20 Questions With Arielle Miralles
December 22, 2022
Arielle Miralles. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
A graduate of the RBC Apprentice Programme, Arielle Miralles joined The National Ballet of Canada in the 2022/23 season as a full member of the Corps de Ballet. Get to know this promising artist through our “20 Questions” series!
What inspired you to join The National Ballet of Canada?
I first saw the National Ballet perform Giselle in 2011 when I was a student at Canada’s National Ballet School. I was enamoured and totally captured by the tragedy, power and love of former Principal Dancer Sonia Rodriguez, who was dancing the role of Giselle. I was so enthralled by her storytelling and the beauty of her dancing that I forgot where I was. It was in that moment that I knew I wanted the opportunity to dance with National Ballet. I continued attending all their performances as a student and even began to fangirl over all the dancers – and yes, it felt like all the dancers I grew up watching were these celebrities who then became my wildly talented colleagues and friends!
What would you have done as a career if you hadn’t pursued ballet?
I would probably be a baker or a chef. I’m a huge foodie and I’m always bringing baked goods into work to cheer people up!
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
Many. Falling, slipping, tripping, even forgetting choreography! Although it feels mortifying, the best any dancer can do is shake it off and not let it get to you. Keep calm and carry on.
What is your work philosophy?
1% better every day.
How do you handle criticism?
I really welcome feedback, positive or negative. I try to view criticism as a tool to guide me in new directions and explore different perspectives. I know that every constructive comment may come with a bias, so I’ll often try it out and see if it works for me. If it’s something that I can use to enhance my work, I’ll apply it in order to expand myself as a dancer and as a person.
Arielle Miralles backstage at Swan Lake. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
What's your definition of a successful ballet dancer?
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
My mom told me this as a kid growing up and it’s exactly what I experienced while watching that performance of Giselle in 2011. Like watching a movie or reading a book, people use these forms of entertainment as an escape from their own reality and to be immersed in the art. I see a successful dancer as someone capable of making an audience feel the emotion, visualize the movement and understand the story they are expressing onstage, making them forget about everything else that’s happened outside the theatre. That is the most powerful kind of dancer.
What’s the best thing about being a dancer?
Getting to do what you love every day! It’s still surreal.
What’s the worst?
What music are you listening to right now?
I love a lot of different genres of music. I got this trait from my dad.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending quality time and sharing meals with my friends or family. I really enjoy something as simple as going on a walk with coffee or cooking together.
What are three things most people don't know about you?
- I faint every time I go for a blood test.
- My version of vintage shopping is going through my parents’ closet.
- I’ve rewatched Gilmore Girls far too many times.
What cheers you up on an off day?
Calling my parents. They’re my best friends.
Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?
Arielle Miralles in Rehearsal for The Collective Agreement. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
What is your favorite onstage memory?
Our first performance back after the pandemic. We performed George Balanchine’s Serenade, and it was one of those shows where you trusted yourself enough to let go and let the combination of the choreography meet the incredible music to take you to what felt like another planet. It was a milestone moment for me where I learnt the power of self-confidence.
Do you have any performance rituals or superstitions?
My ballet teacher from school, and former National Ballet dancer, Lise-Marie Jourdain passed on the tradition of eating a banana before every show.
What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?
Trusting myself. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the outcomes of situations and lose your sense of being grounded. Learning to trust the process has been one of the hardest things but has changed my outlook and perspective.
Could you name someone who has mentored or inspired you?
My mom. And Second Soloist Selene Guererro-Trujillo. I aspire to one day be as strong, resilient and kind as these women. They teach and inspire me daily.
Where would you like to travel, but haven’t yet?
The South of France. I want to wake up and eat a freshly baked croissant, dip my toes in the Mediterranean Sea and explore the beautiful and historical architecture.
What is your perfect meal?
A charcuterie board. I enjoy pretending to be Ratatouille and putting together different combinations of food.
What’s the top item on your bucket list?
Humanitarian work. I feel so lucky that I’m able to live the life I do, so I enjoy giving back and helping others who are less fortunate. When I have the time I go to my local Food Bank to volunteer, but I’d love to travel abroad and do some work with children one day.
Artists of the Ballet in Serenade. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
Learn more about Arielle