Meet Mentor Chelsea Thronson & Mentee Whitney Ross

Mentor: Chelsea Thronson, Bayerisches Staatsballett; Munich, Germany

Mentee: Whitney Ross, Emerald Ballet Theatre; Bellevue, WA

Stacy Ebstyne Photography

Photo Credit: Stacy Ebstyne Photography

Were you able to meet up with your each other? If so, describe that experience! 

Chelsea: I was able to meet with Whitney twice while I was in Seattle, in addition to seeing her at the studio occasionally. Before that, we FaceTimed when we could. Getting to meet in real life in Seattle was nice for both of us because I think it was easier for Whitney to feel comfortable talking to me rather than just over a video call. I enjoyed it because I got a sense of her personality more and was glad we had time together to enjoy Seattle.

Whitney: Yes, we were able to go to lunch together and do a photoshoot! It was so fun! We talked and got to know each other.  

What were some aspects you were able to learn from one another?

Chelsea: I have always been inspired by the history of ballet, but through Whitney, I learned that the future can be just as inspiring and exciting. Mentoring Whitney gave me the opportunity to reminisce about my experiences as a student growing up and share my knowledge and memories with her. Through this reminiscent process, I learned that so many moments and people came to shape my training and who I am as a dancer today. Dancing at summer courses like Whitney did this summer, I made priceless friendships and memories that were a huge part of who I am today. Getting to mentor Whitney only added to these moments, and I will cherish getting to share my knowledge and love of dance with her.

Whitney: She helped me with my technique and gave me some tips. I also got to watch her dance- AMAZING!

What topics were you able to share and discuss together?

Chelsea: We talked quite a bit about pointe shoe preparation and sewing. Whitney is at the age where her feet are changing frequently, and she’s struggling with pointe shoes; so, we talked about techniques for breaking in and jet glue-ing pointe shoes so she can feel more comfortable in them. We also talked about training in Russian and Balanchine styles, as well as the pros and cons of doing ballet competitions. Also, we discussed how to balance school with ballet. 

Whitney: Dance, life, friends, food, and more!

chelsea thronson ballet whitney ross ballet pointepeople stacy ebstyne photography

Photo Credit: Stacy Ebstyne Photography


As a mentor, how did this program help you connect with a younger generation of dancers? 

Chelsea: I always make an effort to connect as many people as I can to ballet and the arts in general. Sharing the art form goes beyond dancing on stage, so participating in programs like this helps me to achieve that goal. Whitney is pretty young, just 12; I can remember being that age, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Whitney seems to have a great group of friends, a lot of them now follow me on Instagram, thanks to her. As I was posting about mentoring Whitney on social media, other young students and dancers started to message me more frequently asking questions about ballet. I also became more open to teaching ballet during this time and found that I particularly enjoyed teaching the 11-14 age group. 

As a mentee, how did the mentorship program enhance your life as a dancer? Best piece of advice or inspiration you received from your mentor?

Whitney: This mentorship has helped me with seeing into my future if I end up becoming a professional ballerina, just as Chelsea is off to Germany for a professional dance career.  My inspiration was when I watched Chelsea dance- she is such a pretty dancer!

As participants in the PointePeople mentorship program, the dancers were also able to test various colors and shades of Pointe Paint.

What features did you like about Pointe Paint?

Chelsea: I love how easy and quick it is to use Pointe Paint. Total time-saver. I also love how it is non-toxic.

Whitney: It’s very easy and quick to put on. It blends very well.


stacy ebstyne photography

Photo Credit: Stacy Ebstyne Photography 

Benefits of Pointe Paint versus conventional pointe shoe dye or methods? 

Chelsea: I used to have to combine foundation with calamine lotion and apply it to my shoes, and I would still get a weird shade that didn’t match my skin tone. Pointe Paint was easy to use and matched my skin tone perfectly, making my shoes look perfect. 

Did you use Pointe Paint for a specific role or just experiment with it?

Chelsea: Just to experiment. I plan to use it for roles requiring skin-toned pointe shoes in the future. 

Whitney: I used it for a photoshoot with my mentor.

Favorite shade or color of Pointe Paint? Which color would you love to try next?

Chelsea: Macadamia is my favorite, as I like to stick to neutral tones. I am excited to try coral and, of course, the Victoria Paige red! :)

Whitney: My favorite shade was the Macadamia color, and the shade I want to try next is Victoria Paige Red!

stacy ebstyne photography

Photo Credit: Stacy Ebstyne Photography

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