Tag: Canada

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Skylar Bainard

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 12 (kinda late)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance in Toronto

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

Been en pointe for 4 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Gaynor Minden!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I was actually picking between singing and dancing lessons, out of the blew I just decided to go for dance😂 I’ve been dancing and choreographing for as long as I can remember though, always putting on “shows”!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is Gamzatti act 2 variation from La Bayadere!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

There are so many amazing companies I’d love to work for! But in regards to my favourite companies that would have to be “National Ballet of Canada”, “Dutch National Ballet” and “Australian Ballet Theatre”!

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

I gain new favourite memories everyday! But a memorable one has to be winning first place contemporary at YAGP Toronto!

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

I’m very inspired by Maria Alexandrova from Bolshoi Theatre, she is such a passionate and strong dancer. I also love Natalia Osipova, she truely gives everything in her performances. And Jurgita Dronina has to be another one of my favourites she always looks so confident on stage!

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

From a teacher I had at Bolshoi, “ we dance because of our passion” this reminded me why I started in the first place 💃🏻

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical tutus! They really make me feel like a true ballerina!

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

In my free time I actually like to continue to work on my body, I love going for runs, doing yoga, stretching! But I also like cooking up new recipes, reading, journaling, and a lil Netflix and YouTube 😏!

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Victoria Wardell

I had the chance recently to ask Victoia Wardell some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Victoria is an excellent dancer, she graces the stage wtih real poise and grace, her passion and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

Technically, I began dancing when I was six, but I didn’t start focusing or working hard at ballet until I was about eleven. Before that, ballet was really just something I did for fun after school.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at The School of Cadence Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe since I was twelve, so five years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Grishko Maya’s and I absolutely love them.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

By always dancing down the sidewalk even before the age of two, causing my mother to decide to put me in dance classes 😉

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

There’s so many to choose from! Although I would have to say that I absolutely love Raymonda, the dream variation in act 2.

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Teatro alla Scala is my dream company.

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

I have so many it’s hard to choose. Probably the feeling after New York finals at YAGP, just because afterwards I came off the stage and I was shaking from emotion, I was so into the character and I really just danced for myself, not for anyone else. It had been awhile since I felt that.

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

Marianela Nunez as well as Evgenia Obraztsova are two of my favourites, but honestly there are so many gorgeous dancers out there, and they are all inspiring in different ways.

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

“Don’t worry about the fact that you have to do the turns, before you actually do the turns, just do them and then work with what you have.” Although this particular quote applies to turns, I have taken it with me into every step. I often over think things to the point that I mess them up just because I’m thinking so hard about doing it right, so this really helps me get past that.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Honestly, I like both. Romantic tutus have a softer look and are often more peasant related, whereas classical tutus are often princess like and delicate but in a very different way then romantic tutus, so I like them both for different reasons.

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

I love reading and talking with friends. But most of my spare time I spend with Katie, my adorable 8 year old sister.

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Marsden Cousins

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 2 but seriously doing ballet at age 10

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I dance at Edge Studios in their pre professional program

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been on pointe for 3.5 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Freed pointe shoes (triangle or anchor makers)

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I got seriously involved in ballet when I was 10 and my ballet teacher encouraged me to audition for summer schools

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I have a few favourites but I will say Paquita variation #11 and Talisman

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company would be the Marinsky or any company in Europe

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

This past summer when I attended Paris Opera ballet school, Princess Grace academy, and royal ballet school summer intensives would have to be my favourite memory. This summer was an amazing experience and I learned so much and will remember it for ever. One other amazing moment was having privates with Leonid Sarafanov and taking his class

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

One ballet dancer that really inspires me is Olesya Novikova she is such a beautiful dancer and artist and I really hope I can watch her in person one day.

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

My teachers always tell me not to compare myself to others which I think has been some of the best advice they have given me. They tell me to worry about myself and what I am doing and not compare myself to the people around me.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I prefer classical tutu but also find romantic tutus very beautiful.

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

When I’m not dancing I am either sleeping or watching Netflix and recently I have been reading during my free time.

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Gracie Smith

I recently had the chance to ask Gracie Smith some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Gracie is a phenomenal dancer, she graces the stage with excellent poise and grace, her passion and love for ballet is amazing. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was almost 2.

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I will be dancing at I.D.A this season. Ballet school.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

4 years en pointe.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear 3 brands, Gaynors, Russians, Freeds

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

When I was a baby any time music started I would stop what I was doing and move to the music so my mom put me in dance just before I turned 2 years old.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

Swan Lake – Odette Variation

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

The Royal Ballet in London

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

I have many but one of the most fave memories is after dancing my first variation solo recieving a high score and judge’s award.

Q9: Who are your balle troles models? Dancers that inspire you.

Dusty Button, Margot Fonteyn, my teachers also really inspire me.

