Sarah LaPointe – April Judges’ Choice Winning Video
I am very humbled that my video was selected as the Judges’ Choice winner of the Harlequin Scholarship video contact for April 2013! Thank you!!!
How long have you been dancing?
Dancing has been a huge part of my life from a very young age. My parents enrolled me in dance at the early age of two. Obviously I really enjoyed it because fourteen years later and I haven’t stopped since.
Do you study other types of dance? Which dance genres do you like best? Why?
I have trained in all genres of dance from ballet to hip-hop and performed many variations from classical ballets and in the full-length ballet of The Nutcracker. Ballet and pointe have always been my favorite. I have the ideal ballerina body, long lean legs. And, I’m always being told I have the perfect last name for a ballet dancer “LAPOINTE”.
Tell us a bit about your studio/school
After spending five weeks this past summer (2012) at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA, I was faced with a tough decision. I enjoyed their rigorous program and exceptional faculty so much that I decided to return as a year round resident student. It was a big decision to move away from home at 15, but I knew in my gut it was time. The school has developed a reputation as one of the nation’s top pre-professional training programs. Plus, they offer a unique in-house academic program and resident program. This allows me to focus on my dance education and academics all in the same location and train with the best!
Summer has always been my chance to seek out new opportunities and gain experience outside of my home studio. I’ve attended summer intensives at Bolshoi Ballet Academy and The Rock School. This summer (2013) I have been accepted into the 7 week ballet curriculum at Chautauqua School of Dance.
Please tell us about your YAGP experiences. Do you participate in other competitions?
I have attended many regional and national dance competitions and have received numerous dance awards, accolades and scholarships. High on my list of proud moments for me thus far was competing at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) semi-finals, the world’s largest student ballet and contemporary dance competition, and placing Top 12 in both the senior classical and senior contemporary division. At YAGP semi-finals in Hartford, CT (2013), I was awarded 2nd place in the senior age division for my classical ballet variation Paquita. My scores qualified me for an invitation to YAGP finals in New York in April 2013.
What motivates you and inspires you to dance?
When I was young, I looked up to and was inspired by the older students in my studio. Now that I am one of those older students, I am inspired by the other dancers around me and I feel incredibly fortunate to be where I am today. Since being at The Rock School, I have had the opportunity to train with many professional dancers like Misty Copeland, Daniel Ulbrict, Olivier Pardina, BeckAnne Sisk, Isaac Hernandez, Violette Verdy and so many others.
I have so many dancers that inspire me… Paloma Herrera, Polina Semionova, Svetlana Zakharova, and the list goes on and on... But one person that truly inspires me the most is my coach at The Rock School, Natalya Zeiger. She is a graduate of the Moscow Academy of the Bolshoi Theater and a former soloist with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Company. Natalya is one of the most influential teachers I have had the honor to train with in all the years of dancing. Her attention to both technical and artistic qualities of a dancer is unlike any other. She helps me concentrate on building my technique, body alignment, stage presence, and developing my strength as a dancer to accomplish all the demands of ballet.
I stayed motivated by telling myself there’s always going to be someone better than me. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. I am happiest with myself when I know that I have done my personal best.
What are your future plans? Do they include dancing? A college dance program?
To dance professionally is my dream. My eyes are open to all the possibilities that are awaiting me. I can see myself in a prestigious ballet company dancing soloist or principal roles. Eventually, I do want to attend college. But the timeline is not very clear in my head at this point. For now, I will just enjoy the moment, keep a positive outlook, and continue my journey to see where it leads me.
I have some new exciting opportunities that are coming up. Readers can follow me on the following social media sites:
Thank you again for this amazing opportunity.