Feature Friday: Ballerina Alisa Uzunova

Happy Feature Friday!

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This week we are excited to feature our first dancer on the site, Alisa Uzunova! Being former ballet dancers ourselves we love a good dance Instagram and particularly love Alisa’s. She is a very talented ballerina who is relentlessly pursuing her dancing dreams. Although being a dedicated ballet dancer is a lot of hard work both physically and mentally, Alisa doesn’t think of ballet as that harsh competitive world many view it as. It is simply her passion and one of her keys to happiness. All the hard work is just another stepping stone to achieving her goals.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is Alisa Valerieva Uzunova I was born on the 17th of July in a small beautiful city named Veliko Tărnovo in Bulgaria. I knew from a young age of that I wanted to become a ballerina, every where there was music I always used to start dancing and moving on the rhythm. That’s why my mom decided to put me in a ballet class. I remember my first class when I was 4,5 years old. From then on I said to my mom that I want to become a ballerina. And luckily enough when we moved in 2007 to Brussels, Belgium we found new great ballet teachers, to help me live my dreams. From the age of 12-14 I studied at the Royal Ballet School Of Antwerp under Artistique Director Michael Shannon. Because the school was in a different city I had to stay in a boarding school. After 2 years in Antwerp I decided I wanted to do more ballet and moved back to Brussels to train at a privte school, the Brussels International Ballet School where we danced from 10am until 6pm. After that, I studied my academics for about 2 hours a day. That extra training helped me get better for the Vaganova Ballet Academy.

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Castle Logo: When and why did you start dancing?

I’ve actually always been dancing. My mom used to tell me that even when I was a baby and couldn’t walk yet. I still tried to move whenever I heard music. At the age of 4 or 5 my mom decided to put me in my first ballet lesson. I remember I was wearing this cute little pink leotard and pink skirt. From then on I knew I wanted to do this all my life. At that age I didn’t really know yet what I was supposed to do to become a ballerina, but somehow knew I would.

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Castle Logo: You are a ballet dancer. What about ballet do you love the most?

Now that I’m already 15 I’ve been dancing for about 10 years. I love everything about this art form. My favorite part are the rehearsals. I love those long days that I spend in the studio to prepare new pieces to go and perform them good on stage. Cause I’m that kind of person that will always have something I’m not happy about. Or it’s my expression when I dance or my technique. Rather what, it can always be better. That’s why I love working on something and making it look better for the audience.

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Castle Logo: You are currently attending a ballet academy. Describe a day in your life at the academy?

Yes, currently I’m training at the Brussels International Ballet School. This is a private school where we only dance. My day starts at 7am when I wake up and have a cup of coffee. I usually leave the house at 8 because it takes me an hour to get to the school. I’ll get there at 9am and warm up until 10. I always need to warm up very good before class, otherwise I knew everything will be bad. First we have a ballet class from 10am-11:45am to warm up our body. At 12am we would have an hour of point work, where we do almost the same things as in the normal ballet class but on pointe shoes. After that we get a 1 hour lunch break. At 2pm we have rehearsals where we do some new variations or group pieces. Currently we where working on the Third act female variation from Paquita. One of my favorite variations. We would rehears for 2 hours until 4pm. After we usually stay for 30 more minutes to stretch. On some days we also have contemporary. But we always finish at 4pm. Except when we have a performance that’s coming up.

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Castle Logo: Do you have a favorite leap, turn, position or combination?

That’s a difficult question. I love doing fondu at the barre. I’m kind of a turner to. I love to turn. And I’m trying to get them better and better every day. But what I love the most are all the port de bras we have in ballet. Especially when the pianist plays a romantic peace from a ballet, I have the inspiration that the music takes me away and it’s as if a was in my own world.

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Castle Logo: What does it feel like when you are performing on stage?

It feels like my home! I mean all those long days i spend at the studio are just to get better and later to get in a company and perform on a big stage almost every week.

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Castle Logo: Ballet is often seen as a high pressure world with strenuous training schedules and standards. How do you get past the tough days?

I don’t really think of ballet that way.
I mean I decided to go that path to train hard become something.
But of course there is a lot of pressure. Everyone wants to be the best, especially the ballet competitions are very stressful for us. We also need to keep in shape and stay healthy.

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Castle Logo: What ballet accessories do you just have to have in your dance bag?

I always have my heavy weights of 1.5kg with me to stretch better. I also need to have my Stitch Kit in my bag for whenever my elastics on my (pointe) shoes break. Another thing are of course my pointe shoes and soft shoes.

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Castle Logo: How has social media helped your dance career?

Social media has been great. I created a GoFundMe account 3 weeks ago for my education in Russia. People have been very kind with the donations. It’s so great to have the support.
After my acceptance at the Vaganova Academy I also decided to create my own Blog: www.alisauzunova.weebly.com for people to follow my dancing life.
I’m also on Instagram as @alisauzunova. I love posting al my pictures from Photoshoots. I’ve never expected to have so many followers, I’m very glad the people enjoy my page. Make sure you check it.

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Castle Logo: Any advice for fellow ballerinas out there?

What I’ve learned so far and would advise to the fellow ballerinas out there is that everything is possible if you REALLY want it. Every dream can become true. All you have to do is go for it. Believe me!

See more from Alisa at:
Instagram: @alisauzunova
Facebook: @alisavalerieva
Blog: www.alisauzunova.weebly.com
GoFundMe campaign: http://www.gofundme.com/alisauzunova

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