 

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

Stay true to yourself, dance for you.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

I love both but romantic tutus are so beautiful!

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

I am learning to be make-up artist. I love to sketch, I like to design costume, I love photography and have started learning yoga so I can become a yoga instructor later.

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Helayna Szentmiklossy

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

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 6 years old, but I didn’t really start taking ballet seriously until I was 16. (I’m 17 now)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently dance at H/W School of Ballet.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe when I was 12 years old.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Freeds. I am currently just getting trials and seeing what I like and don’t like.

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My twin sister has always loved ballet. So I started ballet because of her!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I love the Nikiya death scene variation or Diana acteon variation. Q7: I honestly don’t even know! There’s so many companies that I would love to be in!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t really have a specific favourite memory. I just love the feeling when I get to be on stage doing what I love.

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

I have so many role models. Some include: Isabella Boylston, Darcy Bussell, Sara Mearns, Sarah Lamb, Tyler Peck and obviously Svetlana Zakharova. But honestly I am inspired by everyone around me day to day rather it’s my peers or teachers they always keep me going and wanting to work harder than I did the day before!

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

I have so many role models. Some include: Isabella Boylston, Darcy Bussell, Sara Mearns, Sarah Lamb, Tyler Peck and obviously Svetlana Zakharova. But honestly I am inspired by everyone around me day to day rather it’s my peers or teachers they always keep me going and wanting to work harder than I did the day before!

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

The best advice I ever got from a teacher was to just be yourself when you’re dancing. It made dancing so much more fun and enjoyable for me when I starting really expressing who I was while I was dancing.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic!

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

I honestly don’t have a lot of free time when I’m not dancing or doing homework, but if I do I usually like to spend time with my friends and family.

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Justine Christoff

I recently had the pleasure of asking Justine Christoff some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Justine is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with poise and elegance. Her passion and love for ballet is unmatched. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started when I was 3 years old but this year is my first year doing the full time program at the school of cadence ballet

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

The School Of Cadence Ballet!!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on point for three years now

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Gaynor Minden point shoes and I absolutely love them😍

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

How I first got involved in ballet is when I first told my mom when I was about 5 years old and I have been discovering a bunch of different dance schools but then I went to the summer intensive at the school of cadence ballet and instantly I fell in love with ballet

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is flames of Paris and Diana and Actaeon because I love to jump on point so much because every time I jump on point I feel like I can really show my love and passion for dance and really express that

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

The 2 top companies that I would love to dance for in my profession ballet Career are Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Paris Opera Ballet because I have always been amazed by how these two ballet companies produce their shows and all of the amazing dancers which I want to become like them if I really work hard as a professional dancer

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

My favourite memory is when I went to class and I felt like I really understood what my teacher Ms Courtnae Bowman was talking about and how to have proper technic and alignment and that today forward I can really put my heart and soul in what I do and go further each day

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

Victoria Wardell is one of my inspirations because she is so   breathtaking to watch and her technique is outstanding and you can really tell when she is dancing

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

Best advice that I got from a teacher is from Tyler Angell, “Contemporary isn’t just poses and positions but theirs movement Quality in everything you do “

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Both classical and romantic tutus because they both represent what the music is like and how you feel

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

I don’t often have free time to myself but when I do I love to listen to music and just relax because I love to really get in to what the song is about

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Anna Turkington

I recently had the chance to ask Anna Turkington some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Anna is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise, strength and beauty. Her passion and dedication for ballet is unmatched. Below are her answers.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

This past year was my second full year of professional ballet training. I did various forms of dancing beforehand (i.e acro, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, lyrical, music classes, and singing)

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I am currently attending The Rock School For Dance Education (@rockschooldance)

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I have been en pointe for nearly two years.

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

The pointe shoes I am currently wearing are the “Bloch Eurostretches”. I love them!!

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I had first got involved in the world of ballet by testing out a summer intensive in the year of 2016. At first, I hated it!! But after a week, I fell in absolute love with it! From that pointe (haha, POINTE!!) forward, I knew that ballet was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

To be honest, I love all variations in their own unique way. I love Paquita variations for their fun style/sass. I love Tripod variation for its speed and musicality. I love Diana and Actaeon for its challenges and Esmeralda for its style and footwork! This list could go forever!!

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I don’t have a particular preference in companies just yet, but I do love ABT and The National Ballet of Canada. All companies are great in their own ways, but it mainly depends on which companies accept me when the time comes!

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

Every moment in ballet is special to me!

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

All professional ballerinas give me inspiration to do what I do. They all seem to amaze me, and are all incredibly talented! Tyler Peck and Iana Salenko are two of my favourites, if I had to choose. But really, I love all professional ballerinas in their own unique ways.

