Perspective: Interview with Alexandra Hoffmann

Cover photo by Al Ponce Photography

 

Age: 17
Where are you from? Arizona
Where do you train? Colburn Dance Academy in Los Angeles

 

How and when did you get your start in dance? 

I started dancing when I was two years old at the neighborhood dance studio doing all styles.

Where do you ultimately hope to take your career as a dancer?

It’s always been my dream to dance professionally in a ballet company.

 

If you weren't a dancer, what would you be doing? 

If I weren’t a dancer, I would probably want to be an actress or singer.

 

Any other favorite hobbies or unusual talents?

I have been playing the harp and piano since I was six! I also love to draw and paint.

 

What is something that not many people know about you?

A lot of people don’t know that before I started focusing on ballet to pursue a ballet career, hip hop was my favorite style of dance.

Photo by Lee Gumbs Photography Photo by Lee Gumbs Photography  

What is one thing you always keep in your dance bag?

I always keep emergency snacks in my dance bag in case I don’t have time to pack a lunch in the morning or get something to eat at my lunch break!

 

Do you have any special pointe shoe or dancewear prep routines?

I always draw a little heart on the shanks on my pointe shoes before an important performance for good luck!

 

I know that you performed as Clara twice in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular! What was that experience like?

Performing as Clara in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular was my favorite role I have ever had, and I am so blessed to have done it twice! The entire experience - from living in NYC during the holidays, to being in such a magical show - was unforgettable. I did a total of 140 shows, and I will always cherish the memories and friendships I made during that time. One of my favorite memories was my first year performing on opening night! The energy and excitement of the audience was unlike anything else!

 

As a three time YAGP Gold medalist and Finalist, what has been your favorite on-stage memory or  a performance you’ll never forget, and why?

I would have to say my favorite stage memories at YAGP were my Final Round performances on the Lincoln Center stage! I’m so grateful for the opportunity I was given to perform my solos on the same stage as so many great ballerinas.

 

What’s a step/combination in class that you always look forward to doing?

Pirouettes have always been my favorite part of class!

 Photo by Neil Gandhi of Life in an Image
Photo by Neil Gandhi of Life in an Image

What’s something you’re actively working to improve upon in your dancing?

I’m always working on balancing my technique with artistry in class. There’s always going to be something to improve on technically, and it’s never going to be perfect, which is why practicing artistry, even in class, is so important. If you only focus on technique, you forget to enjoy the beauty of the art form!

 

What does an average day in the life of Alexandra look like?

An average day in my life starts out with my daily glass of lemon water. It helps me get started with my day feeling refreshed. Then, I usually have avocado toast or oatmeal for breakfast and head to my first class at Colburn. I start at 9:00 a.m. most days and finish around 4:00 p.m., depending on my rehearsal schedule. 

 My class schedule consists of: technique, pointe, variations, repertoire, pas de deux, contemporary, floor barre, and yoga. Once I get back home, I make dinner and try to do some form of therapy for my body, which is usually rolling out my muscles or taking an Epsom salt bath. Before I go to bed, I like to FaceTime friends, watch a movie, or read a book.

 

What is a challenge you've faced as a dancer? 

Staying motivated during the pandemic has been a challenge for me since I haven’t been able to perform, or even take classes in person. I’ve always been super busy with dance, and having so much extra free time due to lockdown and Zoom schedules was a difficult adjustment. Thankfully, I was able to go back to training in a studio with peers this summer at Miami City Ballet Summer Intensive and will continue to do so this fall at Colburn!

 

Do you have any advice for other aspiring young artists?

My advice to aspiring young artists would be to focus more on working for yourself to become the best possible dancer you can be, rather than for the validation of others. Having big goals such as winning a competition, getting a lead role, or getting into your dream school/company is great motivation, but it can take away from the authenticity of your dancing if you are only doing it for those reasons.

 Photo by Lightheart Dance Art
Photo by Lightheart Dance Art

How do you #FeelGoodDanceBetter?

Self care is vital to success in the dance world. The moment you put anything above your well being is the moment you lose yourself. Those who are working towards a professional dance career know it takes an insane amount of discipline and hard work to succeed, but it’s good to balance dance life with other things that make you happy. Spending time with your family and friends and finding hobbies you love outside of dance can even help your dance performance.

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