Sonia Rodriguez Answers Your Questions
February 25, 2022

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Sonia Rodriguez in Onegin. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

Sonia Rodriguez, who is retiring as Principal Dancer, took time from her busy schedule to answer questions from our ballet fans on Instagram, sharing details about her training, her 32 years with The National Ballet of Canada and her future ambitions. We’ve captured some of the highlights below.

How old were you when you started dancing?

I started ballet classes at the age of five in Spain.

How did you go from studying in Spain to dancing with The National Ballet of Canada?

Growing up in Spain, I always wanted to get to know my birthplace in Canada. After winning a competition in Italy I was invited to join the company and it just seemed like perfect timing.

When did you decide to pursue ballet professionally?

By the time I was 12 I knew I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer.

If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?

An actor.

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Sonia Rodriguez in WATCH HER. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

What was your favourite role in a ballet you’ve performed with The National Ballet of Canada?

I’ve performed too many amazing roles to pick just one!

Did you have a favourite partner?

In 32 years, I’ve had the opportunity to dance and build relationships with many incredible artists. But the strongest partnerships have been with Aleksandar Antonijevic, Piotr Stanczyk, Zdenek Konvalina and Guillaume Côté.

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Sonia Rodriguez and Guillaume Côté in Giselle. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

What is your favourite moment of your career?

So many moments stand out but being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame is definitely at the top of my list.

What are your pre-performances preparations? Do you have any de-stress routines?

I like to play some music while I put on my makeup. It varies depending on my energy level but there are always some Latin vibes in the mix.

How do you stay fit during the off season?

The pandemic forced me to set up a space in my home to continue training while in lockdown, so I now have a small gym that includes a barre, bike, weights and a portable Isophit machine.

Have you always been confident as a dancer and, if so, do you have any tips?

I can tell you that I felt most confident when I finally started dancing for myself and wasn’t worrying so much about how other people saw me.

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Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Christopher Wahl.

What’s your secret to having a long dance career without losing your passion?

Stay curious and openminded, be willing to discover new things and don’t be afraid of failure.

How did you know that this year was the right time for you to retire? Was it a hard decision?

I am at point in my career where I feel like I have done everything I wanted to do as a Principal Dancer but I love performing and I hope I will continue to find projects that allow me to dance and express myself on stage.

What do you plan to do after retirement?

I’m looking forward to having a little time off and hopefully I’ll do some travelling when things get better. I’ll also keep my eye out for smaller dance projects that intrigue me, some coaching and hopefully the opportunity to do some acting.

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Sonia Rodriguez in Giselle. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

Will you still take ballet class every day?

I will take some time off but, yes, class will still be part of my daily routine.

How do your sons feel about this life chapter closing?

I’m lucky to have been able to share many years of my dancing with my children. They have been my biggest fans and though I think they wish they could continue watching me dance, they are also happy for me and looking forward to this new chapter.

Watch Sonia in selected performances of A Streetcar Named Desire: March 2, 4 and 5, all at 7:30 pm.

Read Sonia Rodriguez’s Full Biography

A Streetcar Named Desire

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