Perspective: Interview with Chicago Native, Seven Allen

Seven Allen by Zavesco Photography

Name: Seven Allen
Age: 18
Where are you from? Chicago, Illinois
Where do you currently train? The Chicago High School for the Arts (@chiartshs) and Hyde Park School of Dance (@hydeparkschoolofdance)

How and when did you get first your start in dance?
With little to no technique or training in dance, I auditioned for my local performing arts high school, where I got my jump start in dance. 

What does a typical day in the life of Seven look like?
My day consists mainly of school and dance. I have academics from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and dance from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have an additional ballet/pointe or variations class that ranges around 6:00 - 9:00 pm. 

What genres or styles of dance do you enjoy most, and why?
I enjoy ballet the most because it works my body in a way that’s challenging yet calming at the same time. I tend to be a very shy person, but dance brings out a different personality in me.

Where do you ultimately hope to take your career as a dancer? Do you have any performance goals, dream companies, or other dance aspirations?
I hope to one day become a professional dancer and be a part of a ballet company. My dream company is Dance Theatre of Harlem. I want to showcase to other upcoming dancers who start late that they can achieve the same things as me.

What are some of your other interests and hobbies outside of dancing?
I love cooking and baking!

What is something that not many people know about you?
I’m a right turner on flat and a left turner on pointe. 

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

What has been your favorite on-stage memory or performance you’ll never forget, and why?
When I was Snow Queen in Nutcracker. It was my first ever lead role, and I felt nothing but pure happiness while performing.

What’s a step/combination in class that you always look forward to doing? What do you feel most proud of in your dancing?
I always look forward to moving across the floor doing jumps and turns. I feel most proud about the energy I put into my movements.

What’s something you’re actively working to improve upon in your dancing?I’m working on the small transition steps in between larger steps because they're just as important as the big steps.

What is a challenge you've faced as a dancer and how did/do you work to overcome it?
My biggest challenge was comparing myself to other dancers and feeling like the way my body looked in ballet wasn't good enough. I learned to focus more on how my body feels.
 Seven Allen

Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists?
Allow yourself to struggle - and let that make you stronger. 

We know you’ve used PointePeople products in the past (we love to see it!) Why do you feel it’s important for dancers of color to have dance shoes/attire that match their skin tone?
When I first started using Pointe Paint, it matched my tights so well and created a longer line when I danced. I felt more confident in my dancing, and it actually made me even more excited to take class.

I think it's important for every dancer of color to be able to experience this because it makes them feel more included in the dance world.

How do you #FeelGoodDanceBetter?
I like to stretch or roll out my muscles.

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