On Stage

Elisa or art of dancing

Javier Polo

Elisa Badenes Vazquez is an icon in the world of dance at international level. At 18, she has travelled a long road. At 10, she already belonged to the Spanish Selection of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Oriunda de Valencia (Spain), At 16 she became the only dancer selected from the students of all the conservatoires and schools to represent Spain in the Lausane grand Prix in 2008. Later, as a student of the Valencia Professional Conservatoire of Dance, she was awarded by the London Royal Ballet School the Gold Medal in the prestigious International Youth America Grand Prix, celebrated in New York. Furthermore, she won the prize of best European dancer. Today she is part of a professional company in Germany, The Stuttgart Ballet.

What has driven you to dedicate yourself to this profession?

Ever since I was little I have really liked everything to do with dance and performance. My mother saw that I used to move around the house a lot and she saw that I had talent. So she enrolled me in rhythmic gymnastics and that’s how it all started.

What age did you start? And where did beginning?

At 8 years old I started doing rhythmic gymnastics in Valencia. At the age of eleven I became more interested in ballet and I took the entrance exam for the professional conservatoire of dance of Valencia still without knowing much about ballet. My family always supported me. They loved the idea of changing from rhythmic gymnastics, which was very hard and competitive, to ballet which was more enjoyable and something that I could make a career out of.

When was your first performance? How old were you?

The first time I danced ballet on stage was in a competition when I was nine. I was still doing rhythmic gymnastics and therefore didn’t have much of an idea about ballet. Nonetheless it helped me a lot because I realized that this was what I really liked.

What memories do you have of your time in the royal ballet school of London?

Now I have finished my studies and introduced myself to the professional world, I miss it a lot. It was an incredible year when new things happened every day and there was always a lot of excitement. At the beginning it was hard; moving away from your family, going to live in a strange city that you don’t know and starting at a high level school where there is a lot of competition.

What does the International Competition of American Youth Grand Prix gold medal mean to you?

The fact that the school even nominated me to represent the Royal Ballet School in the competition meant great hope and pressure, which in the long run helped me gain experience and self-confidence. But once in the competition all the events were moving and when you remember these things you don’t think about how you won the medal, but rather how you competed in the competition. The medal has helped me to have faith in myself and it has opened up new opportunities within the school.

Out of all the performances that you have taken part in, which one holds a special importance?

All of the performances I’ve been in carry a memory, but without a doubt this last year in London has enabled me to perform on some of the best stages and to develop myself as a ballerina. I remember my graduation fondly in the Royal Opera House where they gave me the opportunity of dancing in the main role of Titania in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was a feeling that I will never forget.

What other profession would you like to have done?

The world of ballet is very complicated and you never know how it will end. But at the moment I cannot imagine doing anything else, it’s a very hard world and you have to really like it, otherwise you will do badly. There are moments that are always changing and a lot that will surprise you.

Which city world you like to live in tomorrow?

I wouldn’t know what to tell you. Traveling is something that I love, but I guess that what matters to me more in this case isn’t the city but the people in it.

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