Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Becoming a Ballerina...an Interview with a Ballet Dancer

around here, a BIG part of the Holiday season is the
haha...no kidding, right? :)
my oldest daughter is the ballet dancer in the family.
 Taylor is 16 (almost 17,,,YIKES:)
she has been cast as the
SUGAR PLUM FAIRY and grown-up Clara in this year's production.
last year was exciting because she was the Snow Queen but Sugarplum?
that is a role every little girl who sees the nutcracker dreams of.
i guess you could say that on her list of
goals and dreams...that's a big one...and she's still young.
so her proud mama thought it would be neat to do a few features here...an interview.
a peek inside a dancer's bag...and more if I can think of it:)
read on to learn how Taylor went from playing with her sugarplum barbie 
to putting on a tutu and turning into the SUGARPLUM FAIRY!

Becoming a Ballerina...an interview with Taylor Dutcher:
~How did you first learn about ballet?
T:  I have been going to the ballet with my mama since i was a little girl.
I think i saw my first nutcracker when i was two years old and LOVED it!
It was performed by Ballet Florida and every year
we would go to the nutcracker and sit in the front row.
  I would watch the ballerinas and then go home and pretend to be a dancer.
Then i would ask for every ballet barbie there was and everything pink that
reminded me of ballet. 
I was three years old when i took my first little ballet class and we could bring our
favorite stuffed animal to the class.  I didn't bring a stuffed animal...
i brought ballerina barbie:)

~What is your favorite role that you have danced?
T: I  really like the role i am dancing now as the Sugarplum Fairy.
i also loved performing Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty.
 (lilac fairy)

~What role would you like to perform someday?
T: Wow, there are so many roles I would love to dance, but what really comes to mind is performing the  role of Odette (the white swan) from Swan Lake. I just love the dramatic music, and the beautiful scenes with the swans.

~What is your favorite ballet?
T:  I like many ballets, but  I would probably say  Sleeping Beauty.
I tend to like the classical, story ballets.
They are traditional and still so beautiful, from the dancing to the music,
and I love bringing something new, especially since I loved this story  as a little girl.

~Do you do anything special in the days and hours leading up to a performance?
T:  Well, in the days leading up to it, i try to get a good nights sleep,
drink a lot of water, watch the carbs, stay limber and not do anything
that could cause an injury (like rollerblading:)
In the hours before, i try to stay calm and focused.  some dancers are chatty and 
stay relaxed by goofing around...i'm not like that, especially if I have the lead.
you feel the pressure and responsibility more so i just try to empty my mind and think about what i need to do.  One of my past instructors, Andrei Bossov from the Bossov Ballet told us that we do not BECOME the character...that we PORTRAY the character, bringing our own personality into it to make it enjoyable for the audience.  So i do try to get into character by using what i know i have to do and who i am.

~Do you enjoy doing lifts?
T: yes, if i feel prepared and have confidence in my partner.

~What would you like to work on, to improve?
T:  Hmmm...I would like to work on my flow of movements, artistry, making it look effortless.
To me, that is a huge part of the beauty of ballet.
(opening night)

~What is your favorite style of dance?
T:  Definitely Vaganova, a Russian style of dance.

~Corps or Solo?
T: I prefer solos.
~Teachers who have really made an impression on you?
T:  My current teacher, Christophe Maraval from Naples Academy of Ballet is WONDERFUL!
Also, one of my first teachers, Donna Morgan who was at Ballet Florida.
Also, Andrei Bossov from Bossov Ballet and Rebecca Rodriguez from Ballet Met.
I've had so many great teachers and you can almost always learn something new, no matter how much experience you have.

~What do you wear to class?
T:  black leotard, short black wrap skirt, tights, pointe shoes, pink belt.
if it's chilly...legwarmers and a sweater during warm-ups.
~What would you ultimately  like to accomplish in the ballet world?
T:  Well, I would like to audition for a position with a company after high school and hopefully work my way up to a position as principal dancer.  
Along, the way, I would get my degree but somehow I see myself always being involved in the dance world.
I used to dream of being a Rockette but since I stopped growing at 5'5", that put an end to those plans:)

~What is your training schedule like?
T:  I take classes 6 days/week, sometimes twice daily because i go in the morning to practice for an hour or two and then go back for class at night.  The evening classes are anywhere from 1 1/2 hours-4 hours and saturdays from 2 hours-5hours, depending on rehearsals.
There is not much time for  social life but Iove it!

~Okay, tell us a few facts about YOU...likes or dislikes, favorite music, shows, movies...stuff like that...
T:  Okay, the music on my ipod is mostly country and broadway.
I prefer old movies and my favorites include anything with Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, especially My Fair Lady, Charade and Rear Window.  My favorite show/movie...Phantom of the Opera, hands down! 

well...there you have it, straight from a 16 year old who hopes to be a professional ballerina 
I've seen interviews like this and thought it would be cool to hear from my own daughter:)
next up...What's in a Ballet Dancer's Bag?
bet you'll be surprised by some of what we find:)


1 comment:

  1. Suzanne this was an awesome interview! I love hearing her thoughts on ballet and her future. What great goals. I know she is talented and also such a sweet girl. I look forward to more posts about your Ballerina Taylor!


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