I would like to introduce you to the beautiful Grace-Anne Acebo. She is the lovely welcoming and open-hearted member of Black Swan Ballet Company who is not only a beautiful dancer but has a beautiful heart, soul, and sense of humor that goes with it. Grace-Ann is a sixteen-year-old dancer who has been dancing her entire life.
One of the new things that have happened in the summer of 2020, is dancing in the light of COVID-19. I asked Grace-Ann about dancing in the light of the pandemic and I would like to allow her to discuss this with us first.
How has quarantine impacted you as a dancer?
Quarantine has been a new experience for me and a significant learning curve. I went from dancing for hours every day to searching for class online and a few ZOOM classes. Most of my life was on a tight schedule and tailored so that I could dance as much as possible. Now, I'm learning how to use the things I do at home to make structure for my days.
How are you staying connected and motivated during this time? I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard to stay motivated and keep working and in complete honesty, I do lose motivation, but at the end of the day, when I dance I feel better mentally and physically. I am teaching several classes over Zoom for students at Balance Dance which has been a great help. I am a "practice what you teach" person. I don't make them do anything I wouldn't do. If I make them do 200 crunches, I do it with them. If I tell them to give me 100% I need to give them 100%. If I make them work hard and come to class every day, then that is what I need to do too.
Do you have suggestions for other dancers experiencing the same thing?
Find YOUR groove. Some people get up at 6:30 and start working right away. If that doesn't help your motivation and productivity and productivity ten don't do it. I know I don't work that way. It's okay to struggle and it is okay to have a bad day (or week). Do you best and start again tomorrow.
What is your name?
What is your professional goal?
I hope to dance in a professional ballet company.
What is your favorite ballet variation to dance and why?
Kitri's wedding and entrance are dear to my heart as well as Aurora and Princess Florine.
What is your favorite ballet to watch and why?
I love watching "The Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty". I grew up watching these ballets and some of my favorite roles have come from them.
What is our proudest dancer moment?
Dancing the SugarPlum Pas de Deux.
How long have you been dancing?
13 1/2 years.
What is your most embarrassing dancer moment?
I had a great combination going across the floor and while walking away, I tripped, fell into the barre, and broke it.
What is in your dance bag right now?
Several pairs of pointe shoes/toe pads, ballet flats, jazz shoes, warm-ups, skirts, second skin and toe tape, therabands, foam roller
What dancers do you look up to?
Kathryn Morgan, Luna Montana, Claire Calvert, Anna Rose O'Sullivan, and Anna Pavlova
Where do you dance?
Susquehanna Dance Center
What shoes do you wear?
My pointe shoes are Suffolk Stellars
What is your favorite Quote?
"Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know." -Christopher Robin
Why are you a part of BSBC? I love the mission that Warkenda has for the company and the goals she sets for us. Her heart is so true and she loves everyone for who they are. BSBC is not just a company, it is a family.