Meet the Tulsa Ballet II Dancers: No. 3
Aug 28, 2013 in Blog Posts
MEET TULSA BALLET II DANCERS: No. 3
Silas Campos, Christy Martin & Xavier Nuñez
We recently were able to sit down with some of our TBII dancers and talk about their lives. Check back next week for a new installment in Meet Tulsa Ballet II Dancers!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG DANCERS?
Silas: I would say to first find a school that they feel comfortable at, where they can work hard and also have fun. I would also say that it’s important that they enjoy it, but that they’re passionate about working harder- getting into the corrections and going home and doing their homework and thinking about it outside of the studio. You don’t just go to the studio to have fun. And you don’t go there and once the day is over you stop thinking about it. I mean, don’t get obsessed about it, but put in a reasonable amount of time into remembering the corrections and applying it.
Xavier: The main advice I’d give to younger dancers, because I struggled with it when I was younger, is not to look at what other people have and compare to what you don’t. It’s best to focus on what you know is going to help you succeed. You can’t say “oh, this guy has pretty feet and I don’t”, because that’s going to drag you down. You have to keep looking forward and work hard for what you want.
WHAT DOES YOUR ACADEMIC LIFE LOOK LIKE AS A DANCER?
Christy: Well, for my first couple years of high school I went to a performing arts high school. And that was really nice because they provided time for us to go to school in the curriculum with a separate time for dancing or art. But for my last two years of high school I had to do online schooling and that’s difficult because you have a full day of dance and then you have to go home and you’re physically exhausted and mentally exhausted and you have to push yourself to finish your schooling after a full day of work. That was really difficult. But somehow you push through it and get it done.
Silas: Going to ballet school definitely affected my academic work and school. I had late rehearsals on the weekdays and I was really tired so I didn’t put as much work into my homework as I would have liked to get the best grades possible. College was pretty much the same thing. Once I joined the second company I decided to focus 100% on ballet because I think it’s important to make a decision to where you choose one thing at a certain point because you want to give it your best effort to see if it’s really something you want to do.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITY?
Xavier: Besides hanging out with friends (‘cause I always do that), the one thing I like to do to relax myself is to be alone and draw and listen to music at the same time and it puts me in a different mindset. I just play whatever is on my iPod; when I want to relax I’ll put on a certain genre, and when I want to be pumped up, I’ll put something else on.
Silas: My favorite activity is basketball. I grew up playing basketball and before I started dancing at a ballet school, I played basketball every day. Until high school when I started taking seriously [ballet], then I didn’t want to risk getting any injuries or anything. I love watching it and like going to games (I used to go to a lot of [San Francisco] Warriors games) and also playing at the rec center- it’s really fun.
Christy: I like to go over to friends’ houses and hang out with them and watch some TV – we don’t have cable in our apartment so we’ll go to other people’s apartments and watch TV shows and sometimes we’ll make dinner with everyone and it’s a lot of fun. But I also like to read a lot. And just kind of escape to another world for a little bit. I like to read fantasy books – like the Harry Potter genre. Right now, I’m reading “The Princess Bride.” That’s my favorite book. I’m re-reading it for something like the 4th time! I just love escaping to another world and imagining what that life would be like.
WHAT DO YOU FIND YOU HAVE TO WORK AT THE HARDEST ON A DAILY BASIS?
Xavier: For me, it’s preparing myself for the next day. Because after dance, I’ll go to the gym and then go home and I don’t want to do anything. By that time, I am so tired I have to force myself to do things like cook (I have to eat!) and get my clothes ready and stuff, otherwise I’ll be a mess the next morning.
Christy: The thing that I find myself struggling with on a day to day basis is being my own teacher. Going from being in a school to a second company where you don’t have a teacher who’s on you all the time to correct you. And in company class, it’s really different because you don’t have someone who’s guiding you the whole way and you kinda have to be your own teacher. And if something doesn’t work out right, like “oh, this turn, I fell out of this turn” you have to go back to your previous teachers and think oh, what would they say about this and put yourself back into the school setting, but still keep in the company setting as well. And that’s one of the difficulties – trying to teach yourself while progressing at the same time.