photo by @ahmad_hijjawi
How old you were when you made a decision to have your career as a professional ballerina?
I started dancing at the age of 9 but got into it initially for the sole purpose of spending more time with my best friend. However, I always gave my all every class I attended. I tried my hardest and worked a lot to progress. I remember fondly the day I decided to start taking it seriously and devote my time and energy to making this my future career. I was 11, and mid ballet class I thought if I’m working so hard on this every day I clearly love it. And if I love it and work hard, why shouldn’t I be able to succeed in it? At that moment, I promised myself to continue working hard every single day and remind myself that I will achieve my goals if I am consistent and positive.
photo by @mr.amiryp
What individual has had the greatest influence on you?
It’s hard to pinpoint one person honestly, seeing as at different moments in my life, inspiration came from many, but I can’t leave out my teacher, Victoria Mironova who introduced me to the world of ballet and gave me the tools to get myself out in the world of dance.
What is the most challenging thing for you having a career in ballet?
There are many challenges that come with the work of a ballerina, just as I imagine any job. I wouldn’t say these challenges, at least for me, were too hard or served as a setback. Mostly, the job consists of challenging your own strength and limits and because that’s something dancers enjoy doing, I feel they approach any life challenge with an attitude of “I can do this!”
photo by @torontophotographystudio
Do you have a pre-performance ritual?
When I was younger, yes. I would have a lucky pair of socks and my hair needed to be perfect but as I grew up I realized life throws so many things at you and have had unexpected performances last minute that went great, making me realize it’s not the ritual that makes the dancing good, but my attitude. Nonetheless, a good nights rest beforehand and some wholesome plant foods will ensure you’re at your peak!
Can you describe your experience when you perform?
Expressing myself to the fullest would probably be the best way to phrase what I feel on stage. I’ve been lucky to perform various roles and alternate between the most interesting stage characters. This allowed me to tap into the curious, playful, even sometimes jealous and angry part of myself and let those emotions out through this character. It allows me to completely immerse myself into different roles that I’ve to a certain degree felt in my own life, and learn from it. Even though I love entertaining people, when I’m dancing t feels more like relating to people than putting on a show for someone. It’s giving them a story with characters that have those same array of emotions we all have and letting them connect to it.
What is your philosophy towards work? How do you cope with stressful situations?
My philosophy towards work is the same philosophy I hold for life: quality over quantity and do what resonates with you honestly. I realized at a really young age that although I’ve got many features desirable for a ballerina, there were some I was lacking and despite lots of effort would not be able to obtain. At first, this crushed me seeing as some schools and companies let me down because of this. However, looking up to some of my favorite ballerinas I saw that they too weren’t flawless, but still danced in such a way where the advantages were highlights and perhaps disadvantages hidden. I understood there’s no reason I can’t do the same. I’d work hard of improving and getting closer to my ideal of perfection, but be ok with never achieving this perfection and still enjoying what I do.
As for dealing with stressful situations, I always like to try and step back and remind myself of the bigger picture. Is this worth my stress and ultimately poor health? Will this matter a few months from now? If I can fix it, I will do what I can to do so, if not, then there is no point in stressing.
photo from @nastialosk
What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
I enjoy constantly reading and finding inspiration. I believe personally that a healthy dose of life outside of ballet keeps me from feeling overwhelmed or spiraling into what for many becomes an all or nothing attitude. Ballet and dance is not my whole life, although it is a beautiful part of it. I like to make sure I do things that make me feel happy and at ease. I take care of my body and mind, letting myself recharge appropriately so when I do come back to ballet it is with a well-rested mind and new vigor for dance!
photo by Alexandra Tkatcheva
Join our newsletter
Receive 10% off your next order when you sign up for our newsletter