Our “10 Questions With…” today is with Nadia Mara from Atlanta Ballet…
1. How did you become involved with dance?
When I was 3 years old my mother took me to my first ballet class and since then I’ve been in love with the art of dancing.
2. What are you currently doing in the field?
Rehearsing Twyla Tharp’s world premiere The P,rincess and the Goblin.
3. Would you share a special moment from your career with readers?
Performing Giselle was very special to me. It was my first full length ballet and It was very challenging! I did a lot of research on the role during the previous months, watched many different versions, spent hours in the studios trying to make it as perfect as I could. After the show my parents were very proud and gave me a big hug and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I still keep one between a book’s pages.
4. What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher or mentor regarding dance?
I’ve had very good teachers and I’ve always received good advice from them. But the one I always recall is: Never give up, no matter how hard it is, no matter what people say! Just never give up.
5. What has been your greatest challenge?
Performing after I got hit in my head while rehearsing previous to a performance! I was totally blank when the lights went on. I was in a semi unconscious state and I didn’t remember any of the steps, but incredibly I could dance all the way through. Thank god for muscle memory! Later, my doctor told me I had a concussion.
6. Do you have any advice for dancers who want to go on to a professional career?
Be patient with yourself, work hard but never forget to enjoy it!
7. Do you have a special routine that you go through prior to a performance?
I do! I breathe deep and slow to calm myself down and I always tell myself that the most important thing on stage is to have fun, so give a hundred and ten percent and enjoy!
8. Do you have a favorite ballet? If so, what is it and why do you enjoy it?
Romeo and Juliet. I love the story, I love the music and it’s been always my dream role.
9. What do you enjoy most about your life in dance?
Performing! Being challenged every day and working with amazing people!
10. What is next for you?
Hopefully lots and lots of dancing!
BIO: Nadia was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and started her ballet studies at the age of five attending the official Escuela Nacional de Danza under the direction of Sara Nieto, Monica Diaz and Margaret Graham. Nadia graduated in 2003 as the best dancer in school and was awarded with the Elena Smirnova Gold Medal granted by Argentina ballet critic Honorio Destaville. In the United States, Nadia started dancing with North Carolina Dance Theatre. At Atlanta Ballet under the direction of John McFall, she has performed from 2006 to 2008 the title role in Giselle, Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty, the World Première of big with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and recently in 2009, leading roles as Mina in Michael Pink’s Dracula and Kitri in Don Quixote. In 2010, Nadia danced as Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute choreographed by Mark Godden, Sugar Plum Fairy in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and “Spring” in James Kudelka’s Four Seasons. In 2011, Nadia performed the lead role in Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge. Sponsored by Patti Wallace.