Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Favorite Brands: Grishko, SoDanca
Dream Roles: Giselle, Medora, Swanhilda, and 3rd Odalisque. Le Corsaire is my absolute favorite ballet so I think any role in Le Corsaire would be a dream: Medora, Gulnare, or an Odalisque would all be amazing!
What studio do you dance at?
Fort Lauderdale Youth Ballet with my amazing coach German Dager. It is my home, I love it!
How did you first get interested in ballet?
I started ballet very young, at 3 but I really fell in love with it when my grandmother took me to see the Miami City Ballet’s Nutcracker when I was 5. I was mesmerized and in love!
However, it really wasn't until I was 8 that I started pushing my mom to let me have some ballet privates and go to ballet summer intensives. Once I was 9, I started training daily with my coach German Dager.
What is your favorite combination to do at the barre?
Adagio at the barre is my favorite. I like every adagio combo both at the barre and center. Center is my favorite though because I love to turn and express myself.
What do you recommend for dancers who want to get higher extensions?
To get higher extensions I recommend to stretch and strengthen daily. You have to do both! Stretching warm is also so important!
Why do you choose to wear Grishko pointe shoes?
Grishko pointe shoes fit me perfectly and I feel supported and can dance my best in them; I have tried other shoes and I just feel better in Grishko than any other shoe️. Plus, I think they are beautiful and make my feet look their best!
How do you prep your pointe shoes?
I don’t do much to prep my pointe shoes; I crush the box a little and then I just break them in with my feet. I like to stretch over them, squatting, to break them in.
Do you wear toe pads?
I do. I wear Propads by Bunheads. They are perfect because they add a little padding on the top of my foot but I can still feel the floor on the bottom.
You're a great turner! Do you have any tips for turning on pointe?
I recommend to learn how to spot and pull up.
Tip: When I’m not turning my best, I try for a double pirouette or a triple pirouette and try to just stay up and float instead of coming down right away and it helps me find my center again.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
I get up around 7:00am, eat eggs and fruit - my Mom always makes me eat protein for breakfast! Then, I leave for ballet by 8:30am. I usually get to the studio about an hour before class, do my hair, and stretch and warm-up my feet with a theraband. My morning classes start at 10:00am. I finish around 1:30pm and do school. Then, it’s back to ballet around 5:00pm each day until about 8:00-9:00pm.
What are a few of your favorite healthy snacks?
I love fruit! KIND bars are my more decadent treat when I am extra hungry on the go.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Language Arts - I love to write! I am always writing stories. Often, between morning and night classes, I go in the dark studio and write in my notebooks. I really like storytelling, both in ballet, and on paper.
Describe a great day. What are you doing that makes it special?
A day is great when I feel like I’ve danced my best and made real improvements.
This year, I am also so lucky to train with one of my role models: Gabriela Mesa (@gmeuropa). On the days that I get to train with her, I am on Cloud 9!
If the studio is closed, and you can't dance at home, what are a few of your favorite activities?
I love going to the beach with my sister. She is only 6, but is my other half.
What makes you happiest?
A long private with my coach German Dager, a piece of dark chocolate, or of course anytime I get to perform makes me happiest!
What would you like to be when you grow up?
I would like to be a professional ballet dancer, a choreographer and a ballet teacher/coach. I love everything about ballet and contemporary ballet and I hope to spend my whole life immersed in it.
If that's a dancer, where would you like to dance?
Anywhere I get to dance I will be happy!
Of course, we all have big dreams of amazing companies but I would feel so blessed to have a long professional career as a dancer.
If you couldn't be a dancer, what would you be?
A choreographer and ballet teacher/school director.
If I couldn't do that, I would write. I couldn't imagine a life without being creative.
Did you enjoy using Pointe Paint?
I love Pointe Paint!
Pointe Paint is so much fun to make your pointe shoes pop with color, and Nude Pointe Paint colors are amazing too!
How do you #FeelGoodDanceBetter?
I am really hard on myself, so I think I need a few of these tips myself!
Really, I struggle with this on bad days. I have very high expectations for myself and I am not so forgiving when I let myself down. I try to remind myself that being too hard on myself will never help and that I have to see bad moments as challenges and things to work on and overcome.
What is something not many people know about you?
I love to make horror movies on iMovie! I like doing crazy, scary makeup and writing screenplays and making them come to life! It’s my secret hobby.
Keep up with Emma on her journey in the ballet world on Instagram!
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