Hometown: Orlando, Florida
School: Orlando Ballet School
Favorite Brand of Dancewear: That is a really tough question, as I love so many brands of dancewear! However, if I had to choose a favorite, it would probably have to be Luckyleo Dancewear! I have so many leotards from them and I adore them all! Luckyleo has such a great variety of fabrics and styles to choose from, and who doesn't want to make their own custom leotard?
Dream Roles: I hope to get to perform both classical and contemporary ballets! If I had to choose three of my favorite roles from classical ballets, they would have to be Odile (Black Swan) from Swan Lake, Swanhilda from Coppelia, and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
How I first came to Dance: I actually started as primarily a hip-hop dancer. When at dance, during my breaks, I would find myself watching the advanced ballet classes all of the time! Seeing the girls in their pointe shoes and watching the boys lift them across the dance studio was mesmerizing! I began ballet that next year and have never looked back! I was and am forever hooked on ballet/pointe!
Most Influential Teacher: There are so many teachers who have influenced me throughout my years of dance. If I had to choose one teacher who has influenced me the most, it would have to be Ashleigh Davis Keefer. She was my first teacher and truly helped me to believe in myself! She is such a big mentor to me and has provided me with so many opportunities, like being a Faculty Assistant for BellaMoxi Dance Convention these past two years! My present teachers at Orlando Ballet have also greatly influenced me! I also have been fortunate enough to train under Dusty Button, Carlos Dos Santos, Alex Little, Clifton Brown, and so many others who have inspired and helped me grow as an artist!
Favorite Source of Healthy Energy: Smoothies for sure! I love having a fruit smoothie in the morning to start my day off right.
3 Things You Can Always Find in My Dance Bag: Three things that you could always find in my dance bag other than leotards, tights, and dance shoes is my Freshify foot spritz bottle, my Thera Band for stretching, and my fuzzy socks! I love wearing fuzzy socks in between classes because they are super comfy and they keep my feet warm.
Favorite Way to Sweat Outside of the Dance Studio: Other than dancing, I love going to the gym and getting on the elliptical and I also love getting in the pool at my house and swimming. I also enjoy taking floor barre classes because it helps me work on my control and center!
A Day in the Life of Me: So my days will be very different this coming year, as I am starting homeschool but I will just take you through a day for me from this past school and dance season. I would wake up early, fix my ballet bun, and drink my smoothie. I go to school at 9:30 am and my school ends at 3:50 pm but I am considered an early release student which allows me to get out early each day for ballet class. I dance from 2:30 pm to around 8:30 pm every night with a break in the middle to eat dinner and do homework. After I am done with dance, I go home, eat a snack, then I get a shower, go to bed, and wake up the next day to do it all over again.
My Dance Idol: I have so many dancers that I admire but a few of my main ballet inspirations and idols would have to be Natalie Varnum, Natalia Osipova, Iana Salenko, Dusty Button, and Maria Kochetkova. They are all amazing from their flawless technique to their unique attitudes and personalities!
One Thing I am Working on in the Studio for 2017: My control en pointe! Everything is different for a ballet dancer when they put on their pointe shoes! Becoming more fluid and graceful when working en pointe is a goal of mine to reach this year.
Something that Challenges Me as a Dancer: Continuing to develop my artistry. As I get older, I have more life experiences, which I want to express and feel more comfortable exploring through dance.
About Rhi Lee Photoshoot in Chicago: Rhi Lee is an exceptional photographer and the photoshoot I did with her in Chicago was unforgettable! Rhi believes in quality rather than quantity, which I believe in 100% as well. She is such a gifted photographer and genuine person! The photoshoot in Chicago was very cold and windy! It was interesting, to say the least, being in the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago in 30-degree weather in a leotard and tutu! I definitely got some weird looks throughout the night! However, given the chance, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! I hope to work with her again in the near future, but maybe somewhere a bit warmer!
Where I Hope to be in 5 Years: In 5 years, I definitely hope to be training with The Houston Ballet! I would love to dance professionally with their incredible company! From their timeless classical ballets to their unique and modern contemporary ballets, Houston Ballet is my dream company!
Thanks for reading! Check out Rhi Lee's Dance Photography page here!
I enjoyed your interview. The pictures of you were exquisite. Keep up the good work and I know you will go far. Hope to see you sometime this summer.