Feature: Ballet / Ballet - General

Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123 (karma: 2)
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 01, 2010 01:33 PM
Edited by webheadmaster (251) on 2010-01-01 23:04:11 make feature
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2010-05-03 17:23:58 fixed

NOTE: Get the Pointe interviews will now appear on the General Ballet board (instead of the pointe board)

Image hotlink - 'http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a376/smileywoman/DanceEffects/GTPcover_36.jpg'

ballerina123 is a 15 year old girl who would love to have a career as a ballet dancer someday. Right now her main focus is to work hard and improve her technique.

DDN Name: ballerina123
Member Since: December 16, 2008
Age: 15
Years Dancing: 10

smileywoman’s aside: Thank you ballerina123, for such a wonderful interview. You are a very wise, well grounded young lady, and I wish for you that ALL your dreams come true. *hugs*

Image hotlink - 'http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a376/smileywoman/DanceEffects/GracesGracet.jpg'

The Basics

What are the styles of dance that you study?

I study ballet, contemporary and character but next year I will also take up historical and jazz dancing.

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

I think now that ballet is evolving and more modern pieces are being created it's really important for a dancer to be prepared for whatever is thrown at you in the professional world and to be able to have a diverse range of movement.

Do you prefer classical ballet or modern choreography?

I'm a classical girl at heart. I love the romantic ballets because they are my all time favourite's.

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

Wow that's a hard one to answer. Really it's everything to me I can't really explain what it feels like to dance. It's like nothing really in this world. You don't have to say what you feel; you just have to dance it. I just love all parts of the profession, the hard work and dedication yet the love for your art.


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

I was a little five year old! Yes, ballet was my first dance style.

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

Yes, my parents got me into ballet generally because my mum’s close friend had her daughter doing ballet , and she thought I should give it a go. Mum never pushed me at any time throughout the whole time I’ve done ballet. She has been supportive, but never pushy.

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

Too many to say! The amount of times that I have fallen in class is a bit embarrassing, but that's what class is for I guess! Probably falling when attempting more pirouettes en pointe than what I'm capable of is what embarrasses me the most! Being a tall girl it makes a loud crash when I fall too :S

Class and Training

Describe a typical day in your life.

Well I get up at 6:30, my school starts at 8:30, and finishes at 3:15. After I make my way to ballet by public transport (it usually takes an hour or so) I get ready in about 15 minutes and stretch till 5:00 when my class starts. We then have an hour and half class then afterwards we might have pointe, contemporary, stretching, rehearsals or character dance depending on the day. I usually then get home at about 8:00 p.m. to have my dinner, do my homework, have a shower and sleep! Next year will be different though as I am joining a full time course where I will have school till 12:30 and have dance classes till about 5:00.

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

I dance around 15 hours a week, but that doesn't seem enough for me which is why I can't wait till next year!

Do you study Vaganova, Cecchetti or RAD?

I study Vaganova. I have Vaganova trained teachers now, but next year I will have Russian's from the Bolshoi and Kirov schools in Russia as well as the Vaganova Academy.

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

I like to stretch for half an hour before class. This usually means warming up by going for a jog around the room and doing some leg swings. I then like to do some light stretches just to loosen my joints.

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

It means a lot for me to get corrections in class. I mean, how can you improve without corrections? My most common one is for me to get my ribs even. I had scoliosis which means my ribs are a bit over to my left making my body uneven. I also get 'breathe' a lot and 'stretch your legs'!

What's your favorite? Adagio or Allegro and why?

Allegro would be my favourite because it feels good just to let yourself go a bit and really put your last bit of energy into it.

Image hotlink - 'http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a376/smileywoman/DanceEffects/GracesBack.jpg'

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

My main motivation is to look at what I want to become (a ballerina) and remember that professionals always have their bad days, but they push through. Ballet definitely lifts my spirits and it lets me focus my attention just to the movements and not what's bothering me.

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

Well here in a Australia we don't have Sis, but we do have summer schools (just not as intense). They mostly last for a week or two; from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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

Well, I have a ballet barre in my room so that’s really good for practising and stretching on. I also do Pilates classes to help my ballet which I do a bit of each night. Also, I do a bit of theraband work each night to strengthen my feet.

What's in your dance bag? Can we see a picture?

I don’t have my dance bag with me at the moment, so I can’t provide you with a picture, but my dance bag contains:
2 pair of pointe shoes (Bloch Sonata's and Grishko 2007's)
Ballet flats
Foot roller
Foot cream
Drink bottle
4 Black leotards
2 pink tights
Box of hair pins and bun nets
Sewing kit
Clear nail polish
Woolen pants
Tight black top
Character shoes
Character skirt
Rehearsal skirt

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?

My biggest obstacle was in 2007 when I had to make the decision to change schools. I had found out through going to another ballet class that I had been taught incorrect technique and I was way behind everyone else my age. I couldn't see it at first because I was the best in my class but when I went to a different class I was the worst. It was then I made the decision to move to a more strict school. It was so hard because of the close bond I had there, but it was definitely worth it! I have in the past two years improved so much from when I first began; thanks to amazing teachers and I have learnt more in the last two years than what I learnt in my 8 years at the other school.

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

Right now I'm working towards getting my centre splits, improving my extensions and achieving better technique in all areas of ballet. I am working towards becoming a ballet dancer (as that is my dream).

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?)

Right now I have two pairs of pointe shoes that I am switch between. I have my Grishko 2007's (which I love) and my Bloch Sonata's which I also like.


