I'm honored to have done my first official interview for this blog with the amazing Lena D! Lena has an impressive resume for someone of her age and her future is only getting brighter! In this post you'll get to learn more about her and her journey on the way to becoming a professional dancer as she answers some questions I asked her! Without further ado, I'll let Lena introduce herself:
Since I was 3, I knew dancing with the only path for me. I currently train at the French Academie of Ballet in NYC. I am very honored and thankful to have been awarded a Merit Scholarship for this upcoming year. Training under the wing of Francois Perron, former Paris Opera Ballet School graduate, is a beyond incredible experience. In FAB's 2016 Nutcracker, I was the role of Clara. I have performed at many places such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Over the years I have been invited to attend many programs with American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Joffrey Ballet and some international schools outside of the US. In ABT's summer program, I was selected as The Flower Girl, the Demi Soloist role. Also I was offered a Full Tuition Scholarship to The Dallas Conservatory summer program.
What's it like to train at the French Academie of Ballet? Can you tell us about the scholarship you received to train there?
I am beyond thankful to have received a scholarship at FAB. The Merit Scholarship is looked upon as recognition of academic skill and level. I believe in working hard and never giving up. For 11 years of knowing nothing comes easy, I am incredibly honored to receive this scholarship.
What has it been like to model for brands like KDNY and to be an ambassador for Capezio?
My modeling experience for KDNY was wonderful. I love working with such a great clothing brand and using their products. Also, being an Ambassador for Capezio is such an honor. I love every single one of their leotards and warmup outfits. I love having my favorite brand with me from rehearsals and auditions, to performances and classes!
What have your summer intensive experiences been like?
Branching off from my achievements, I have attended many programs over the years. Including ABT and being The Flower Girl in their SI performance of Don Quixote, Joffrey Ballet School, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, being offered a Scholarship to The Dallas Conservatory, and acceptance to many international schools. I also attend ABT's Rep intensive in New York City which was an incredible experience.
What achievements have you made in dance that you are most proud of?
The achievements I am most proud of are being awarded a Merit Scholarship at FAB, being Clara in the Nutcracker, and performing at Carnegie Hall a few years ago.
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing since I was 3, so for 11 years. I love every second I am dancing and wouldn't trade it for anything:)
What is your favorite thing about dance?
My favorite thing about dance is training so hard for a performance. There is nothing like showcasing all of your dedication and hard work for an audience. Having thousands of eyes on you and soaking in the stage lights is unexplainable. So putting on a show for everyone to enjoy and watch is the best part.
What is your favorite exercise or stretch?
My favorite exercises at the barre are adagio and développés. While my favorites in the center are grande jetes and pirouettes. Some stretches that I enjoy are ankle and foot strengthening with my Thera Band and splits.
What is your dance schedule like during the school year?
My dance schedule is enjoyable yet long and exhausting. As soon as school starts so does dance!! Not long after comes Nutcracker auditions and soon rehearsals. For countless hours a day we have classes such as Technique, Pointe, Modern and Rehearsals. This happens until December, when we have our performance, then winter break. Shortly after that we have our winter workshop where we start spring show choreography, casting and rehearsals. After the spring showcase, we have a few more classes, then it's summer intensive season!:)
Who is your favorite dancer?
I have many favorite dancers who have made history! Some include Misty Copeland, Svetlana Zakharova, Martha Graham, Gillian Murphy and many others. All famous ballerinas inspire me to work hard to hopefully be like them someday.
Who is the most exciting person you have met in the dance world?
The most exciting person I've ever met was probably Misty Copeland. Meeting her was a wonderful experience! She is such an inspiring, kind and talented woman with a moving story.
What is your favorite company?
I have many favorite company's such as Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet School, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, American Ballet Theater, and many more.
Anything else you want us to know about you
I believe in working hard and good things will happen. There is no better feeling than sharing what you love with those who love it too. And lastly i believe in taking many risks, because you can not improve by doing the same things.
Thank you for reading my first post! More posts will be coming throughout the week! If you have any questions or would like to be interviewed, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the CONTACT tab!