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Jun 30, 2020

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Elena Vostrotina, principal dancer at the Zurich Ballet. Since 2003, Elena has been internationally performing for some of the world’s most esteemed dance companies and choreographers. Having been formally trained at the famous Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, Elena went on to achieve her dream of dancing at the Mariinsky Ballet, as well as the Semperoper Ballett Dresden and, currently, the Zurich Ballet.

Elena knows that flexibility is key for international ballet — both of the mind and of the body. It goes without saying that physical flexibility is necessary for ballet, but when travelling internationally, mental and emotional flexibility are critical for adjusting to new cultures and accepting new ideas. On the podcast, Elena, who is no stranger to living outside her “comfort zone,” walks through her dance journey and shares advice on taking on new cultures, ideas, and even languages with poise and grace.


Moving Quotes:

“If you decide to make a change, you have to keep your eyes wide open. Listen a lot. Be open to the change… Don’t build things the same way that you’re used to."

“Many things can be challenging in our profession… Performing seems like moving a mountain, often… I think we have to work on those fears and just go out there and do it."

“When you feel that you can’t do something, you have to master yourself. You must know how to deal with yourself to make things work the way you want them to.”

“[When traveling,] take care of your body as much as you possibly can."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:41: Elena describes her current role as principal dancer for the Zurich Ballet and how she came to join the company.

7:27: Elena, who has performed across the globe, discusses the challenges of adjusting to different cultures.

10:34: Elena shares some tips for listeners who ever find themselves having to adapt to new cultures.

13:37: Vostrotina discusses some of her favorite pieces that she’s currently involved in, along with some of her favorite choreographers she’s worked with in the past.

17:08: Elena retells her history with ballet and how she ultimately became an international ballet dancer.

20:45: Vostrotina describes her days as a student at the famous Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg.

26:19: Vostrotina describes her experience dancing at the renown Mariinsky Theatre and how dancing for this company was a dream come true.

28:42: Elena, who has extensive experience travelling internationally, shares some tips on how to keep your body in peak shape when traveling across time zones.

31:08: Elena speaks on the necessity of “mastering yourself” and overcoming fear when in a performing arts career.

34:28: Elena describes “what’s next” for her and discusses her desire for the world to return to normal so that others can resume sharing their art.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Elena Vostrotina