Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spotlight On: Elseana Skowronski

     Hello everyone. It's so close to Christmas! I hope you all are having a lovely time. My show ends this weekend and it was definitely one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. On opening night I got at a call in which I found out that I got accepted into FPU. I will be moving in January. It's only an hour or so from where I live now so I can totally come home if I wanted too. I am very excited to start this new chapter of my life.
     Today I bring to you and interview with one of my favorite dancers and teammates, Elseana Skowronski. Elseana and I have known each other and danced together since 5th grade. We also did The Nutcracker together for two years. She is an absolutely stunning dancer, especially in contemporary. She's just one of my many dance inspirations. I have been wanting to interview her for ages and I'm so thrilled to finally be doing that. So let's get to learn more about her.

FR: What style of ballet do you do? (Vanganova, Balanchine, RAD etc…). 
ES: Honestly, not going to lie, I have not clue what style I do. My main training growing up was RAD but I have also taken classes in Cecchetti and I'm sure others. I've taken ballet from way too many teachers.... haha.

FR: How long have you been dancing? 
ES: I have been dancing 11 years.

FR: What got you into dancing? 
ES: I started taking class like any kid. No family members were really dancers, in fact my mom tried to talk me out of it for years, being why I started classes at age 7 instead of 2-3 as many did. 

FR: Where do/did you train? 
ES: My main training was at Velocity Dance Studio for years but I branched out pretty quick. I trained at The Dance Studio of Fresno for about a year and a half and I danced at Mariposa Academy of Performing Arts for a short while. I've taken class at more studios than I can count on one hand, and a few conventions and intensives. While great experiences and I would absolutely do them again, I'm not really sure I can attribute those miscellaneous classes to my training. 

FR: What brand/style pointe shoes do you wear? 
ES: Currently I wear the Suffolk Solos. I'm kind of looking into new ones. Possibly Freeds or Russians. Of course the expensive ones...

FR: Top 3 favourite ballerinas? 
ES: Honestly I have not drawn inspiration from a lot of ballerinas. I couldn't even name three.

FR: Top 3 favourite male dancers?
ES: Loooooooooove Mikhail Baryshnikov, but I mean who doesn't?

FR: Hobbies outside of ballet? 
ES: Ukulele is fun.

FR: What do you think of ballet competitions? 
ES: Definitely beneficial for those looking towards a career in a ballet company.

FR: Favourite ballet company or companies? 
ES: I like the SF ballet, but that could have to do with my partiality to the bay area and not the ballet itself. 

FR: Favourite ballets? 
ES: I like Sleeping Beauty a lot.

FR: Favorite ballet you've already performed? 
ES: Nutcracker is the only one I've done. 

FR  A ballet you really want to perform but haven’t?
ES: I'm really enjoying pursuing other styles of dance right now, so ballet hasn't been on my mind. 

FR Variations you really want to dance? 
ES: Again, anything Sleeping Beauty. Also Spanish in Nutcracker.

FR: Strengths in ballet (piourettes, adagio, flexibility, jumps etc...)?
ES: Musicality I'd say.

FR: A struggle you've faced or are facing in ballet that discourages you sometimes? 
ES: Definitely my body. It's easy to see that I do not have the typical "ballet" body so it's been a struggles, especially when I was younger.

FR: Role model in the dance world? 
ES: Courtney Schwartz. SHE IS AMAZING.

FR: If you could talk to a dancer, past or present, who would you chose and what would you say? 
ES: Again, Mikhail Baryshnikov. I'm picky about my inspo haha. I guess I'd just ask him how he grew to love dance being forced in to it. I'm not sure if I would love it as much if I were forced to do it.

FR: Best advice to a new dancer? 
ES: TECHNIQUE. Passion and fun is great, don't get me wrong, hang on to that as well, but if you focus on your technique in the beginning then you won't have to think about it later which will REALLY serve you well, especially in high pressure situations (auditions, etc.). 

FR: Why do you dance? 
ES: What can I say, its what I do.

FR:. Do you hope to inspire others to dance too? 
ES: It's never been a main concern of mine, but of course it would be nice. 

FR: What are some of your dance goals? 
ES: Just to get stronger and more flexible. I don't have any big career plans right now, but I secretly kind of want to have a dance company. Unrealistic dream, but maybe someday.  

FR: What keeps you from not quitting dance, in other words, what inspires you to keep on dancing? 
ES: Competition for sure. Whether it be the amazing dancers on tv that I'll never meet, or the 13 year old at my studio who can get her leg higher than me, that is what truly pushes me to stay at it. The attitude that if "they can do it I can too." Shallow, I know.

Fast Facts:
Birthday: July 9th.
What she's listening to right now: Cake, Vance Joy, Daughter, and Beyonce (Always).
Who would her in a movie: Maybe Emma Watson or Jennifer Lawrence.  
Best advice she's ever received: "Shake it off".
She won’t leave the house without her: Phone, license, debit card.
Favorite food: Grilled Cheese.
If I could be a superhero, my power would be: Flying, duh.
Performer I’d love to work with: Sia.
Must-see TV show: "Gilmore Girls"; my one true love, "How I Met Your Mother"; amazing, "Bob's Burgers"; great mindless entertainment. 
Strangest thing in my dance bag: I'm pretty standard. Lots of crumbs, but that's just gross, not so strange.
When I needs a little extra inspiration: "Dirty Dancing."

This picture is perfect in so many ways.
(photo credit: Lindsay Gray).

Water ballet.
(photo credit: Lindsay Gray).

This is by far my favorite picture.
(photo credit: Susan Skowronski).

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