|Toby will be featured as the Crystal Queen in A Princess’s Wish (and dancing several other roles).
Q: What is your dance background?
I have been dancing at The Children’s Ballet studio since I was three. This is my 15th year at the studio.
Q: What is your favorite thing about dancing?
My favorite thing about dancing is the feeling you get when you’re performing on stage. You work so hard in the studio to learn and perfect your dances for performances. Then, when you’re on stage you have one chance to get the dance right. You can’t restart the music and begin again. I love the adrenaline rush I get while dancing on stage, when all my backstage nerves go away. I also love the feeling of support and excitement when I’m dancing with my friends on stage, as we perform the dances we worked on for so long together.
Q: Pointe shoe brand?
I have had several different pointe shoe brands since first starting to dance en pointe. I have had multiple styles of Bloch pointe shoes, primarily Bloch Heritage. I have also had a couple Suffolk styles, including Stellar and Spotlight. Currently, I have a pair of Capezios. They are by far my favorite brand of pointe shoes I have had thus far, and I wish I found them earlier!
Q: What is your favorite ballet step?
I like so many ballet steps, depending on the dance or combination. I love bourrees and pirouettes because they look so graceful and effortless, like the dancer is floating. I also really enjoy petit allégro jumps, especially beating jumps like royales and entrechats. I like how quick, sharp, and precise these are. They’re really satisfying to watch when done well.
Q: What is your dream ballet role?
My dream ballet role would be the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, or Odette, the Swan Princess, in Swan Lake.
Q: What is something that you think is important in becoming a better dancer?
I think that having an open mind helps you to become a better dancer. You need to be up for whatever your teacher choreographs for you or asks you to do. If you don’t have an open mind and aren’t willing to try new dance steps or combinations, you’ll box yourself in and you won’t improve. However, if you’re willing to at least try new steps, you will get better with practice and time. If you’re willing to try steps that seem difficult and intimidating, you may even surprise yourself in what you’re able to do.
Q: What are your future plans?
After high school, I am going to attend the University of Notre Dame. I am unsure in what I want to study or major in, but I’m interested in the liberal arts. I plan on continuing dance during college, and I hope to join the dance team at Notre Dame!
Best wishes, Toby! We are so proud of you!