancing at Melbourne City Ballet

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’m currently wearing Bloch European Balance ( I’ve recently changed to them, I think they’re the ones)

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mum put me into ballet classes because I used to prance around the house all the time

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Grand pas classique

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for the National Ballet of Canada, or the Scottish Ballet

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

The first time I ever performed a full length ballet, it really set in stone for me just how much I loved to dance

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

I’m really inspired by Lucia Lacarra, her movement fluidity and lines are dreamy! Also Natalia Osipova, she is flawless!

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

Quality will always be more valuable then quantity, so take it slowly and perfect the smaller steps before leaping into the more complicated compilations.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Definitely classical

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

I love too go to yoga and let my mind relax but I also love to spend time with my friends and family whether it be at home or out shopping

Q&A With British Ballet Dancer Ella Hicks

I recently had the chance to ask Ella Hicks from Britain some questions about her journey as an aspiring ballet dancer. She is a wonderful dancer and her photos are amazing. Below are her responses.

Instagram: ella_enpointe

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dance at 4 but only proper ballet at 9 when I was accepted as  a Royal Ballet School Junior Associate

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I train at The Hammond which is a full time vocational dance boarding school in the UK

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been enpointe since I was 10, so for 5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko Dreampointe. I live Grishko shoes, my first pair were Grishko Pro Flex 2007 and this year I was lucky enough to be selected as an ambassador for the company.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I loved to dance as a small child so my Mum sent me to the local dance school where the teacher thought I had potential.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I don’t really have a favourite, there are so many that I love to watch, it’s too hard to choose!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I really love to act as well as dance so the company I would most enjoy working for would be Matthew Bournes New Adventures, I love their productions so much!

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

Being accepted to train at The Hammond with a full scholarship must be one of my best memories, I have been there since I was 11!

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

My inspirations are Dusty Button, as she is so incredibly strong and Iana Salenko who is just awesome.

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

Always treat corrections as a compliment, it means your teachers believe you can improve

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical every time!

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

I really love to sing and I’m teaching myself to play piano. I’m also a bit of a rollercoaster junkie! 😊😂

Q&A With Incredible Australian Ballet Superstar Audrey Freeman

I had the opportunity to pose some questions to Australian ballet sensation Audrey Freeman. Audrey is a phenomenal dancer who gracefully owns a stage when on it and is an incredible and elegant dancer. The 14 year old’s determination is unparalleled and her desire to achieve her goals will never be stopped. Audrey previously split her time between the stage and the carpet as a rhythmic gymnast however recently decided to devote all of her time to ballet. She is a kind, considerate and thoughtful person.  Audrey recently gained the opportunity to move to the UK for further her development as a ballerina. She is a 2 time YAGP gold medal winner, Prix de lausanne candidate and also a Genee challenge winner.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet at 3 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at Tanya Pearson Academy

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Since I was 10

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Capezio Donatella

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

For physical activity

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is Gamzatti

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

The Royal Ballet

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

When I won the Youth American Grand Prix

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

Svetlana Zakharova, Marianela Nunez & Iana Salenko

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

“Be Audrey”

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutu

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

Pilates, cooking & movies x

Q&A With American Ballerina Grace Phillips

Today I had the opportunity to ask one of my favourite Instagramers and dancers, Grace Phillips some questions about her journey as a dancer, below are her responses.

She is an incredibly kind and thoughtful person and its been a joy watching her grow as a dancer, all of her photos on Instagram are stunning. Continue to follow your dreams Grace, always striving for the best. I’ll always be there supporting you.

Instagram: Grace Phillips

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started Ballet when I was three years old.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at San Luis Obispo Movement Arts Center. Also known as SLOMAC. I am in their pre professional company.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been dancing en Pointe for three years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I am currently wearing Suffolk pointe shoes.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mother took me to my first class. It was a tap and ballet combo class.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Choosing a favorite would be hard but I would have to say something from Don Quixote, Coppelia or Le Corsaire.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I would love to work for a contemporary ballet company’s such as Alonzo King Lines.

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

I would have to say my favorite memory dance has provided me is summer Intensive because you get to travel to new places and meet so many new friends.

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

Beckanne Sisk and Justin Peck

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

Enjoy the process.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I like classical tutus more

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

Watch movies, cook and sleep!

Photos Courtesy of Grace’s Instagram

 

Ballerina in Focus: Mattison Bedinghaus

Watching someone overcome adversity is definitely inspiring and uplifting. My very good friend Mattison Bedinghaus is a great example of this. No matter the obstacle, Mattison made sure nothing held her back from achieving her goals.

Our friendship starts in 2015, from first messaging her on Facebook, it become obvious very quickly that she wasn’t like any normal dancer on Facebook, Mattison was a kind, considerate, strong minded and determined person and this was the first thing that was apparent when speaking to her. Our friendship continued to flourish over the years since. Mattison joyfully received a parcel from me with a few typical Australian things which was a total surprise to her.

Mattison began ballet at a young age and very quickly set her sights on her goals of being a professional dancer, with guidance from her incredibly knowledgeable mother, Treva, Mattison’s talents, determination and love for ballet became infectious. The joy that Mattison gets from being on stage is wonderful. From leaping across the stage to effortless pirouettes and pointe work, Mattison is an incredible dancer.

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Mattison continued to flourish as a dancer but then came a situation that would take everything she had to battle through, Mattison sustained an injury that sidelined her from the studio and stage for almost a year. Throughout this time, she never lost sight on what her ultimate goal was, to sign a contract with a professional ballet company. With encouragement and support from her amazing friends and family, Mattison made a recover and returned to ballet.

As an admirer of her strength and determination, it was a joyous occasion when Mattison fully recovered from her injury and once again put the pointe shoes and tutu back on and stepped back into her domain. Ballet is Mattison’s number one passion, she lives and breathes it, and this is an astonishing quality Mattison has. Nothing ever will get in between her and her goal. Her drive and passion is astounding and is something anyone facing obstacles can look up to.

Mattison recently had the opportunity to sign a contact with Sarasota Ballet in Florida for the 2017/18 season, she had been able to realise her goal of being a ballet dancer. With this accomplishment, the amount of unwavering amount of support for Mattison continued to grow. Her dedication to ballet led to her completing her schooling ahead of time with fantastic results. Ballet flows through her veins and the joy she conveys to anyone watching her is awe inspiring and profound.

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It is a pleasure to call Mattison one of my good friends even if she is so far away. She is such a kind, compassionate, courteous and thoughtful person. Watching her continue to grow as a dancer makes me happy and talking to her is a delight. I hope to watch Mattison dance in person one day and no doubt she’ll gracefully own the stage like she always does. Mattison will no doubt continue to grow as a dancer and strive to reach her goals regardless of any setback that may arise. There is nobody more graceful on the stage than Mattison. She always works incredibly hard, never gives up and always continues to improve and amaze people with what she does.