Feature: Ballet / Pointe - General

Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606 (karma: 1)
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:03 AM
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2013-04-17 11:07:37 fix codes
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2013-04-17 11:12:42 ...
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2013-04-17 11:15:58 -
Edited by webdeadmaster (251) on 2013-04-21 20:25:00 Make feature

Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 – Featuring balletomane0606

DDN Name: balletomane0606
Member Since: December 3, 2012
Age: 12
Years Dancing: 9ish

balletomane0606 is a 12 year old female who has been dancing since she was 3 years old.

Interviewer smileywoman starts the interview:
Hello balletomane0606, I’m DDNer smileywoman and I welcome you to Get the Pointe - DDN ballet interview # 44!!

balletomane0606 replies: Ahahahah! Hello! I am a ninja, and will conquer the world! Mwahahahah…Never mind. :)


The Basics

Q: What are the styles of dance that you study?

A: Only ballet, unfortunately.

Q: Why study more than one style? What do you like about each style?

A: I’d love to be open to different styles, but my homework load and other exams are piling up. :)

Q: Do you prefer classical ballet or modern choreography?

A: I don’t really prefer one over the other. I can’t really do modern/contemporary choreography, but I think it’s a great style and personally much harder to express. It also has more appeal, but I think watching traditional ‘story ballets’ much more fun - especially with my friends. I have this weird thing in which I’ll watch everyone’s reaction during ballets as well, and gauge what they think of ballet in general. There was this SUPER LOVELY contemporary Arabian Coffee dance in the previous Nutcracker I watched in December, it got the most applause. Well, mostly from that reeeeeeally tall man sitting in front of me (pet peeve!).

Q: If someone asked you, "Why Dance?" what would your answer be?

A: I have prepared answers, given to different people:
1) for the cynics: fitness, sport, expression, strengthening, development of creativity, grace and poise, musicality and theatricality.
2) ‘because I’m paranoid’: for the guys who just don’t get it.
3) for me: well, I guess it’s not about why. It’s about the fact that you put in effort, enjoy it and love it (to the extent that I’ve memorised the first row of photos in Google Images when you search “ballet”). I want to enjoy dancing, not thinking about why I’m doing it in the first place. That kind of takes away from the purpose, no? Also, not training 24 ½ hours a week or more doesn’t make you any less passionate.



Memories

Q: How old were you when you began dance? Was ballet your first dance style?

A: I was 3 ½ and it ballet is still my only dance style.

Q: Did your parents make you start dancing? Was your mama a dancer, and did she push you to go further and do better?

A: Well, my non-dancer mother (ahahaha… I just envisioned her dancing and corrupted my mind) just did what every mother does to broaden their child’s mind and sending me to gymnastics, ice skating, art, debate, drama, swimming, ballet, tennis, piano, clarinet etc. was part of the package. I cried really hard that first day and probably for the next couple of lessons. But then, I got used to it, I guess.

Q: Is there an embarrassing ballet-related moment that you'd like to share?

A: Once, when I was about 9, I was told to hold my friend’s waist for the partnering dance. When the teacher told the other pair to ‘hold her slightly higher up the waist’ I took this as an ‘everybody’ correction and immediately moved my hand way up her body, and the teacher’s reply was: “don’t hold her boob!” Also, every time I talk while waiting for class to start I get told off (really embarrassing). I get really excited and talk really loud.


Class and Training

Q: Describe a typical day in your life.

A: I get up in the morning, at 6:30 (cue much shoving, tickling and whipping off blankets from both parents and angry grunts from sister) and have a shower. I do my hair, and then quickly eat something. From 5-7 hours of school, then lunch, then nap, then snack, then ballet, then work. And at about midnight, SLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.:)

Q: How much time do you dance during the week? (ballet and other dance forms)

A: Just twice a week for technique, then Pilates, and one pointe class.

Q: Do you study Vaganova, Cecchetti or RAD?

A: RAD, ‘cause it’s rad. Well, no. Because that’s what we do at our studio. I just completed RAD 5

Q: How do you prepare for class? (i.e. stretching, conditioning, mental techniques, etc.)

A: Um…drink water, take a nap, talk (usually loudly), and practise like crazy. Mostly stressed-out quizzing of my classmates of ‘how do you do this again?’ because I have really bad memory when it comes to actually doing anything physical. I once forgot how to write in my normal cursive.

Q: How do you prepare your pointe shoes?

A: I still haven’t figured that one out. Mostly bending it like crazy and walking on demi-pointe, with sweaty feet.

Q: What does it mean to you to get corrections in class? And what are the most common corrections you receive?

A: Teacher: shoulders down! Me: *slump* Teacher: Noooooo….*mental faceplant*

As for corrections, I guess it’s just one step closer to being able to a step without thinking, and therefore enjoying it more.


As for corrections, I guess it’s just one step closer to being able to a step without thinking, and therefore enjoying it more.

I LOVE this response from balletomane! It is a mature awareness of the process, particularly coming from a 12 year old student. Bravo!

Q: What's your favourite? Adagio or Allegro and why?

A: Tricky. For allegro, I have to stack up on the snacks beforehand, and get tired before the music even starts; but adagio is SO HARD. It requires skill and balance, neither of which I have.

