Feature: Ballet / Ballet - General

Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sat Sep 11, 2010 07:52 PM
Edited by webheadmaster (251) on 2010-09-11 21:00:59 Make feature

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/IMG_1884.jpg'

DDN Name: DanceoftheHeart
Real Name: Brooke
Member Since: !!!!!!!!!!
Age: 20
Years Dancing: 15

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/IMG_1882.jpg'

The Basics

What age did you begin dancing, and what what the first style of dance you studied?
I started when I was 5 at my cousin’s dance studio. We did a lot but the classes that I remember the most were ballet and tap

Why did you continue your training as a dancer from that beginning?
I had been doing it for so long I just didn’t want to stop, I loved the excitement.

What are the styles of dance have you studied, and what do you study now?
I studied ballet and Graham at Purchase College. I took lots of different classes at Summer Intesives like a swing class, flamenco and Horton.

Why study more than one style? What do you like about each style?
I’ve always loved ballet but I think that other styles can express the same thing in a different way which is beautiful.

Do you prefer classical ballet or modern choreography?
Classical. But you can’t write off modern, it’s constantly evolving which is wonderful.

If someone asked you, "Why Dance?" what would your answer be?
Because I need to move

Why is ballet an important part of your life?
I honestly don’t quite know the answer to that. I’ve been doing it for so long and I have tried other sports but I have always come back to dance.

Why do you love to dance?
Who doesn’t love feeling beautiful?

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/MattHollerphoto3.jpg'

Did your parents make you start dancing? Was your mom a dancer, and did she push you to go further and do better?
Oh no haha she wasn’t, actually no one in my family was. My mom always told me that I never learned to walk, I learned to jump and wouldn’t stop, so my mom put me in dance class.

Is there an embarrassing ballet-related moment that you'd like to share?
O gosh there are so many but I do remember one time when I was younger, my teacher was talking about having a “make up” class. Now I guess I wasn’t really paying attention because I thought she was talking about actual make-up and having a class on it, so I remember saying “Oh yeah let’s have one I’m really good at make-up!” and they were talking about having a class for us to catch up because she wasn’t going to be there one day! So embarrassing :P

If you didn't dance? What do you think you would've devoted your life to?
Illustration or music

Class and Training

Describe a typical day in your life.
When I was at Purchase College I had a 10:30 am academic class on Mon and Thursdays then ballet class at 12:30 till 2, then another class at 2:30 till about 4, then it depends on if I had rehearsal for Serenade which pretty much defined my last semester, so I would finish at 6 pm and then I have night classes.

But now I have daily ballet class and rehearsal for anything at 12:30 till whenever I decide I’ve had enough of being in a studio haha. And I have a teaching job that is going to start on the 13 of September which I am really excited about, I haven’t taught ballet for like 2 years.

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/MattHollerphoto5.jpg'

What do you normally wear to class? What are some of your favorite dance accessories?
I love bright colored leos, I have my favorite Yumiko which is yellow on top and I just got a new Becky  I love it. But I can’t live without my warm ups

How much time do you dance during the week? (in class, out of class?)
a lot! When we have time off, a lot of my class liked to sit outside on the grass in the sun and do Graham haha! They actually did it during a fire drill.

Do you study Vaganova, Cecchetti, RAD...etc?
Vaganova all my life
There was no syllabus at Purchase though which is unfortunate.

How do you prepare for class? (i.e. stretching, conditioning, mental techniques, etc.)
I have to stretch everything! I have really tight calves so I have to really pay attention to them. I sit on my tennis ball and roll out my legs. I have to be really warm to take class.

What does it mean to you to get corrections in class? And what are the most common corrections you receive?
I have always had a problem with my arms and not connecting them to my back. Also I have uneven hips, mine are twisted slightly because recently I’ve been feeling a little out of whack. I was in my anatomy class and a massage therapist came in and talked to us about alignment and he said “Which one of your legs feels better to stand on?” and it got me thinking.

What's your favorite? Adagio, Allegro, Barre, or Petite Allegro, and why?
I LOVE grand allegro and adage, I have a really big jump and I love the emotion that is involved in adage. Also the music I feel it’s the most beautiful in both so you just can’t help but to move.

What are your favorite steps or combos from ballet class?
anything with a grande jete! Also turning is fun

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/n744115411_3046363_1173709.jpg'

After you've had a bad day, what motivates you to go to class? Does it lift your spirits?
I am a YouTube fanatic. I also have some videos my teacher gave me so I like watching them. My Ipod has a lot of music on it too. I always go back to listening to the music, I recently got a lot of Vitamin Strong Quartet version of songs and I absolutely love them!

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?
I have a long torso and shorter legs which I try to hide as much as I can, but I tell myself that I have more control over my legs than other girls who have long gorgeous legs and have problems with faster tempos, which I like to think I am good at.

What dance goals are you currently working towards, and what future goals do you have?
trying to get back into shape and ready for auditions I just turned 20! I’m getting old!

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?)
I have so many! My mom has kept them all, I am a shank killer too. All of my shoes are Grishko 2007s, I had a pair of Russian Pointes which I now have to use in my teacher’s studio because of the old russian wood floor.
Grishkos were my first pair of shoes so I just have never changed my mind, I’ve tried a lot f different types but I just like the feel and look of them on my feet, and I’ve been told that they look good on me too.

How do you treat your body after a series of hard classes? What do you give back to your body?
I always have to take a hot shower and a lot of rest

Where do you see yourself in the future, regarding your dancing?
I would love to teach. I used to volunteer at the local YMCA teaching dance with one of my old teachers and I love seeing their faces when they figure something out that they have been working on and the fact that I helped them with that makes me feel so amazing.