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

My first performance was as a little munchkin in the Wizard of Oz Pretty much I ran around stage and off again! [I was five at the time].

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

I like to get to the theatre an hour and half before. Then I like to do my hair, makeup, warm up, and get everything ready for the show.

What is your biggest fear during a performance?

I don't know why, but I have a massive fear my pointe shoes are going to fall off. I freak out about it so much that I wet the back of my shoes side stage, and hairspray them to death! It is a really bad fear of mine.

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 little bit of all three. I need to concentrate because if I don't, I will go off with the fairies and forgot the steps (learnt from experience), but I also smile and enjoy myself.

Image hotlink - 'http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a376/smileywoman/DanceEffects/GraceFront.jpg'

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

I love the variation from Raymonda youtube.com . . . I think it's just so beautiful

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

Definitely Swan Lake! It is my all time favourite, and I would love to be able to interpret the emotions of the ballet myself.

Philosophical Questions

What sacrifices have you made for ballet?

I have sacrificed a lot for ballet. I guess in a way I am losing my years as a teenager (not going out), but it really seems like a small price to pay for the enjoyment of dancing. The amount of times I have had to say 'sorry I have ballet' is crazy, but there’s always losses in every decision you make in life.

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

My parents are always taking me to ballet, dropping me off, picking me up and you won't believe how much I appreciate what they do for me.

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

Yes, it's the reason I don't have a huge social life. Luckily, I have amazing friends who I still see at school and sometimes on the weekends. They understand the commitment I have, and especially that dancing is my love.

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

I would love to meet Gillian Murphy. She is my inspiration!

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

I would love to become a professional dancer in the future, but also if that doesn't work out I can really see it still being a big part of my life.

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

I have always thought about what my life would be without ballet, but I just can't see it. There are times when I wish I could just lead a normal life but there’s something about it that draws me back.

If you could change anything about ballet, what would it be, and why?

I think I would change the stereotypical body a dancer is required to have. I understand a dancer’s body must be healthy, but fit and healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. Editor’s Remark: Amen!!

Your special question for this interview was, 'Have there been any setbacks whilst you have been dancing?'

My main setback would be spending all those years at school that taught me incorrectly. I wish that if I could do my time over I could have started at the school I'm at now.

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

I would say that if you have a goal or dream go for it. Dreams were made to be fulfilled in life and to give us a chance to work hard. Don't give up and keep doing what you love regardless of what anyone says.

How does it feel to be featured inGet the Pointe?

So exciting! I was shocked when I was picked and it feels too good to give people a little insight into my life.

11 Replies to Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123

re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By balletgirl125member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 01, 2010 08:45 PM
I have scoliosis too! I hate it because my hip bones are uneven. My right is a little bit higher then my left so it looks like I'm lifting my hips during developees even when I'm not.
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By Miss_Tami_Leemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 01, 2010 09:57 PM
I personally think you look fabulous and it makes me sad that the body type for a professional dancer is so set in stone. Good luck with everything. Ps. I am very jealous that you get to take historical dancing!
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By WoodPigeon
On Sat Jan 02, 2010 05:44 AM
Gosh, I thought exactely the same thing! You look really great and you have the perfect ballet body! I know many successful(!)professional dancers who are much more muscular than you are.
Your answers are quite confident, so I really hope that they won't convince you that you are to big.
It really makes me mad. The thinner the better! Disgusting, because so many girls suffer by following wrong ideals (I don't mean you, Grace, but there are so many young girls out there who are getting an eating disorder because of such comments. Maybe I feel quite involved, because I know 3 girls who quit their professional education because auf Anorexia. Everyone of them was very talented AND slim).
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By dancingismylove7
On Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:34 AM
Wow well done bestie shame i didnt get a mention but thats life..

You really are an inspiration to all ballerinas out there
If i wasnt a salsa gal i want to be the best ballerina like you

Keep up that figure and dont eat too much bread ;)

xx thanks to amazing fantastic smileywoman i love you do you do salsa interviews by any chance??
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By xox_Julia_xoxmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 03, 2010 02:06 AM
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2010-01-03 03:34:40 edited to remove personally identifying information.
Great interview! You are an inspiration. :)

Your body is perfect as it is, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Good luck with everything. :)

re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By ballerina123
On Sun Jan 03, 2010 03:21 AM
Thanks so much everyone!
Hehe no Julia I'm not going there next year :S
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By kktt34
On Sun Jan 03, 2010 09:37 AM
congrats wonderfull interview.
it is nice to see a young dancer every now and then :)
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By iDancer518member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 04, 2010 09:16 AM
What an amazing interview! :)

You're quite the insightful dancer, b123. Keep it up :)
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By pols
On Tue Jan 05, 2010 03:34 AM
Please don't take this as condescending or anything. I'm just thinking back to what I would have said in answer to those questions when I was 15 and I think you must be a truly remarkable young woman.

You're so mature and bright and know exactly where you are and where you want to be.

It's a great interview and I'm just so bloody impressed by your maturity and insight.

Best of luck with your new schedule this year and keep that smart head on you when talking to the dietician.
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By Ballerina_Nicole
On Tue Jan 05, 2010 06:44 PM
This interview is such an inspiration! I wish you the best of luck with your ballet career!
re: Get the Pointe Dance.net Ballet Interview #36 - Featuring ballerina123
By TipTap
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 05:56 AM
I have scoliosis too. It sucks, I am in a back brace 18 hours a day when not dancing. But it makes me love dance even more ;D


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