North Branford Patch: How long have you been dancing?
Eilidh Currie: I’ve been dancing for seven years. I basically tried every other sport when I was little and I was really bad at all of them, so I figured I’d try dancing. I’ve done ballet, tap and jazz before. I just think it’s really pretty and I love that it’s very hard to do, but we make it look so easy.
Kristen Faraclas: This is my 10th year. When I was little, I always used to walk around the house on my toes so my parents asked if I wanted to start ballet and I said yes.
North Branford Patch: Which company is hosting the upcoming performance?
Currie: It’s the New England Ballet Company. Originally I danced in a different studio and my friend switched to the New England Ballet Company. I took a summer course there and I just got sucked in. My instructor is Kenneth Hopkins.
North Branford Patch: What is your favorite performance piece?
Currie: I think definitely my favorite piece would be the snow scene from The Nutcracker. Everyone participates and it’s so pretty.
Faraclas: The Nutcracker is my favorite ballet. It’s really exciting to be in because it’s a holiday piece and it really gets you in the spirit, it’s really fun.
North Branford Patch: What is it that you love about ballet?
Currie: I just love that after I've had a bad day or need to unwind, I can just go to the studio and dance and forget about any troubles.
Faraclas: I think it’s a beautiful art. It’s so fun and challenging.
North Branford Patch: What's a day in the life of a ballerina like?
Currie: Well, basically after I get home from school, I get ready for ballet and I'm on the road immediately. After class, I have rehearsal for around six hours and when I have break, I do homework and hang out with my friends. When I get home, I eat dinner, shower and go to bed.
Faraclas: It’s a lot of rehearsal. We’re usually there on the weekends pretty much all day and we all just hang out when we’re not dancing. We bring lunch and homework to do and we can watch the other pieces when we’re not dancing.
North Branford Patch: What was the selection process like?
Currie: Pretty much everyone gets in the company when they audition, but it's kind of a Nutcracker audition as well. A few weeks later, we jumped right into rehearsals.
North Branford Patch: What does it mean to you to be performing in a piece as iconic as The Nutcracker?
Currie: I feel it's sort of like being a role model for young kids because a lot of kids look up to ballerinas and singers. And it's nice for adults who really appreciate the arts. I like to perform for people.
North Branford Patch: Do you do any specific training or diet in preparation for a show?
Currie: Before a show, I usually try to carb-load, eat lots of protein so I don't get the shakes in the middle of a performance. Obviously I stay away from junk food before a show and eat filling things.
Faraclas: Before shows I usually warm up and stretch a lot so I don't hurt myself. I try to eat healthy so I get lots of energy from the foods I eat so I don't get tired.
North Branford Patch: Do you have any plans to pursue ballet as a part of a professional company?
Currie: I would definitely like to. I've been looking at Anaheim Ballet Company in California, it really interests me.
Faraclas: I don't really know what I want to do yet, but I want to involve dance somehow in my career.
North Branford Patch: Any alternative plans for college?
Currie: I'd like to go to medical school and do something with pediatrics.
Faraclas: I don't have a specific one in mind, but I’d like to go somewhere with a dance school so I could take courses while studying dance.
North Branford Patch: What attributes would you say are associated with the ideal ballerina?
Currie: Definitely personality because everyone has their set choreography, but it’s a whole different story when you make it your own...so definitely a personality.
Faraclas: What really stands out is head and arm movement. Usually the way you do things with your arm and head adds personality to your dancing. Every dancer has their own way to make it personal.
North Branford Patch: When you do have spare time, what do you like to do for fun?
Currie: I just get together with friends and I like to paint so I'll probably work on that.
Faraclas: I like to hang out with my friends and I also play basketball.
For more information about upcoming performances, visit the New England Ballet Company website.