20 Questions with Jennifer Watembach
August 20, 2020

1. What are the top three activities you have been doing during social distancing?

  • Baking bread. 
  • Painting. 
  • Slacklining.
2. What would you have done as a career if ballet hadn't come your way?

I’m not exactly sure but I like both math and art, so possibly something like architecture.

3. Have you ever had an embarrassing moment performance-wise?

Yes! I remember falling centre stage once during The Nutcracker finale and heard the whole audience audibly gasp as I went down. I was totally okay and popped right back up!

4. What is your work philosophy?

I like focusing on short term technical or artistic goals and trying my best in each moment.

5. How do you handle criticism?

I try to use criticism as an opportunity to improve. I’ve found that often even specific corrections help polish my dancing if I stay mindful and try to apply them throughout classes and rehearsals.
6. Do you have any habits or superstitions before you perform?

I’m not superstitious but I like to give myself plenty of time to warm up before each performance. I start with jumping rope for a few minutes and then move on to stretching and various exercises. I then like to practice some of the more difficult steps in the choreography.  

7. What's your definition of a successful ballet dancer?

A successful ballet dancer is refined technically as well as artistically beautiful. They are also always trying to improve.
8. What’s the worst thing about being a dancer and what’s the best?

I don’t like leaving the theatre so late after evening performances but I love being able to do what I love every day.

9. What's your guilty pleasure song that'll make you rock out no matter where you are?

The Tide is High by Blondie.

10. What are three random things most people don't know about you?
  • I like wearing a watch so I know the time without always having to check my phone. 
  • My family has two black cats. 
  • I don’t like olives.
11. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

I think I might like licorice now.

12. What cheers you up on an off day?

I try to think of all the things I’m grateful for. 

13. Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?

Spending too much time on my phone before going to bed. 

14. What is your favorite memory of being onstage?

My favourite memory onstage has been dancing in the company’s Corps de Ballet for the first time in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream. It was such an exciting and amazing feeling.Joe Chapman. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
15. Favorite ballet?

I love Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because it’s so clever and funny!
16. What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?

Choosing to pursue dancing as a career was definitely a risk but luckily the steps to get here seemed more like opportunities and adventures rather that risks at the time.

17. When are you most proud of yourself?

I’m most proud when I’ve finally accomplished something that I have been working on for a while and didn’t know if I could ever achieve.

18. Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced.

I feel so lucky that I get to see my fellow dancers do amazing things in the studios and onstage all the time. It’s so inspiring!

19. Do you have a favourite quote?

“Great things do not just happen by impulse, but as a succession of small things linked together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
20. Finally, what is the top item on your bucket list?

I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights.


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