Although SDS offers many opportunities to join athletic teams, many students find their passion for sports outside of school. Bonnie Parrott, a graduating senior, has been doing ballet since she was three years old and has been in countless productions such as A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella, DanSynergy, and, of course, the annual production of The Nutcracker. She’s also done many summer intensives at Orlando Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and more. On a regular schedule, she practices 2 hours 5 days a week; of course, as productions near, rehearsals are often long and frequent. Here are some of her thoughts.
Has anyone ever told you ballet wasn’t a sport?
Oh yeah, of course! I’ve had people tell me that to get under my skin, and people tell me that because they think it’s true. I don’t let it bother me that much though. People are stupid.
How has ballet shaped you as a person, and what kind of valuable things has it taught you?
Oh man, I’m not sure how to answer this without sounding so pretentious. It’s definitely made me a tough gal; you have to do so many unnatural things that your body was not made to do all at once and not look like you’re in pain or have a cramp in your foot, etc. When I was injured last year, I felt something in my ankle snap, and then I continued to dance for ten minutes before I decided I probably shouldn’t be dancing with the pain I was feeling.
Who do you look up to in the ballet world? Do you have any specific idols?
Hmmm. I don’t know if I have any idols, but I’m definitely astounded by people. Everyone wants to be Svetlana Zakharova. She’s this Russian dancer who looks to be 6’2 and made out of rubber. I also really like this dancer named Maria Kochetcova. I think I want to be them or have their flexibility and their training more than I look up to them.
Do you have any weird or funny stories from being backstage?
Yeah! This past Nutcracker, one of the professional guys was about to go on stage and forgot he was wearing a beanie. He was walking on stage and I grabbed his beanie off his head before the audience saw it — he thanked me, like, five times and told me I had “saved his life”!