Hometown: Dallas, TX
School/Company: The Dallas Conservatory Academic Program and I train in the pre-professional program at The Dallas Conservatory
Favorite Brands: Russian Pointe, Yumiko, Jo+Jax, Capezio, and of course PointePeople!
Dream Roles: Giselle and Odette/ Odile
How did you get into ballet?
When I was two years old my mom put me in a small dance school right down the road from my house. She says I was the only two year old that was VERY serious in class and had to have the perfect bun and dance apparel, and I would get super upset when the teacher wanted to play silly dance games during class instead of learning plies and tendus at the barre! Then at eight years old I decided that I wanted serious ballet training and my mom found The Dallas Conservatory where I took a summer intensive. At the end of the summer I was asked to stay and train year-round with the pre-professional program as the youngest in the school. That is where I have been ever since and I am thankful for the training I get every day!
What's your favorite part of being a student at The Dallas Conservatory?
There are so many reasons I love The Dallas Conservatory. First, the training is amazing. I get to learn from two-time Youth America Grand Prix "Teacher of the Year", Jacqueline Porter and I also get to train with former Bolshoi prima ballerina, Olga Pavlova. I also get to go to academic school there! So, I get to literally dance and train all day by being in the school and dance program.
Take us through a day in the life of Madyson...
Monday through Thursday my school day starts at 10:00am at the studio. We have school from 10:00am - 2:00pm but I also have one hour of private lessons during this time each day, so I'm not only doing school work during the day. Then at 2:30pm every day I have a ballet class until 4:15 that is part of our daytime school program. I then have a short break until my evening training classes begin at 5:15 and usually last until 9:30. Once I get home I eat dinner and shower and get ready to start this routine all over again! Friday is my "day off". I do not have school or dance classes this day, but I do work on my variations and corrections on my own. On Saturdays, our company has rehearsals from 10:00am to 6:00pm and on Sundays I again work on my variations and corrections on my own.
What was the best part of attending the School of American Ballet this summer?
My dream job is to one day dance for New York City Ballet. Being at SAB felt like I was one step closer to reaching that goal! There is just something magical about the environment, studios, and of course being in New York City. Just the thought of training in the same place as Tiler Peck and Sara Mearns gives me chills! Then of course being surrounded by truly talented kids from all over the world was pretty cool. I made so many new friendships while there, too!
What keeps you motivated every day?
My teachers are great motivators. They all care and only want the best for me, so that really inspires me, but also my faith in Christ. I feel blessed to have been given such a precious gift as dance and I don't ever want to take that for granted. I try to live every day in the moment, reflect on my blessings, and make everyone proud.
What's your favorite source of healthy energy between classes?
I always pack A LOT of fruit every day, and I always get smoothies with fruit and peanut butter from the local cafe in our studio's neighborhood, too. Between those things, I have enough energy to get me through the day!
What is something you struggle with as a dancer?
Unfortunately, pain is something I struggle with on a regular basis. I have a chronic achilles issue that sometimes flares up. It is called Plantar Fasciitis. I have to stay on top of specific exercises and stretches to help eliminate the flare ups, but when my hours of training increases for either a performance or competition, the pain is inevitable. I go to physical therapy to help when the pain is severe but I think this is something I will deal with for a long time.
Who has been your most influential teacher and why?
I have three teachers in my life that have all played a HUGE role in helping me become the dancer I am. Jacqueline Porter saw something in me when I was just eight years old. She has taken me under her wing and laid the strong foundation of ballet for me! Her time and attention to detail has been a crucial part of my training.
Ms. Clair Culin is my contemporary coach and her positive and uplifting spirit is so important to me. I know I can count on her to help me tackle hard challenges and obstacles.
Finally, Ms. Olga Pavlova has had a huge impact on me. To learn from someone who not only was a professional ballerina but became one of the best of her times is very inspiring. I hope I continue to make all three of these teachers proud as the years go by.
What do you do to your Russian Pointe shoes to prep them for performance?
The great thing about Russian Pointe is that there is not much I have to do to them! The only two things I am sure to do is hit the box a few times on a hard surface to make them a little quieter and step on the vamp to help them mold to my metatarsals. Other than that they fit great and hug my feet in all the right places.
What do you like to do outside of dance?
Dance takes up a HUGE majority of my time so I don't have too much time for anything else. If I have any downtime, I love catching up on my Netflix shows or just hanging with my family. We hardly ever have time to just be together so we will try to spend as much time as we can as a family.
What's something not many people know about you?
I have a half sister but I'm the only child at my house.
Anything else you'd like to add?
This year I will be dancing as The Snow Queen in The Dallas Conservatory's Nutcracker. I will be the youngest to have danced this role for our company so far.
Photo Credit: Rhilee Photography
Follow Madyson on Instagram here: @madyson_grobe_official