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

The best advice I have received from a teacher would be to lift out of your spine and root your feet! I know that is a correction rather than a word of advice, but it really really helps.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Hmm, that’s a tough one… My answer would have to be both! Both classical and romantic tutus are great. They both supply a dancer a different feeling/style.

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

When I am not dancing, I am mainly doing homework tbh! But if I’m not dancing, or doing schoolwork, or sleeping, or eating, I LOVE going for walks, taking artsy pictures, creating neat recipes, art, FISHINGGGG, making furniture out of fallen trees, winning board games (I am very competitive…), boating, SHOPPING OMG, and hanging with friends. Safe to say, I like a lot of things!!

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Sophie Poulain

 

I had the opportunity recently to ask Sophie Poulain some questions about her amazing journey as a ballerina. Sophie is an incredible dancer, she takes to the stage with poise and grace and dances so elegantly. Her dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was three years old but I only started taking it seriously about 1.5 – 2 years ago!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I currently don’t belong to any studio or school. My coach Jane Wooding (formerly of Canada’s National Ballet School) coaches me privately 6 days a week.

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe when I was 13 so 3 years ago!

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Russian Pointe Bravas (and love them!!)

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

It sounds cheesy but when I was younger I ADORED ballet and I basically lived in a pink leotard and ballet shoes haha! I started taking classes and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

I don’t think I have one specific variation that sticks out but right now I really love a few variations from Raymonda; they’re technically demanding but also extremely artistically demanding which makes them wonderful to work on ❤️

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

The Paris Opera Ballet is definitely my dream company! Another big one would be the Mariinsky Theatre. I really love the repertoire of both of those companies right now and they both have such a rich history! I think that gives them a certain character that you don’t get with newer American companies.

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

I was lucky enough to compete at YAGP finals this year in New York this year and it was definitely unforgettable! It was great to take classes with teachers from all over the world and also to meet so many other dancers who share a common goal!

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

Olga Smirnova is a huge inspiration! I love everything she does and I really look up to her as an artist.

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

One of my teachers told me, before going into an audition pick 5 things that you feel confident about (whether it’s your turns or your feet or your ballon) and focus on those 5 things instead of focusing on what you think you can’t do or that you aren’t as good at.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Depends on what I’m dancing haha!!

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

I don’t have a ton of free time outside of school and dance but I love playing piano and cooking! I’m a pretty creative person so really anything that I can be creative with, I like doing!

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Katherine Kanada

I recently had the chance to ask Katherine Kanada some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Katherine is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with poise and beauty. Her passion and love for ballet is incredible. Below are her answers

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started dancing when I was 15 years old

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I just recently graduated from Victoria Academy of ballet

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I’ve been on pointe for 4 and 1/2 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Grishko miracles

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

I’ve always loved dance/ballet ever since I was young, and so badly wanted to take classes, but financially it was hard to pay for it, and part of my family didn’t support me. I would always look up how to videos on YouTube, like how to pirouette or fouetté, and id always be dancing around In my living room. I had moved to AZ, and I was struggling to fit in at school, so one of my aunts decided she’d like to support and put me into dance classes 🙂 and that’s how it started~

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is raymonda (the clap variation)

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

Honestly, any company!

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

Every moment was my favourite. Just spending each and everyday with all my friends was such a blessing. Also one of my favourite moment is sharing the stage and performing along side them.

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

The people who inspire me are of course my teachers and peers. But dancers who inspire me Marianela Nunez, Misty Copeland, Maria Kochetkova and Steven MacRae

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

The best advice I’ve gotten from a teacher was to have courage, to be fearless and confident in whatever I do in life, dance related or not

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical!

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

I loooove going to the beach or doing anything outdoors! I’m such a nature person. I also enjoy going out for coffee or brunch with my friends

Q&A With Canadian Ballerina Breanna Ianiero

I had the pleasure recently to ask Breanna Ianiero some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Breanna is an amazing dancer, she graces the stage with real poise and beauty. Her passion and dedication for ballet is incredible. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

Started ballet when I was 5 at my local dance studio

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I just graduated from the dance program at George Brown College in Toronto

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe when I was 11, so it’s been 11 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I currently wear Freed Studio’s

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My mom signed me up not sure if I was going to like it but it quickly became my favourite

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is probably Gamzatti’s variation from La Bayadere. I love all the jumps and turns

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

My dream company would probably be the Royal Ballet in London

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

I think my favourite memory was performing at YAGP for the first time a few years ago in Boston

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

My ballet role models are Marianela Nunez and Misty Copeland. There’s so many more but these two really stand out to me

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

My teacher believed in me when even I didn’t. He pushed me harder than I thought I could go and I ended up gaining confidence and I learned so many things. It’s hard to narrow down to just one thing. He taught me to dance with power and strength.

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Classical all the way

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

I love singing/playing guitar, hanging out with friends, and Netflix of course