TPB is proud to present Ruby King, one of our seniors for the 2013/14 Curriculum year!
Ruby: what a wonderful name she has and what a wonderful performer she is! Ruby was with us when she was very young, decided to explore other interests and then returned to The Portland Ballet. She had a lot of catching up to do, but never let that discourage her and worked her way up to our Level 5. Ruby has always loved to perform, in fact she performs in each and every class, not just on stage. It is evident she is very expressive, loves ballet and loves the music. Ruby has been a demonstrator for one of Michelle Davis’s Pre-Ballet classes and is a natural born teacher. The little ones always seek her out and sit with her when we do our big holiday production rehearsals and the full cast is in one studio together. As Ruby embarks on her next exciting adventures all these great traits will go far. We wish her much success wherever her wonderful spirit moves her. - Nancy Davis, Artistic Director
Name, Age, Year in School?
Ruby King, 17, senior.
When did you start dancing?
I started taking ballet as a seven-year-old.
When did you start at TPB?
The same time I started taking ballet classes!
How has being a dance student affected your school life? Social life?
In terms of academics, I definitely have to plan ahead and stay organized; balancing ballet with a rigorous school schedule is not easy! I’m not the only one at school with a demanding extracurricular passion, so all of my friends understand that I have to put ballet first in the majority of situations. I’ve missed my share of Friday night football matches, but in the end I’d always rather be dancing in the studio.
What are your other hobbies besides dance?
My second love in life is fashion, if you’d like to call that a hobby? I’m always keeping up with couture and ready-to-wear collections throughout the year and I have a major weakness for beautiful shoes. I’d also consider myself quite the Francophile. I’ve been studying the French language for a long time, and don’t plan to stop until I’m fluent!
Influential master classes?
The first time I took John Clifford’s class was definitely a shock. I am so used to really filling out the music in class, so learning to express myself with limited counts has been something I’ve been working on!
All of the teachers I’ve studied with at TPB have all given me something that has gone into creating my style! But I have especially enjoyed Elizabeth Guerin for her constant attention to the importance of upper body presentation, and Natasha Bar for the dramatic and expressive flare she adds to each combination. The drama of ballet is the thing I love most!
Or SBI programs?
I’ve only participated in TPB’s SBI program, but it was always an enriching program. I adored dancing everyday!
Why do you dance?
It’s simply a matter of love and passion; and it’s one of the only ways I can express myself! Outside of the studio I’d consider myself a rather shy person, but as an artist, I live to tell stories without words. Ballet isn’t just something I choose to do, it’s literally become part of my identity. I’d be nothing without it! On a humorous note, many people at school identify me as the “ballet girl” who always wears high heels.
Favorite role or ballet danced?
For a role I’ve never danced, I’d have to say Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, especially Kenneth MacMillan’s version. What a dream! I also learned Can-Can for The Enchanted Toyshop this year– it’s such a lovely role! I love the drama and the coy nature to the dance, not to mention the absolutely stunning costumes.
Favorite part of class? Barre? Center? Do you love to jump or turn or both? Adagio?
At the barre, I actually adore ronde de jambes, There is so much opportunity to create this beautiful fluidity with the legs, port de bras and head movement. My other favorite step would be bourées en pointe! I just get so caught up in the music and emotion that I get to create.
Favorite TPB moment?
The last time we did The Enchanted Toyshop, there was a rehearsal one Saturday that included all of the small children. I remember it started to snow outside and everyone gathered excitedly around the foggy windows. It was just such a lovely, small moment to see everyone possessed with such wonder by the delicate snow flurries as Rossini’s absolutely gorgeous score played in the background.
Do you have a favorite dancer- friend at TPB or professional dancer? Any favorite ballet companies?
My favorite dancer, without a doubt, is Evgenia Obraztsova, who dances with the Bolshoi Ballet. She has lovely technique, but really stands out by putting emphasis on the importance of putting soul into dance. Technique can be memorable on its own, but the passion put into each role, to me at least, is what really sets the truly magnificent dancers apart from everyone else.
Plans for after graduation?
I plan to attend college, ideally in a large metropolitan area!
Pursue dance professionally?
While I do not plan to pursue ballet as a career, it will always be a part of who I am.
Dream job- where would you like to see yourself in five, ten years?
My ultimate goal is to work in the fashion industry. It’s quite a reach, but ideally I’d like to see myself working for Vogue magazine, either as a writer or with something in the Creative Department. But really, just to be involved with fashion or art would be more than wonderful!
Any advice for young TPB dancers?
Please put all of your love and your passion into this art form! Expression is so important, but so many dancers forget about it because they’re focusing so much on the steps. You have the opportunity to really inspire people, so make sure to put just as much passion and attention into every movement of the head, every breath of the arm. I promise you, people will remember you if you show them that this is what you really love!
Thanks Ruby! Best wishes for next year! Any comments, questions, encouragement for Ruby? Please leave them here!