Name: Elden Brady
Where do you currently live/train? Campaneria Ballet School; Cary, North Carolina
What kind of pointe shoes do you wear? I wore Suffolk Spotlights for about 10 months, but I just switched to Nikolays. So far I love them!
How and when did you get your start in dance?
I first got my start in dance when I was looking for a sport to do and spent years trying out a bunch of different sports. I eventually tried a dance class and loved it. At first, dance was just something I could do for fun after school, but about when I was eleven, I knew I wanted to dance professionally.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite experiences at competitions or intensives?
My favorite things about competitions and intensives are how you can take so many classes from amazing teachers, see a lot of amazing dancers, and meet a lot of new friends.
Do you have any funny memories or stories you can share with us from the stage or studio?
I have a lot of funny memories from the studio, but my favorite one from the stage was probably when we were doing a dress rehearsal for Sleeping Beauty. We were doing the Maiden’s Dance and pirouettes from fifth when my foot slipped under me, and I fell on stage.
I know you just took part in the in-person Elite Classical Coaching Summer Intensive! What was that experience like, and what precautions did you have to take?
Right now, I am home from Elite Classical Coaching Summer Intensive. It was a great experience! The coaching was amazing, and the girls were super nice. To stay safe from the virus, we socially distanced and wore masks.
What are your favorite dance-wear brands and why?
I have a lot of dance-wear brands that I love like Yumiko, LuckyLeo, and Ainsliewear. My favorite, though, is Degas because they make such gorgeous and classy leotards, like this one I am wearing right now! They fit super well, and there are a bunch of different styles and colors.
I know you’ve created an Instagram account to sell your gently used dance-wear, @eldensdancewear! How did you come up with that idea?
I created my dance-wear account to sell some of my leotards that don’t fit anymore because leotards are really expensive! So, I thought it would be a good way for dancers to buy leotards from brands they’ve never tried or even brands they love, without paying full price.
What is one product in your dance bag that you can’t live without!?
One of the products in my dance bag that I cannot live without is this [band]. It’s from SuperiorBand. You can stretch your middle splits with it, or you can do a lot of turnout exercises because it’s very resistant. I feel like I do a lot better in class when I use it; it really opens my hips and helps with my extensions and strengthening.
What is an element in your technique that you would like to improve the most? What are you most proud of in your dancing?
An element in my technique that I would like to improve the most is my placement because I know, right now, that it’s kind of all over the place. I am working on getting that under control. What I am most proud of in my dancing is probably how I present myself on stage.
Your stretching and foot strengthening routines on your social media accounts are so inspiring! What is one piece of advice you have for anyone working to improve their flexibility?
One piece of advice I have for anyone trying to improve their flexibility is don’t give up! It is definitely possible. You don’t have to be born flexible...I wasn’t! If you just keep working at it and put your mind to it, then you will get there.
What is something interesting that people might not know about you?
Something interesting that people might not know about me is that I am one of five kids, and we are all pretty close in age. My oldest sibling is my eighteen-year-old sister, and my youngest sibling is my twelve-year-old brother.
What’s next for Elden? What are your short term and long term plans or goals?
One of my biggest goals for this year is to improve my placement. Looking ahead, I would love to go to a year-round program, and my biggest goal as a dancer is to become a professional.
Our mantra is #FeelGoodDanceBetter. What do you do as an athlete/artist to take care of your body daily?
Some things I do to take care of my body are: focusing on eating healthy and drinking a lot of water. After long days of dance, I like to roll out using rollers or even a small tennis ball.
What’s something you struggle with as a dancer?
Something I struggle with as a dancer is being a perfectionist; I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect.
I have a lot of inspirations for dance. I follow a lot of dancers on Instagram that I really look up to, but I’d say my biggest inspiration is Sydney Dolan. She trained at my studio before she went to Pennsylvania Ballet at a very young age. Because of the virus, she’s back at our studio teaching a lot of classes this summer, and she has some really good advice. She pours her whole heart into her teaching and her dancing. What I love about her is not only how amazing she is, but also how kind and supportive she is.