Cupcakes & Conversation with Yolanda Correa, Soloist, Norwegian National Ballet

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Cupcakes & Conversation with Yolanda Correa, Soloist, Norwegian National Ballet

Yolanda Correa as Kitri in Don Quixote, the Norwegian National Ballet 2011

Yolanda Correa as Kitri in Don Quixote, the Norwegian National Ballet 2011 Photoraph : Erik Berg

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning? 

Ballet is my life, it´s what makes me really happy, so that is what motivates me to go to the Opera House every day.

Why ballet?

I was in gymnastics and went to see the ballet school because there was a very young teacher who had spoken to my parents about studying ballet … When I started doing ballet, I just found an amazing feeling doing it. It became my favorite thing.

What are you looking forward to dancing this year?

The choreography of Paul Lightfoot and Sol León.

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?

I don’t have a favorite one – I’ve had many great experiences with many partners, but of course there are some special roles I like to do with a special partner, like Yoel Carreño.

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
I think in Holguin, the city where I was born.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes?

After sewing the elastic and the ribbons, I try them every day in the rehearsals so they will be ready for the performance.

What is your daily routine at the moment?

My daily routine is to work as much as possible to become a better dancer, and now I´m learning Giselle for January next year – it will be a new version for me.

Christmas tree and Nutcracker ballet

Photograph : Erik Berg

What do you eat during the course of a typical working day?

I like to eat healthy food, but I’m not picky – the thing is to eat something to keep you going with the training.

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?

I’m sorry, but I don’t think I would invite famous people for dinner just because they’re famous.

What would surprise people about you?

If I say it, it won’t be a surprise anymore. Just one thing, however: Some people think that ballet dancers are as they look on the stage, and it is not true – at least not with me.

Who inspired you to dance?

The passion I felt for it.

What is your best piece of advice?

The easier way is never the best or the right way to be successful; only working hard every day.

ballet dancer on pointe

Yolanda Correa and Yoel Carreno in Romeo & Juliet, the Norwegian National Ballet 2011 Photograph : Erik Berg

How do you prepare in the hours before a show?
I like the day of the show to be like a normal day. I like to rehearse a little bit in the morning, and later maybe watch a nice movie or read or listen to music.

How do you deal with the stress of performing?
I don´t feel stressed when I´m performing – on the contrary.

Which role has tested you the most & how?
When I did Swan Lake for the first time it was really hard for me, especially on the artistic side. I had to work a lot on that because I was only 21 years old and that role is one of the hardest in the classical ballet repertoire.

If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?

I don’t know – maybe something that looks like freedom; freedom for the movement.

What do you look for in a dance partner?
It’s fantastic to have a partner that dominates the partnering technique and makes you feel safe. But the most important thing is the chemical connection; it´s when you look at him and his eyes are with you; it´s when you feel that he is there giving everything on the stage, just like you.

What is your favourite quote?

I would like to quote my mother, who always says “The future is for those who come prepared.”

Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?
I prefer to leave that answer for the ones that see me working everyday – or to the audience itself.

Yolanda Correa and Yoel Carreño in Tetle's Voluntaries, the Norwegian National Ballet 2010.

Yolanda Correa and Yoel Carreno in Tetley's Voluntaries, the Norwegian National Ballet 2010. Photograph : Erik Berg

A phrase I use far too often is … ?

It’s a bad word – I’d rather not say it!

What’s been your best on-stage moment so far?

The first performance I did after having been 6 months away from the stage because of an injury. I did the roll of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and it was also for the first time.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about?

I don’t.

In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now?

Right here, with the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo.

If you could dance in front of anyone, who would it be and what makes them special to you?

My parents.

What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it?

I don’t have a plan for that, but I like teaching very much, so that could be one option. Also I would like to study … something very different from ballet.

ballet dancer sat on the floor in a black tutu

Photograph : Erik Berg

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