I recently had the chance to ask Jasmin Arndt some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Jasmin is an incredible dancer, she graces the stage with poise and grace, her love and dedication for ballet is excellent. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
When I was 5
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
Palucca School in Dresden
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
Since I was 10
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
Freed of London
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My mum had a little dance school and I came with her every time so…
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
Sleeping beauty 3 act
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
Nutcracker at Semperopera was insane to dance had a beautiful time
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
I look up to Melissa Hamilton
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
Breath and enjoy your dancing
Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I like reading, listening to music and I love singing ☺️
I recently had the chance to ask Manushaqe Mücke some questions about her incredible journey as one of the world’s best contortionists. Manushaqe can do some incredible poses and moves such as the marinelli bend. She is one of the only contortionists in the world to shoot a bow and arrow with her feet while holding the marinelli bend. Her passion and love for contortion is phenomenal. She has had opportunities to appear on numerous TV shows showcasing her amazing skills.
If there is ever a Mount Rushmore or Hall of Fame of contortionists, the first name that would come to find in 2018 would have to be Alina Ruppel. This young German woman single handily changed contortion with her natural abilities. She’s even reached the point where a pose/move was named after her because she invented it and is the only person to be able to do it.
A Superstar is found
Alina faced struggles as an infant and a young child, she was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy, with the initial diagnoses was she could possibly be confined to a wheelchair. Movement was a struggle early on however as she grew and got stronger it became less of an issue. Contortion actually helped Alina strengthen her muscles. At the age of 9, Alina’s mother discovered her abilities and began training her. In 2009 Early on in her training, Alina trained under the guidance of legendary German contortion and gymnastics coach Gerd Rasquin and also her mother. At this stage, Alina’s incredible skills were quite apparent and very quickly the Ruppel Backbend was created. To this day, only a handful of contortionists have been able to replicate this move, all to differing results compared to Alina. For it to be a perfect Ruppel Backbend, the legs must be straight with the shoulders through the legs.
Failure leads to success
In 2007 Alina Ruppel auditioned for Das Supertalent (Germany’s got Talent) she was unsuccessful at progressing past the audition however this only spurred her on to continue to improve. In 2013 Alina attended the International Contortion Convention in Germany along with her mother where she performed her cabaret show which wowed audiences and even had the media bending over backwards to talk to her about her insane flexibility.
Eliza is born
In 2015 Alina partnered with Steffen Gunthel where he assisted her with developing her new act called “Eliza” and also developed a website that would rival that of Zlata.de, Flexilady.com where she originally used the alias Malina. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea but there was no denying the website showcased Alina’s extreme flexibility and incredible talent. 2016 saw Alina travel to Las Vegas for the 2016 International Contortion Convention where she performed for those in attendance. Yet again she mesmerised the audience and media with her incredible flexibility and skills, her repertoire had grown to include the Marinelli bend. Alina continued to collaborate with Steffen on the new website, Alina also made a few television appearances in recent years, notably along side Ukrainian contortionist Ruslana Krutas on Dutch TV where they competed against each other. They both appeared in a handful of videos together for Flexilady.com.
In 2017, Alina auditions for Das Supertalent again, this time with her Eliza routine. She got a “Yes” from all three judges and she even received the gold buzzer which sent her straight through to the finals. All of the judges were amazed at her abilities and were near speechless.
Taking over the world one Ruppel BB at a time
2018 saw the departure of Alina from Flexilday.com, due to a personal decision of Alina’s. Thus, meaning the site no longer received new content. Contortion lovers can still marvel at Alina’s incredible abilities by looking through her archival of videos and photos thanks to Steffen. Also, in 2018 Alina travelled to the USA to audition for America’s got Talent. This will go to air sometime in June where she will no doubly raise the eyebrows of the judging panel, Howie Mandel my turn away in fear if any other contortion auditions are to go by. Alina continues to train incredibly hard and still have the title of one of the worlds most flexible people.
Alina’s mother believes it’s important that Alina performs because it’s a gift and her talent should flourish so that people are able to see her and get joy from seeing her beauty with their own eyes.