Let’s grand jete into the month of November with pointed toes!
Ballet is fierce, athletic, technical, and beautiful. It is an art based in storytelling, perseverance, determination, grace, and a timeless history of classical steps that ballerinas have danced for centuries before. Ballet holds a special kind of magic that allows it to be a universal language.
Following the journey ballet has taken me on, in travels around the world, I’ve experienced the global connections this art form creates and the extraordinary ways dance brings immense joy to people. The impact of ballet is everlasting. Whether you have danced your whole life, only tried it when you were younger, taken two ballet classes or one thousand, felt the enchantment of performing on stage or the delight of being in the audience, ballet touches our hearts and our creative minds.
“Ballet is a universe of the imagination, a place of magic and enchantment, beauty and romance.”Trudy Garfunkel
I’m celebrating ballet by reflecting on my favorite memories. I have a lot of gratitude for my ballet teachers and mentors who have generously taught me to dance, passing down the traditions of ballet, and for the teachers who provide inspiration and motivation through every step of the journeys of ballet dancers around the world. I also have a true appreciation for all the inspiring ballerinas that paved the way before. I have “beaucoup de merci” for the magical theatres full of rich history that I’ve gotten to dance in so far as well as the lovely music that guides my steps.
It is important to consider the multitude of essential “offstage roles” that help make dancers’ dreams come true as well. I am thankful for the incredible pointe shoe makers, dancewear and costume designers, stagehands and theatre designers, rhinestone suppliers, and all the individuals who celebrate and support dance!
Did you know that “memories” in English translates to “souvenirs” in French? I really think this is a beautiful way to look at our cherished moments, sweet souvenirs to keep. Below are 10 of my favorite ballet memories with prompts to inspire your own love letter to ballet.
1. One of my first ballet classes learning from my ballerina mom
For your love letter: What is your earliest ballet memory?
2. Performing in the cast of Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino’s Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker at age 11 as a Pollichinelle on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Music Center, LA
For your love letter: What is your favorite ballet accomplishment?
3. Wearing one of my velvet fashion designs by Royal Couture, partnering Pas de Deux in the NYC Broadway Studios of American Ballet Theatre, upon Summer
For your love letter: What memories do you have of ballet and your other interests overlapping?
4. Battements and grand jete-ing across the David H Koch Theatre, Lincoln Center NYC, for the Youth America Grand Prix, “Gala of the Stars”
For your love letter: What is your favorite ballet event you’ve been to?
5. Sharing the joy of this art form with the future generations of dance, teaching Ballet at the fabulous Showstopper Dance Convention!
For your love letter: What is your favorite memory of the ballet community?
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to. dance better than myself.”Mikhail Baryshnikov
6. Enjoying a magical moment in the fashion capital of the world, Paris, France, wearing the chicest pair of shoes ever ( ballerina’s favorite accessory: Pointe Shoes!)
For your love letter: Where is the most exciting place you’ve worn ballet slippers or pointe shoes?
7. Combing two of my favorite passions, ballet and fashion, dancing on the runway at New York Fashion Week!
For your love letter: What is a memory you never expected would include dance?
8. Appearing on Vogue with the Olsen twins as a ballerina
For your love letter: What icons has dance introduced you to?
9. Taking the Stage at the Nervi Ballet Music Festival in Genoa, Italy, for “In The Water…”, a ballet contemporary fusion piece, I co-choreographed with my dance sisters
For your love letter: Who are you most grateful to have performed with?
10. Three generations of ballet breaking the World Record for the Most Consecutive Dancers ‘En Pointe’ in NYC on Live with Kelly and Ryan
For your love letter: What is your favorite memory of coming together for ballet?
BONUS Memory: Dancing ballet performances on the spectacular Showstopper Stage for more than 10 years!
“Ballet is like dreaming with your feet.” The art of ballet is so inspiring and continuous from generation to generation. Here’s to celebrating all the Ballet magic to come! Dance it out. Let’s Sparkle!
What are your favorite ballet memories? Tag me (@royalcouturexo) and Showstopper (@goshowstoppermagazine) on social media with the hashtag #RoyalCoutureXShowstopper to share your own love letter to ballet with us!