Enjoy this week’s Movement and Conversation Wednesday entry, all in fun. A dancer’s profile, with a wrap up with why she feels the integration of dance and health is vital. More to come . . .
Name: Sarah Hairston
Defining Moment onstage to date: I have 2 moments that truly stick out in my mind. The first one was when I danced Princess Aurora for the first time a few years ago. It is one of my favorite roles and my first Principal role in a Classical Ballet other than Nutcracker. I put so much pressure on myself. Once I got onstage, it was one of those moments that something takes over and you feel like you are in a dream. It was a huge debut for me and for some reason I was not nervous at all. I was quite happy with my performances and a few days later I was promoted to Principal. The other moment was my first performance back to the stage after having major knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. I ruptured my ACL in April of 2011, right after I was promoted to Principal, and was told I would be out for a year or more. Giselle had been announced for the next season and I was determined to dance it. This would put me back on stage in 6 months from my surgery date. I was told this was close to impossible but if I was determined enough there was a possibility. My life for the next 6 months was centered around rehab and getting on stage to dance one of my favorite roles. On October 26, 2011, I danced Giselle for the first time. I had the most amazing time onstage that day. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life! I have never heard an audience scream so loud during my curtain call. It was unbelievable. It truly made me realize my accomplishment and I’m so grateful to have so many people to support me. It was a career changing moment.
Favorite Style to Dance: That is a hard one for me because I feel this changes with what I am dancing at the time. However, I love classical story ballets where I get to act. I prefer the more dramatic ones like Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet. I love telling a story through dancing. It makes the steps more meaningful to me. Juliet is my favorite role! But I recently danced the Siren in Prodigal Son and that is also high up on my list!
Music inspires me in an intense way. Music can truly change my mood in either direction. I also get very inspired by other peoples accomplishments. I love hearing a story of how someone has overcome something hard in their life. It shows that we can always do what we set our minds to. I think in a way, I live by that!
Favorite Energy Breakfast: I am a creature of habit. Everyday I have coffee, a slim fast shack ( I love them), a DanActive, and some sort of power bar such as a Cliff Bar! This usually gets me through my ballet class and then I am ready to eat again!
Favorite Thing to Do on a day off: I like to spend some quality time with my dog Dakota! My boyfriend has just moved to Cincinnati as well, so I am looking forward to spending more time with him. I also clean my house, run errands, catch up on everything that I possibly can, and relax as much as possible!
How do you blow off steam: I usually give a good call in to my mom. She is a great listener and someone that can have a different perspective. I will also take a hot bath and enjoy a nice glass of wine!
Why do I think the integration of dance and health is needed? I realize this even more now than ever. As dancers, we sometimes think that our day to day ballet training is enough. We get so tired and busy, it can be challenging to add much more. After two knee surgeries in a year and a half, my life has become consumed by my overall strength and health. I never realized how much more it truly takes for a body to do what we do everyday. This has been a true wake up call for me and a life changer. I am more aware of eating a balanced diet, taking my vitamins, listening to my body, relaxing when needed, and strengthening the areas of my body that are weak. After coming out of surgery with a leg half the size of my other, I realized how precious our bodies are to us as dancers, and therefore we need to take care of them properly. I have learned that Pilates, weight training, and Gyro are all great ways to do this.
What is next for you: I am towards the end of the 2012-2103 season with Cincinnati Ballet and we just finished some really great ballets such as Romeo and Juliet and Prodigal Son. We are now working on a collaboration with the musician, Peter Frampton.
After this I have a bit of time off and will be dancing with Cincinnati Opera. I am also really excited to start our upcoming season because we are performing Swan Lake and Symphony in C!
And remember to dancehealthier!