Q: Do you have a signature step, or one that comes easy to you?

A: Well, yes. The step of “tripping-up-flat-on-your-face” is very natural. Also, I think port de bras is quite quick to come.
Well, yes. The step of “tripping-up-flat-on-your-face” is very natural...

smileywoman reassures balletomane that she’s not alone. Smileywoman practices “falling-up-the-stairs” on a regular basis. Many of us have those moments.

Q: After you've had a bad day, what motivates you to go to class? Does it lift your spirits?

A: Well, after a bad day (read- bad test scores or cliquey girl DRAMZ) I don’t have anything to motivate me. Perhaps the thought of time passing…no, if it’s a BAD day, it usually doesn’t lift my spirits as what’s bad usually takes place IN ballet class.
[h1=yellow]smileywoman gives a virtual hug[/h1]

Q: Have you gone to a Summer Intensive (SI) before?

A: *cries a river* Noooooooooo…

Q: What sort of things do you do at home that help your dancing?

A: I’m just too busy to stretch and practise pointe at home. Believe me, I’ve stuck a mini table on top of my desk and practised pointe while revising and writing on Macbeth. Didn’t work.
I’m just too busy to stretch and practise pointe at home.

Smileywoman doesn’t recommend practicing pointe at home, but does encourage stretching. I have found that some homework can be done while doing some stretching on the floor.

Q: What's in your dance bag?

A: My Character Shoes, Character Skirt, phone…Handbook, list of steps. I already have my iPod, bun, ballet shoes (stick ‘em in Birkenstocks) and leo on. On pointe days: pointes, toe pads, micropore tape.

Q: What was the biggest obstacle that you encountered in ballet and how did you overcome it? How has it helped you become a better dancer?

A: My options in my current studio are limited. When I go to boarding school, I’m hoping that I can become more flexible and increase my dance classes from twice to at least three times a week.

Q: What dance goals are you currently working towards, and what future goals do you have?

A: 1. Do a split. 2. Do a fouette. 3. Get on pointe properly. Those are pretty astronomical already, so I think I’ll start small.

Q: Do you ever get pressured by your studio to look a certain way? Do you disagree with studios that do this?

A: No, because the Smallest Studio in Existence has a lot of different people. And I’m happy. The only annoying thing is that in the building, there are three different ballet schools: mine is located on the 17th floor, two of my friends are on the 8th floor, and another friend is on the top floor. Hmm. Now that gets complicated, especially when people transfer… :)

Q: How many pairs of pointe shoes do you have? What is your favorite brand and style of pointe shoes (and why are they your favorite?)

A: One. Heheh. Grishko 2007s, size 6, one x and soft shank (I’m pretty sure they sold me the brick-hard shank). And when I went to London, I tried on Bloch Sonatas and it was SO MUCH BETTER. I didn’t get them though. Even Grishko 2007 Pro-Flexes which are brand new have a better arch then my 6 month old pointes. GAH.
Grishko 2007s, size 6, one x and soft shank (I’m pretty sure they sold me the brick-hard shank).

Ha, ha!! Yes, I believe most of Grishko’s shanks are “brick-hard.”


Performance

Q: What was your first dance performance and what was your role in it? How old were you?

A: Our teacher choreographs a dance (no theme, no story) to whatever music. That first year was Saint-Saens.

Q: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

A: Jump, hop, jump, hop, talk, gossip, talk about our ‘very first mess-up’ (performance) and shush the little kids.

Q: What is your biggest fear during a performance?

A: I’ll mess up. I’ll hurt someone. And this year, that the straps don’t fall off.

Q: When you are on stage, do you lose yourself in the role (enjoying your experience without worrying about technique) OR are you concentrating on the steps more and overly worried about technique OR do you just say to yourself forget about everything and dance from the 'heart'?

A: In the finale, from the heart. In my dance, actual steps.

Q: What variation would you love to do or inspires you the most?

A: I don’t know if these are “variations” but I want to do the Cygnet dance, or something from the Nutcracker, like Arabian or Coffee.

Q: If you could perform in any ballet in any role, what would it be and why?

A: Oh…this is my question that I requested. I really want to see the Hong Kong Ballet’s Chinese twist on The Frog Prince. It hasn’t debuted yet, but I’d love to dance that because it’s a lovely story ballet, with a Chinese twist!


Philosophical Questions

Q: What sacrifices have you made for ballet?

A: Time. And…my hairline. From all the tight buns :)

Q: What sacrifices has your family made so that you can dance?

A: Nothing. My mama does like cancelling my activities, so she doesn’t need to run around like a chicken. But she encourages me to do what I want. She’s also sacrificing her voice by yelling for me to “get over here right NOW.”

Q: Does dance affect your social life in any way? How? Do your friends understand?

A: Social life? What social life? *looks strangely at the world, because friends are just…there* Nope. Several of the ‘popular’ kids do it, so I’m safe.

Q: If you could meet any dancer, who would it be?

A: Tan Yuan Yuan! or Miko Fogarty.

Q: What do you eventually want to do with ballet? Can you see yourself using it as a springboard to other related careers?

