My name is Emma Poirier, 15, and I live in Orange County, California.  I dance at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy.


Photographer: @evanysphotography

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

My dance journey started at the age of 3. Ever since my very first ballet class, I knew that this art form was definitely one that would always hold a place in my heart, whether I end up being a professional ballerina or not. Now that I am 15, I still feel the same way about dance. I now know that I want to dance ballet for as long as possible, so I have started the long road to becoming a professional ballerina. I train 7 days a week at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy, and I am in the Professional Division Program. I got to where I am today through working hard every single day! I knew I wanted to take my ballet training further when I was 12, and that is when I joined Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy. I work hard in every single class in order to reach improvement.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

I think that every dancer's journey to a ballet career is different. For me, I do not think it has been easy. I was not naturally flexible or strong, so at a young age, I had to work hard to get to the point that I am at today. Whenever I felt that I was never going to be able to reach a certain goal or be able to dance a certain step, I would always remember what I was working towards. I am working towards being able to dance on a huge stage with a professional company. This motivates me to continue working past the difficult things and trying hard every time I dance.

Photographer: @evanysphotography

What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?

My limitation is being a perfectionist. Sometimes, I am too hard on myself, and I have to remember that things aren't always going to be perfect on the first try. Being a perfectionist can be good because it drives me to dance. I just have to remember to control it.

Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?

Whenever someone would try to tell me I was not good enough to do something, or I'd never make it as a ballerina, I would work extra hard so I would be able to prove them wrong.

Photographer: @evanysphotography

How do you conquer negative talk?

I ignore it and focus on myself and think of the positive.

What is your favorite quote?

"The ones who say 'you can't' and 'you won't' are probably the ones scared that 'you will'" -Maria Semenyachenko, Bolshoi Ballet

Photographer: @evanysphotography

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

Right now, I am preparing for competitions and auditions. I got accepted into Vaganova Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in Russia, however, I have chosen to stay at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy this Summer to get ready for upcoming competitions.

Jul 6, 2021

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