Hey daydreamers! I’m back with another fun collab for this week! Natalia and I exchanged addresses when she won one of my giveaways, so we decided to become pen pals and have written to each other ever since. If you didn’t know already, I’m a dancer, and Natalia danced for a long time. So, we decided to do a little Q&A about dance where we each asked each other 10 questions!
Natalia: Do you prefer Vaganova, Cecchetti, Balanchine, or another ballet school of teaching? Or do you not have a preference?
Emmie: I think I prefer Vaganova over those, but I’m not super familiar with the differences between Vaganova and Cecchetti! Although I’m a fan of SAB and NYC Ballet, I don’t love the Balanchine aesthetic – especially the “claw” hands and how it’s so fast.
N: What’s something non-dancers tell you that makes you want to laugh?
E: For Spirit Week at school, it was Future Self Day so I dressed up as a ballerina. I wore “dead” pointe shoes as part of the costume, and everyone was fascinated by them! It was so funny – this one girl kept saying, “Do the thing! Do the thing!” It was funny to see how everyone reacted when I stood up on my toes.
N: If you could, would you go to a ballet boarding school? Which one (I’d totally go to Vaganova School xD)?
E: Yes! I would love to go to SAB! Or maybe Houston Ballet Academy, although it’s not a boarding school.
N: What are three random things you keep in your dance bag?
E: I always have a Thera Band that I never use, my pointe shoe sewing kit, and an extra pair of socks.
N: Are there any dance styles you don’t currently do that you’d love to try?
E: Right now I’m only doing ballet and contemporary, but I would love to do tap again sometime! I did it last semester before quarantine happened, but I couldn’t take it this year since it would interfere with cheer and I would have to go on a separate day for a 45-minute class, which didn’t seem worth it. But I would love to do it again and get better at it!
N: What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from ballet?
E: I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from ballet is responsibility. You have to be willing to show up and work hard, day after day, while still keeping up with schoolwork, family, friends, and other activities. Ballet has taught me to manage my time and learn how to be responsible for something.
N: Favorite books about ballet or involving ballet/dancers?
E: I love Misty Copeland’s biography, Life In Motion – it’s so inspiring and I couldn’t stop reading it.
N: Who’s a ballerina you really look up to?
E: Definitely Misty Copeland! Even though she faced adversity, she still worked hard to realize her dream after so many people told her no. She’s also an incredibly talented dancer!
N: Do you have any “bragging-rights” dance stories xD?
E: Haha, not really, but I have a couple of funny Nutcracker ones where I’ve had to recover a mistake in the show! When I was a pollichinelle, I accidentally stayed backstage when all the others had left because I wanted to watch the mirlitons. One of them dropped their flute, and the dancers coming next would run into it. The director/Sugar Plum cavalier told me to run onstage and grab it, but in character, so I had to go out there and retrieve the flute before the Chinese dancers would hit me! Another time, when I was a rat, Clara’s couch wouldn’t go offstage – a mouse got caught in the string. A stagehand randomly grabbed me and told me to sneak on and shove the couch offstage!
N: What’s your dream role?
E: Definitely Clara in The Nutcracker. It’s always been a dream of mine to play her ever since I was little, and next year I’m eligible to be her! Fingers crossed I’ll get the role, but in the meantime, I’m going to work hard to make it happen. 😉 I want to play her because she does so much acting, and you see the ballet through her eyes. She also gets to do the publicity for the show!
Emmie: How old were you when you started dancing?
Natalia: I was about 3 when I did my first pre-ballet class at the local university. I continued until I was 12 going on 13!
E: What’s your favorite position?
N: I absolutely love third position for no reason at all. It’s always been my favourite; maybe it’s because of all the cool things you can do with it; fifth position is a close second. My least favourite has to be second position, though.
E: What’s your favorite role you’ve done?
N: For once spring recital, we did a Hungarian-dance themed ballet number and I just loved it. The costumes were so cute, the choreography was so much fun, and ahh that was one of my favourite stage moments ever.
E: What step do you think you were best at?
N: I was really good at most combinations; I was better at combined steps in the center than any barre movements. But I guess my best step were pas de chat and attitudes (I’m pretty sure only dancers will understand what either of those meant xD).
E: Are you more of a turner, a jumper, or a balancer?
N: Definitely a turner!
E: What’s your favorite ballet to watch?
N:The Nutcracker, hands-down. Is there even another answer to this? The Nutcracker is so magical, so iconic, and so beautiful no matter what company is performing it. It’s definitely my favourite!
E: Which dance company would you want to be apart of?
N: The Bolshoi in Russia would be the dream; they’re some of the best ballerinas in the world. But the Royal Danish Ballet would be another awesome one.
E: Have you ever gone en pointe?
N: Haha, okay, I’ve been en pointe and I’ve done a few things on pointe but I left ballet to pursue swimming the year before I reached the level where pointe became a class thing. Opportunity lost, *sighs*.
E: Funniest dance story?
N: Back when I was about 7, I managed to break my arm right above my elbow during recess and I spent the afternoon and evening in the ER getting a cast and all that jazz. The best part? That evening was our dance recital (we were doing a fun spring number WITH TUTUS. ACTUAL TUTUS) but of course, I was out of commission.
E: Favorite dance memory?
N: I auditioned for the Nutcracker with the visiting Moscow Ballet Company and ended up being cast as a rat! We moved before I could perform with them, but those were some really fun and exciting rehearsals!
I had so much fun with this collab with Natalia, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it! Hopefully you found it relatable if you’re a dancer, or interesting even if you’re not. 😉
(Also, if you liked this post, you’ll probably like Dance Update! Ft. New Pointe Shoes, A Ballet Q&A, and more if you haven’t read it yet!)
For the new year, I’ve been going through the blog and updating pages, changing the design just a lil’ bit, etc., so just a heads up if anything looks weird. 😉 I’m also planning out posts for 2021, so let me know any posts you want to see in the comments! Love y’all, and see you next week!
Have you ever danced before? Favorite ballet technique or ballet boarding school? Any funny dance memories?