Here at Discount Dance corporate we are pretty used to ridiculously talented dancers gracing our hallways on photo shoot days. The difference on this day, was that it was a male dancer present! Dance Life was fortunate enough to sit down with ballet dancer Raphael Spyker and ask him a few questions about his career in the wonderful world of ballet. Here’s what he had to say!
DL: Where are you from?
RS: Brazil – Rio de Janeiro
DL: When did you start dancing, and what style did you start with?
RS: I started at the age of 12 in the Russian style – Vaganova.
DL: How did you get involved with ABT?
RS: In 2012 I came to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school at ABT and made it through level 7. Then, after a year in the studio company it came time for them to select apprentices. We started with 14 dancers, ranging in age from 16 – 20 years old. They chose 4 girls and 2 boys to join the company as an apprentice, and I was chosen. I came in December to do the Nutcracker, and by February they offered me a core contract.
DL: What made you decide to take ballet seriously and make it a career?
RS: I actually didn’t take it very seriously until I was 17. That next year, I made it into the finals of a ballet competition and decided that I am good at this, and it is something I should put more effort into.
DL: What advice do you have for young dancers – specifically male dancers?
RS: Dance as much as you can, and take personal responsibility for improving your technique. Also take it seriously earlier than I did. It’s easier for a younger body to learn, and being disciplined will help improve you as a person.
DL: What is your favorite role?
RS: Great Galloping Gottschalk pas de deux.
DL: What is your long term goal in the company?
RS: I would [obviously] like to be a principal some day.