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/n744115411_3046369_2379815.jpg'

Do you have experience choreographing, or directing and technical stage, or doing backstage work?
I had to choreograph for my ballet composition class and it is hard, I’m not a choreographer, I can do it but not with ease haha! I have been on crew for a lot of shows at my school laying marley and hanging lights, I love dance lighting it fascinates me. Knowing that I am involved in putting on an amazing show, I get a great feeling of accomplishment and prestige.

What advice or thoughts would you share with other teens / adults considering starting lessons?


What was your first dance performance and what was your role in it? How old were you?
My first studio we would put on shows, but I remember my first Nutcracker I was a snowflake, I was about 13 I think.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I have to say merde to somebody!

What is your biggest fear during a performance?
That I am going to fall!

When you are on stage, how do you experience the performance? Do you lose yourself in the role (enjoying your experience without worrying about technique) OR are you concentrating on the steps more and worried about technique OR do you just say to yourself forget about everything and dance from the 'heart'?
Well, heh, that IS my name isn’t it? Like I said before, I listen to the music and it tells me what to do. I don’t worry about the technique until I know I need to but I do love feeling my muscles because you don’t feel anything when you’re on stage so paying attention to my legs calms me down.
There is a quote that Anna Pavlova said that I really like “master the technique, then go out there and be natural”

What variation would you love to do or inspires you the most?
I know a lot of variations but my favorite variation is the old Kirov version of Medora Act 3 in the Jardin Anime scene, the music is so beautiful and I love doing it, I did it to get into college too I remember learning it when I went to Nutmeg’s summer intensive and I fell in love with it. Also Gamzatii is a favorite of mine too.

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/Nutcracker09.jpg'

If you could perform in any ballet in any role, what would it be and why?
Odette in Swan Lake. That to me is a complete ballet, the beauty of Odette is that there is not a step out of place, and having to fill out that adage music is such an art.

Philosophical Questions

What sacrifices have you made for ballet?
I make time for my friends, I also like inviting them to watch class, but I have had to miss a lot of things due to having class.

What sacrifices has your family made so that you can dance?
I remember my dad saying “dance must be the most expensive sport” which is true and that’s why we live just above poverty in the arts.

Does dance affect your social life in any way? How? Do your friends understand?
I can now see that there is a growing appreciation for dance and people are mesmerized by ballet, but I don’t like it when dancers have egos.

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/Sindend.jpg'

If you could meet any dancer, who would it be?
Paloma Herrera! She’s one of my favorite dancers, I watched that documentary on her and her drive is so inspiring. I’ve met Jose Manuel Carreno when I was dancing in Florida he came to guest and I was chosen to be in Don Q act 1 in a gala that we were doing and in Coppelia. I was a doll in the shop and he came right up to my face in the shows! It was so hard not to laugh! What really amazed me was that last year I went to Puerto Rico for spring break and I took class at Ballet Concerto de Puerto Rico and he was there and he remembered me!  Also I would love to meet Altynai Asylmuratova who was my teacher’s classmate and Tatiana Terekhova.

Do you have any books or movies about ballet or dance that you would like to share?
I have DVDs that my teacher gave me and I got a book by the great Carol Lee who is my friend’s teacher, her book is used in a lot of school and colleges and I’m in the middle of reading it.

Have you ever thought about not doing ballet? What kept you going?
Yes, I get down in the dumps sometimes and I get very frustrated at myself because I know I was able to do things before. I’m learning to be on my own which is hard for me because I’ve always been in a class of people, not one on one.

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/Sind1.jpg'

If you could change anything about ballet, what would it be, and why?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I wish that you didn’t have to have a certain look to be a good dancer. I don’t have the longest legs so I think I look a little weird in a tutu.

Your special question for this interview was, 'Have there been any setbacks whilst you have been dancing?'
I am my biggest critic, so I have not gone to auditions because I personally didn’t think I would get it and I didn’t want to humiliate myself.

What is one tip that you would love to share with other DDNers?
Always be musical! It’s not seen much these days and in class I hate it when people are off music

Who is your inspiration who is it that really makes you want to dance and really strive for the next rung on the ladder?
Music is my inspiration and my teachers who believe in me. Also when I lived in Florida, I danced at Sarasota Ballet and our prima at the time was Lauren Strongin, who is now at Houston Ballet. She is so beautiful and perfect and amazing I love watching her.

How does it feel to be featured in Get the Pointe?
Amazing! I’ve always wanted to be picked! haha

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/Sind2.jpg'

From AlwaysOnStage: Thanks, Brooke, for such a lovely interview, and for sharing your thoughts and pictures with us. It was wonderful to learn about you!

Image hotlink - 'http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww320/alwaysonstage/DanceOfTheHeart/MattHollerphoto1.jpg'

8 Replies to Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart

re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By hummingbird
On Sat Sep 11, 2010 09:38 PM
AlwaysOnStage thank you for a great interview

And DanceoftheHeart get the confidence up and go for those auditions, the worst they can say is no...for the moment. Go for it you look lovely!
re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By iPurplemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:06 PM
Yay, I love Get The Pointe!

Wow, those are really amazing pictures!
re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By tempsleve
On Sun Sep 12, 2010 04:52 AM
i love those pictures!!

you look like an amazing dancer :) all the best.
re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By DanceOfTheHeartmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 14, 2010 07:35 PM
Thank you AlwaysOnStage!! <3 :)

re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Nov 14, 2010 07:17 PM
AWESOME! I loved this interview. :D
re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sun Nov 14, 2010 07:23 PM
Super interview and I'm SOOOO jealous!!! Keep up the great work!
re: Get The Pointe #39: Meet DanceOfTheHeart
By DanceOfTheHeartmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Nov 15, 2010 02:32 PM
aww thank you! You have nothing to be jealous of you are all beautiful! <3



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