A Day in the Life of a Professional Ballerina – Miss Rachael

A ballerina’s daily life is anything but typical. They spend all day training and prepping for that exciting moment when the curtain opens, the music begins, and the audience welcomes the show with their applause!

We thought we’d take you along for the ride as we follow Miss Rachael (one of our very loved ballet teachers) throughout her very exciting, and tiring, day with the Fort Wayne Ballet.

7:00 AM
It’s time to wake up and start my day! I generally make breakfast and coffee and get ready for the day!

8:20 AM
I arrive at the studio and begin warming up for class. I use my theraband and small ball to warmup my feet, roll out my IT bands and back with my foam roller, plank, and stretch.

9:00 AM- 10:30 AM
Company class time. This means the entire company takes ballet class together. It’s our time to get warmed up and work on our technique before our long day of rehearsals.  We rotate teachers between our Artistic Director, Ballet Master, and a few faculty members at the school. This is great because each teacher has their own unique way of teaching class. Today we have our director Mrs. Karen Gibbons-Brown. Her class is pretty challenging but it’s my favorite!

10:30 AM
Phew! We get a 15-minute break after class to get ready for our first rehearsal. The rehearsal schedule is posted weekly on a bulletin board outside the main studio. That’s where things like casting, announcements, and schedules are posted. Every day is little different, and your rehearsal schedule can be different from other dancers. It all depends on what parts you are, and what shows we are working on. We are currently getting ready for our show Love Notes and I’m understudying three pieces and choreographing a piece!

10:45 AM
My first rehearsal of the day is actually for my piece! My piece is a contemporary ballet piece, so the dancers wear their pointe shoes but the movement is more modern. Right now we are working on cleaning the piece since the show is only a couple of days away. I’m very excited for the show!

12:00 PM
I am understudying a piece choreographed by another dancer named Rena. It’s a modern piece so I don’t have to wear my pointe shoes. My feet get a much needed break! Rena also has a dog which she adopted during our Nutcracker last year. Every year, the Fort Wayne Ballet partners with the local animal shelter and has dogs that are available for adoption in the party scene. His name is Twinkle and he’s very well behaved. He loves to watch us rehearse.

1:00 PM
Lunch time! We get a lunch break for an hour so a lot of dancers will walk to coffee shops or the bakery that’s in our building. We share a building with an organization called Arts United. We work with them a lot! We also have a black box theatre in our building which is where Love Notes will be performed. Our big shows like The Nutcracker and Coppelia (our next show) are performed across the street at our big theatre.

2:00 PM
I have another rehearsal for a fellow dancer. Her piece is a jazz piece in character shoes (heels). It’s very sassy and so much fun to rehearse!

3:00 PM
Last rehearsal of the day! I have my last rehearsal with a faculty member. It’s a contemporary dance for three dancers, two men and one woman. I’m understudying the woman’s role. There is a lot of partnering in it and it’s very tricky

4:00 PM
I’m finally done with rehearsals! Now is when I get to go home and either get ready to work (my non-dance job). Or, during show weeks, I’ll have to head to the theatre and rehearse more for the show that evening. Every dancer has other jobs they normally do in the evenings. A lot of dancers teach at the Fort Wayne Ballet School, some work at restaurants, and a couple work at dance stores.

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
I go to work at the restaurant that is right next door to our studios. They love having ballerinas work for them. After I’m done working I head home, take a shower, do a little yoga to stretch my muscles and head to bed.

As you can see, Miss Rachael works very hard in and out of the studio! She loves to perform onstage, spend time with her fellow dancers, and experience a truly unique life as a ballerina. We love Miss Rachael and continue to wish her all the success in the world as she fulfills her dream of being a professional dancer. We are so proud of her!