Perspective: Interview with Emma Spillane

Age: 14
Hometown: I am from Massachusetts but during the school year I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend the Rock School For Dance Education
Favorite Dancewear Brands: Discount Dance Supply and Grishko
Dream Roles: I have 3: Odette/Odile, Giselle or Juliet


emma spillane ballet

How did you first get interested in ballet?

I fell in love with ballet when I discovered ballerinas on YouTube. I watched ballet all the time and soon I wanted to try it myself.

You're a great turner and have beautiful extensions! Any tips for either of these things?

Thank you so much!

For higher extensions - stretch a lot! I do lots of over splits and I also like to grab my leg with my hand and pull it over my head for a good stretch! 

Tips for turns: I would say do a lot of ab exercises. Having a strong core will make your turns stronger. Also, practicing turning every day can just make you better at them.

What is your favorite combination to do at the barre?

My favorite combination to do at the barre is adagio. I love adagio because I love to move slowly and elegantly and I love the challenge.

emma spillane ballet

What pointe shoes do you wear and why?

I wear Grishko Nova Flex pointe shoes. I love these pointe shoes because they not only are they so comfortable to wear, they’ve helped shape my feet with the right support. I absolutely love my Grishkos.

How do you prep your pointe shoes?

I always break my pointe shoes in by bending the shank a bit and putting water on the edges of the box to soften it up.

Do you wear toe pads? If so, what kind do you like?

I wear toe pads. My favorite toe pads that I wear are Bunhead Ouch Pouches from Discount Dance Supply.

What does a typical morning look like for you?

A typical morning for me would be waking up early and leaving at 7:30am to go to Rock. I arrive around 7:45am and I have academics from 8-10am. After academics, I have class from 10:30-12pm followed by a pointe class from 12-1pm.

How are you completing your academics?

I am doing my school at Rock’s academic program. We take online courses at the Keystone School. I love it so much and I feel I am learning a lot.

Why do you choose to dance at the Rock?

I absolutely love the Rock School. I have such a variety of great teachers with wonderful knowledge I can’t just pick one favorite. I have learned so much here. Also, the people at Rock are just amazing. They are all so talented, kind and caring. I am so forever grateful to be able to train at the Rock school.

emma spillane ballet

What are a few of your favorite healthy snacks?

Some of my favorite healthy snacks are bananas, protein bars, or trail mix.

If the studio is closed, and you can't dance at home, what are a few of your favorite activities?

On days off, I love reading. I also like to bake and go shopping.

What makes you happiest?

I love to dance. Words can’t describe how happy I feel when I am dancing.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

I would definitely love to be a principal ballerina with a leading company.

Where would you like to dance one day?

Some of my favorite companies are the Royal Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet.

If you couldn't be a dancer, what would you be?

If I couldn’t be a dancer, I would love to do something with fashion. I love fashion and I always love to shop for new clothes.

Did you enjoy using Pointe Paint?

I loved using Pointe Paint. I used the Macadamia color for a performance and it was the perfect shade. It was also super easy to use and super quick to put on my pointe shoes! I absolutely loved it and it came out so well.

How do you #FeelGoodDanceBetter?
Something that I love to do to keep a smile on my face is bake my favorite treat or hang out with my friends from ballet.

What is something not many people know about you?
I started ballet late. I was a competition dancer for 7 years before I started ballet! I then started ballet full time when I was 11.

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