Olivia Bartlett

Posted on November 5, 2012
Edited by Sophie Nelson

When did you start dancing?
I think I started dancing when I was about four years old. A couple of my friends started dance class and my mom put me in with them and I continued with it. I started with ballet and tap and then I eventually quit tap and moved on to ballet, point, and contemporary, which is kind of modern and requires technique but not as much as ballet. You can do some things in contemporary that you can’t in classical. I think ballet’s my favorite. It requires a lot of attention and dedication. All the other dance forms do as well, but I feel like ballet is the perfect match for me.

Did you love dance from the beginning?
Yeah. Over the years it got more serious, but I loved it the whole way through.

Would you like to be a professional dancer?
Yes, I would love that.

What are the steps you’re taking toward your goal?
I dance a lot at Portland School of Ballet and Center Stage, which is a dance studio in Raymond. I have lessons Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and rehearsal on Saturday. I would like to join the CORPS program at Portland Ballet eventually. It’s a very nice program because you go to school for about half the day and the rest of the day you dance back at Portland Ballet. I’d like to start off by doing that and hopefully go on to a performing arts college. Maybe a place like Juilliard where people also study music and a bunch of different things.

To be a dancer you must have an ear for music, right?
Yeah, you have to know what counts to dance on. You have to be very good at counting music and have a very good listening ear, so that you can feel the music. If you’re not a dancer most of the music you might listen to is just pop or whatever is on the radio. I’m exposed to more genres through dance.

What’s your favorite ballet?
One of my favorite ballets is Giselle. I saw the Portland Ballet perform it and I loved it. There’s lots of emotion in that ballet. At one point the girl is very sad, and the way that the performer portrayed the character was really nice.

You will be in Portland Ballet’s “The Victorian Nutcracker” this year?
Yes. This is my third year in the Nutcracker. This year I am an Arabian attendant and a Coda Angel. My favorite part is the Arabian attendant. The Nutcracker is very happy but the Arabian dance has a different feel to it, and it’s fun to play something different.

If for some reason you couldn’t dance, what would you miss most?
I would just miss everything. I’m dancing all the time, even around the house, I’ll just do a turn down the hallway and continue walking. It’s kind of a part of me now.

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