Everybody knows by now my obsession with Breaking Pointe. I had the chance to see Ballet West here in Chicago a few weeks ago (which you can read about here), but I ALSO got an exclusive Q&A with Allison DeBona that I've been saving up for a rainy day. It's not raining, but I'm sitting on a couch and I could really use a pick-me-up, and my two coffees and the glitter headband I'm wearing just aren't doing it. So, here goes!
ChicagoNow: How do you think the show is changing the public's view of ballet and dance companies?
Allison: I think Breaking Pointe is broadening ballet's audience. People who have never seen ballet before were coming up to me after opening night at the Auditorium Theatre telling me it was their first time at a ballet and they came because the watched the show. We wanted to get more people involved in our art form and it seems to be working!
AD: Thank you. I learned a lot about myself from the show. I also learned that it's better to be vocal then quiet. I think that is why you see a difference in me between Seasons 1 and 2. My best advice to anyone going through what I did is to not force any decision. Time was the key to deciding what I needed to do, truths came out as I went along.
CN: Do you feel being on the show has changed you at all? How real is everything that happens on the show?
AD: I don't feel any different and I certainly don't live my life differently. My first job is a ballerina and it always will be.
CN: Has having the cameras around affected rehearsals at all? Do the camera guys ever get in the way?
AD: At first, it was a little hard to get used to the cameras being around, but now I don't even notice them!!! The cameramen are very professional and tried their best not to interfere with rehearsals.
CN: What pointe shoes do you wear?
AD: I wear Grishkos! You can find my first pointe shoe ad in this month's Pointe Magazine. Check it out!
CN: What's your favorite ballet?
AD: My favorite ballet, hands down, is Swan Lake!
CN: What's in your dance bag (favorite brands, products etc)?
AD: Besides my shoes, I have a few staples in my dance bag. Tape, second skin and gum! You'll always find an Ensure protein shake in there, too!
CN: What advice do you have for dancers who might feel it's too late for them to go professional?
AD: I was 24 when I started professional. I decided to go to college and heard plenty of times that I wouldn't get hired at that age. I think you can do anything you put your mind to. If you accept "no" then that's the end. I never accepted anything than what I saw for myself.
CN: What's your favorite thing about Chicago (and have you been here before)?
AD: I've been to Chicago quite a few times. Of course, I love the pizza!!!!!!!