Pre-Professional Division Student, Lina Skalbania joined BAE this fall. We asked Lina to share her personal story and what her NYC experience as been like so far.
BAE: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is your ballet history?
Lina: I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. I began dancing at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School when I was 5, and I trained there in creative movement to level 8. I spent the 2019-2020 school year in Boston Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Program. Now, I’m excited to be training at BAE!
BAE: What inspired you to move to NY to study at BAE?
Lina: I had always heard very great things about BAE from my peers such as the helpfulness of the teachers, the well-structured classes, and the feeling of community within the school. I knew that I wanted to dance somewhere where I could strive to grow the most as a dancer as I could, within a supportive environment, leading me to audition for BAE while in quarantine (I auditioned from my garage in Seattle!). I really enjoyed my audition class and after I had been accepted, a dancer that I really look up to at PNB recommended BAE to me, further solidifying my decision to train with BAE. I fell in love with NYC after spending a summer at SAB. Getting to live in one of my favorite cities was an added bonus of getting to train at BAE! Also, I feel very lucky to be able to train in person at the BAE studios for a lot of my classes.
BAE: How have you adjusted to life in NY during the pandemic?
Lina: I am loving getting to live in NY! While I don’t think I’ve explored the city as much as I normally would because I’m trying to stay socially distanced during Covid, I am enjoying going for walks in Central Park and around my neighborhood. I am really hoping that the vaccines will allow for performances in the city to occur soon!
BAE: Tell us about your BAE experience so far.
Lina: I feel so grateful to be able to train at BAE! I really love the specificity and detail of all of my teacher’s corrections and I really appreciate how supportive and kind all of my teachers and peers are.
BAE: What are your dreams/goals?
Lina: My dream is to dance with a professional ballet company in the future.
BAE: Can you please share some of your “Fun Favorites” (movie, color, ballet, song, role model)?
Lina: Movie: One of my favorite movies is Ballet Now, featuring Tiler Peck. High School Musical is another one of my favorites. Color: Pink! Ballet: That is hard! A few of my favorites are George Balanchine’s Serenade and Jewels. Also Swan Lake and Don Quixote. Song: I don’t really have a favorite song. I like listening to several different genres of music including pop, some older musicians like Bruce Springsteen (My family listened to him a lot when I was younger.), and musical theater. Role model: I have always looked up to Carla Körbes a lot. Having the opportunity to watch and at times perform with her when I was younger really inspired me to want to be a dancer and artist. I’ve been lucky enough to take a couple of classes with Carla at PNB and at Boston Ballet’s summer intensive.
BAE: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
Lina: Once again, I feel very grateful to be able to train with BAE! I feel very thankful towards my teachers and peers for being so dedicated, kind, and supportive!