Breaking Pointe is one of the best new shows on TV this summer, and if you are not watching this amazing show you are missing out.
The show follows the dancers of Ballet West (you can see our full breakdown and review here) including Demi-Soloist Allison DeBona. Allison trained at The Parou Ballet Company and the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and then joined Ballet West in 2007. While we got to know Allison onscreen, she and I started chatting on Twitter and she was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
Entertainista – Why Ballet? In this week’s episode you mentioned that you were never the “girly” girl, so what pushed you towards ballet?
Allison DeBona – Ballet isn’t always “girly girl.” It’s takes a lot of power and strength. The Paquita variation I learned was the cutesy jump on your toes variation. I just didn’t think I had the personality to pull that off because I never considered myself “cute” ever!! Elena, however, did I guess! It’s crazy to see how different people perceive you from what you think of yourself! I always loved dancing and I love the discipline that it takes to succeed. I’ve always been the type of person who gives 100% to be successful. Even as a child. Ballet just fits my mold.
Entertainista – You left ballet for five years, do you regret making that choice now? Do you feel that one choice has impacted your career at all?
Allison – Some days I regret quitting and other days I’m happy I did. You see me struggle with the fact that people my age are Principals and Soloists and that bothers Me. I’ve moved up quickly at Ballet West despite what people told me and I often think that if I never quit and I would have been a Principal by now. BUT…..I feel that going to college and having some normalcy as a child really helps me to stay grounded because I know that there is more to life then being on the stage. I have bad days, which the world has seen, but most of my days are good and I am grateful for being given the chance to dance professionally because I know it’s a blessing.
Entertainista – We love that we are seeing all the effort that goes into making a ballet, as an audience member, all we see if the beautiful dancing on stage. What is a normal schedule for you during the season?
Allison – I dance from 10am-6:45pm Monday-Friday. When we are performing we are at the studios and Theatre essentially all day and the only day we have off is Sunday. We get 5 minute breaks at the end of each hour and an hour lunch break, but that’s it. We really are on our feet and moving all day!
Entertainista – On TV we see several days edited down to 48 minutes, what is the real dynamic like at Ballet West? Is the company like a family?
Allison – We really are a family, which we all know, has good days and bad. We support each other very much. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have a product that was good because we have to work together to be successful in performance. But, just like brothers and sisters, we get into tiffs too… but we always make up!!! We are in the same room together for 8 hours a day! What do people expect?!?!?!
Entertainista – Anything you can tell us about upcoming episodes?
Allison – I can’t be too specific and give things away but the last three episodes are really building up to when you all get to see us onstage!!! As far as my personal story, soon everyone will know why I am so apprehensive towards Rex. My family comes into town and a lot is revealed!
Entertainista – What is the biggest myth you hear about ballet and ballet dancers that you want to set straight?
Allison – Well, I don’t really know how to answer this question because so much has been brought up. Examples being, eating disorders and gay/straight ratios. First off, all I can do is speak for how Ballet West operates. All of us dancers here really preach about how important it is to be healthy. It would be impossible to dance the amount of hours we do and not eat. We have those meals where we eat unhealthy, but we know it’s important to be good to our bodies so we take care of ourselves by eating properly and taking vitamins. I think dancers have become very smart and we know how to sustain our bodies better. That’s why you see more and more dancers dancing into their 40s!!!! Many of us teach as well and we know we are examples for the new generation of dancers. You can only lead my example. When it comes to the gay subject…well, I don’t understand why it matters anyway. We are all PEOPLE who have a passion and like to work hard, it doesn’t matter what sexual preference you are. Honestly, I am sick and tired of that subject. Yes, at Ballet West, we only have one gay dancer, but we never think about that. Adam hires dancers based on their talent and work ethic, period.
You can catch an all new episode of Breaking Pointe tonight at 8pm ET on The CW and you can follow Allison on Twitter at @AlliDeBona.