Veronika Part, Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre
Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in dance? VP: I was born in St Petersberg. My grandmother loved ballet and from the time I was three years old, she took me to see ballet and opera. This was my first introduction to dance. When I was young, I danced in my room to an old recording of Swan Lake. My mother decided she would like it if I grew to be a ballerina. She sent me to a school for rhythmic gymnastics and was there until I turned 10, when I began at the Vagonova Ballet Academy. What was your path in becoming a dancer in Russia? VP: I studied both ballet and academics at the Vagonova Ballet Academy. After about 9 years of studying ballet, I joined the Mariinsky Ballet Company. What career would you have chosen if you could not have been a dancer? VP: I have always loved music and played the piano, so maybe a musician. Or something else in the arts - a painter or designer. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started dancing at ABT? VP: I wish I knew that I should have more fun! Of all the roles you have performed, which role helped you grow the most as an artist? VP: I'm not sure which role helped me to grow the most as an artist, but I liked performing Emilia in Limons Moor's Pavane. I liked performing any contemporary repertory that I have done at ABT, because in Russia we could only dance classical pieces.
If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what advice would you give them? VP: Ballet is a very difficult job, especially for a girl. Make sure you stay focused on your career. It teaches you about discipline and this is good for other parts of your life What do you most value in your friends? VP: Honesty If you could be an animal, what would animal would you choose and why? VP: A dog, because of the unconditional love What is your greatest indulgence? VP: Drinking wine What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)? VP: My biggest fear is that when my career will end, I will feel lost because I have to stop doing what I have been doing all my life. Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could? VP: I would want most to dance with Baryshnikov What is your idea of perfect happiness? VP: Perfect happiness is about being true to myself. Being honest and living my dreams. Having a good feeling about the future and having people around that I love.