Today: An interview with the Boston Ballet’s Erica Cornejo.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Erica Cornejo, a Principal Dancer with the Boston Ballet and a new mother to a wonderful baby boy.  I have long loved ballet, and as a mother-to-be, I was curious about how the roles of dancer and parent compliment one another.

 Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Erica Cornejo and her husband, Carlos Molina, performing in Balanchine’s Emeralds © The George Balanchine Trust. The Boston Ballet will be performing Jewels (which includes the ballet Emeralds) in May.  

Photo credit: Gene Schiavone

I am truly grateful to Erica for generously sharing her time and responses, and to the Boston Ballet for the opportunity to get to know one of their talented performers better.  I especially loved Erica’s comments about knowing at such a young age that she was born to dance.  That passion certainly shows through on stage.

When did you first start dancing?

EC: I was 4 years old when I started ballet.

When (or how) did you know you belonged in the Ballet?

EC: From the first day, I knew I wanted to do ballet. I was very little, but somehow I felt that passion for ballet inside of me at very early age.

Do you hope your child will pursue dance?  Why or why not?

EC: My husband, my brother, and I are dancers – for sure our child will be around ballet, music, and all kind of art because we love all that, but he will be what he desires to be. We love to do many things besides ballet and we would like to expose our child to try different things.

How has your routine changed since becoming a mother?  How has this affected your dancing?

EC: Well I guess the routine of everyone who is a parent changes. Now I have to adjust my schedule to my baby’s schedule, to be able to be with him as much as I can and do all the care for my baby. He is my number one priority and I will do my best to be a good mom.  As for the moment, I haven’t start dancing yet but what I feel already that my baby’s happiness brings more strength to me and just thinking about him makes my day more special.  I’m a lucky person, I have the most wonderful husband, the best family and now my miracle, my son who is my life.

What do you love most about ballet?

EC: What I love the most about ballet is that I’m able to transport myself and became a different character in each ballet I do. Being able to express my emotion through my dancing and make the audience experience what I feel is the best feeling.

If you had a full day to yourself, how would you spend it?

EC: With my loved ones always!

What is one misconception about ballet dancers you’d like to dispel?

EC: I say it all the time, dancers are humans, we have our good and bad moments like everyone else. Sometimes people tend  to think that we are like machines, that everything has to be perfect all the time.

Which performance are you most looking forward to this year? 

EC: Because I just had a baby, I was not able to be around to learn some of the new ballets. But I’m looking forward to whatever I will be cast in when I come back. I will try to be the best of myself.

Many thanks, again, to Erica and the Boston Ballet.  And my sincere congratulations to you and your family!

Would you like to read more?  Here’s my earlier interview with Boston Ballet dancer Emily Mistretta (added incentive: that post includes a photo of me waiting to go on stage as a two and a half year old ballerina-in-training).

Also On Tap for Today:

When you were little, what did you aspire to be? 

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