mber Novella Skaggs
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Training: Master Ballet Academy
At fourteen years old, Amber Skaggs has made her mark in the dance world. Accumulating over 48K loyal Instagram followers, Skaggs is the two time winner of the Youth America Grand Prix Hope Award.
More Than Dancers was lucky enough to talk with the humble, talented, and charismatic dancer for a tell-all piece. Enjoy!
When did you know that you wanted to become a professional dancer?
I’ve been dancing since the age of seven, and I was introduced to ballet at the age of nine. Once I started, I fell in love with the discipline of classical ballet. It was then, that I found a passion for the art form. The more work I put in, and the more growth I see in myself as an artist, the more I realize that I want a professional career.
What’s your favorite classical ballet piece?
My favorite classical ballet piece would have to be Giselle. I just love the storyline and drama behind it.
Who has influenced you the most in the industry?
I would have to say that my peers and my teachers have had the most influence on me.
How many hours a week do you practice?
At the moment, I am taking my regular, pre-professional, and private classes. Combining all of my training, I am typically spending 35 hours a week in the studio.
What does a typical day look like for you?
When I wake up the first thing I do is eat breakfast. Then, I login online for school (it allows me to work at my own pace). After a few hours of school, I usually workout for 30-45 mins. Then, it’s time to hit the shower and head to the studio. I start classes at 1pm and they usually end at 7:30. When I get home I eat dinner, and relax before bed.
What’s your secret to keeping your body healthy, and your mind rested?
I cross train to keep my body healthy and strong. It is a great way to relieve stress and it keeps my brain active.
How do you handle body image in the world of classical ballet? What advice would you give to those who are feeling the pressure of physical beauty?
Only being fourteen, I try not to worry about it too much. It’s important in any sport to stay physically healthy, so I try to just focus on that and making sure I’m fueling my body with healthy nutrients and energy.
What is a bad habit that you struggle to break while dancing?
Ballet is hard. There are so many things I am constantly working on, right now I am working on keeping my shoulders down.
In warm-ups is there a particular combination that you look forward to?
During warm-ups, I look forward to fondues. The combinations begin to loosen my body, and I can feel my muscles begin to work.
If you had to pick one, what turn is your favorite?
My favorite turn is either fouettés or regular pirouettes from forth, because I get the most force and momentum.
Do you have a favorite leotard right now? If so, where is it from?
I have a lot of favorite leotards from different brands, but my top contenders are Simply Stella and Lucky Leo.
Before taking the stage, what is going through your mind?
Before I take the stage I think about my corrections and if I’m warm enough.
If you were to be a contestant on a dance show, which show would you choose and why?
Dancing with the Stars, because I’m interested in ballroom and would like to try it.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the next generation of dancers?
Just listen to your teachers and take correction, but mostly just enjoy what you do because that plays a big part in your dancing and you can tell.
What should we expect to see from you in the future?
In the future I’m hoping to finish school and join a company.
Want to keep up with Amber? Follow her on Instagram!
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