Miko is training to become a ballerina and has been doing it for 13 years. She was born in London, and grew up in San Franciso, California. This young lady currently trains in Indianapolis. She absolutely loves traveling and experiencing different cultures while she tours around the world doing different performances and competitions. We were delighted to do an interview with Miko, so without further ado, here’s what we’ve asked her.
YQ: How old were you when you took your first ballet class? Who introduced you to it?
Miko: I was 4 years old when I first started ballet. At that time, I was doing many activities including violin, piano, gymnastics, tennis, and swimming. But ballet was always my favorite and I loved watching ballet videos on television.
YQ: Becoming a successful ballerina takes lots of hard work, dedication and sacrifice starting at a very early age. Can you describe your path to becoming a professional ballerina? Was it hard to get where you are now?
Miko: You are right, ballet is a very difficult art form and it takes years to master the simplest movement. I love ballet so much, so I don’t mind working extra hard for it. I am very blessed to have such supportive parents who push me even on the days when I feel frustrated and down.
YQ: What is your favorite on-stage memory?
Miko: My favorite on-stage memory was probably in the final round of the Moscow International Ballet Competition back in 2013, because I had just finished performing all 8 of my variations and I was so happy that they all went well. It was also on the main stage of the Bolshoi Theatre which was incredible.
YQ: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Miko: I don’t have any pre-performance rituals other than to make sure I had a good warm up and class that day, and to test the stage before I dance.
YQ: What is your favorite role, and why?
Miko: My favorite role is Aurora from Sleeping Beauty because that is the first ballet I watched and fell in love with. Aurora was also my favorite princess growing up and I absolutely love the Tchaikovsky score.
YQ: What do you love most about being a ballerina?
Miko: My favorite part of being a ballerina is the sensation of performing on stage. It is such a special feeling and it is indescribable. Also, I love travelling and being healthy.
YQ: What is the hardest part of being a ballerina?
Miko: Injuries can be very tough physically, and also, mentally.
YQ: What are you working on now?
Miko: I am currently working on the Sugar Plum Pas de Deux for the Nutcracker! Also, this year, I will focus on trying to master as many variations and roles as I can before I hopefully join a company.
YQ: Moving on to nutrition. Nutrition is very important for a dancer for so many reasons. Do you have to take extra special care of the things you eat?
Miko: I am actually currently vegan. It has mostly to do with animal welfare though. I love animals so much and I am against animal cruelty. Also, being vegan is so healthy and I feel so energized throughout my day.
YQ: You are a holder of various medals and awards, such as the Gold medal from 2013 at Moscow International Ballet Competition, Gold medals from 2011 and 2009 at World Ballet Competition Finals, and so on. You were on the list of the Most Influential People of 2011 by Dance Spirit Magazine. Which award is your favorite and why?
Miko: My favorite award would definitely be the Gold medal from Moscow, because the judges were made up of so many incredible dancers and people (including Grigorovich, Lopatkina, Zakharova etc) and all the other competitors were so amazing. I was so honored and happy that they gave me the Gold even though I was not from Russia.
YQ: Do you have any piece of advice for girls that would like to become professional ballerinas?
Miko: Behave like you want to suck out any knowledge you can from the teacher or coach you work with. Fix corrections fast and get new ones. Also, remind yourself every day why you started and why you love ballet so much. Come to class every day with a new and fresh feeling.