A: Uhhhhhhhhhh…love it? And right now I’m more concerned about finishing the year (counting the days until Summer!) than I am about my career. Will get back to it in about 10 years, I will. :)

Q: Have you ever thought about not doing ballet? What kept you going?

A: NO. What kept me going? Awesome photos of everyone. And emotional videos that made me cry (of the Royal Ballet).

Q: If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre) where would you dance?

A: Antarctica! Just kidding, the Great Wall. THE Great Wall.

Q: What is one tip that you would love to share with other DDNers?

A: That questioning dance is like questioning life. It takes a lot of time, self-doubt and philosophical debates. Do not attempt. And that low self-esteem is a ticket to learning even MORE about you. I know, we all think we’ve memorised every zit.

Q: What would surprise people about you?

A: That I’m not an emotionless freak, a walking talking encyclopaedia, but actually a human.

Q: How does it feel to be featured in Get the Pointe?

A: :D *cheesy grin*


Balletomane’s Questions

Q: Pet peeves?

A: People who come late every lesson. Those who have the tendency to kick you during grand battements because they forget to move back. And the rather low back in my compulsory leo, that makes wearing things underneath rather tricky. :/

Q: Your biggest weakness in ballet?

A: Being untalented.

Q: Your greatest strength in ballet?

A: Being sort of able to block the above answer to oblivion and loving ballet.

Q: Other priorities that take place above ballet?

A: Homework, tests, school. Yup.

Smileywoman’s Aside:
I enjoyed the interview of this charming and perceptive 12 year old ballet student. She had a number of impressively mature responses for one so young, and I particularly want to point out one of her wisdoms that all dancers of all ages and all disciplines would do well to remember.

That questioning dance is like questioning life. It takes a lot of time, self-doubt and philosophical debates. Do not attempt. And that low self-esteem is a ticket to learning even MORE about you. I know, we all think we’ve memorised every zit.


Smileywoman thanks balletomane0606 for an inspirational and charming interview.


Frequently Asked Questions - Get the Pointe Interviews

Q: Where are the archives of published GTP interviews?
A: Go to top of Ballet – General board or click this direct link
Sticky: Get the Pointe – Archives of Dance.net Ballet Interviews.

Q: How to sign up for GTP Interview Consideration?
A: Leave a private message on smileywoman’s DDN profile or keep an eye open for the quarterly sign up on the Ballet – General board.

Q: What is the selection and interview process?
A: The usual sign up is a thread posted on the Ballet – General board to get ballet dancers/students who are interested in being interviewed a chance to sign up. The majority of the drawings are done by the sign up thread.** The “winner” is chosen by random number generator based on the number of entrants. Those who sign up for interview consideration are encouraged to include one question that you would love to see answered in the next interview. Interviews are conducted through e-mail or Dance.net private message between myself and the interviewee, once selected. Sign up threads do have a deadline for signing up, acknowledging their selection, and submitting their interview/pictures. A winner missing the deadline will forfeit their interview slot and the runner up will be chosen. Alternately, submitting interview to me via private message will add you to the pool of contenders when a low response to the sign up occurs.

NOTE:
*You don't need to be en pointe to be interviewed, but do need to be an active ballet student or ballet dancer (recreational or professional).

*Your interview cannot include pictures of yourself if you do not possess your DDN eye (i.e. you need to "salute" to get your eye for permission to post pictures of yourself on this web site). Information on saluting to get your eye for posting pictures of yourself.

21 Replies to Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606

re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606
By balletomane0606
On Tue Apr 23, 2013 07:46 AM
:) Heheh. Nice to see it up... although I really can't believe I said some of that.

Don't you ever get that feeling of pride/shame when you look back on the past and think, 'I did that? REALLY?'?

<3 Balletomane0606
re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 25, 2013 08:31 PM
^Your interview was inspirational and I think you have a very good head on your shoulders for such a young woman. You INSPIRE me, a 50+ year old ballet re-starter. :)
re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606
By balletomane0606
On Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:45 PM
Thanks so much, Smileywoman! You inspire me too!

<3 Balletomane0606

(BTW what did the karma say?)
re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 26, 2013 07:59 AM
karma was for a well done interview.
re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606
By emperadakota
On Mon Apr 29, 2013 03:39 AM
Edited by hummingbird (128773) on 2013-10-08 22:42:16 Outside link removed.
Your interview is an inspiration and helpful for all the ballet dancer.

re: Get the Pointe: Dance.net Ballet Interview #44 - Featuring balletomane0606 (karma: 1)
By SoloJazzDancer
On Fri Jun 14, 2013 02:15 PM
Because I know Smiley, I had to read this. Wow, she's right, for a 12 year old you said some insightful things. I know I wouldn't have said anything like this when I was 12.

I'm a Jazz dancer who loves, loves, loves her dance. It does things for me inside and out that most other things don't do. You or Smily said something that made me laugh and it felt good to do that. My hormones are out of whack today and I've been feeling down. I'm not now and I thank both of you for that.

Great interview both of you. I wish I took Ballet because I would love to be interviewed but no one on the Jazz boards does this. Darn!

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