meet our muse : Los Angeles Ballet dancer Jasmine Perry

 

jasmine perry LA ballet belle force

We just loved working with Jasmine Perry during our photoshoot in Los Angeles. The dancer radiates energy and positivity, and you can sense her intense passion for her craft. The North Carolina native moved to NYC to pursue her dance career at a mere 14 years old, later moving to California at 18 to join the Los Angeles ballet, where she dances now. Jasmine is talented, focused, and driven, and we can't wait to see where the future leads her! 
  
Below we share a peek into her background and daily life – Meet our Muse: Jasmine Perry 
  jasmine perry belle force
 
 

How long have you been dancing and how did you start?

I've been dancing for 14 years. My dad put me into a modern class when I was 9 simply because I had too much energy and was running around the house. My modern teacher showed me to the ballet teacher one day after class, apparently I had the facility for ballet. They told my dad I should join, and I did. Haven't stopped since. 

What does a normal day look like for you?

On a normal day, I wake up around 7:30am for company class at 9:30. Class every morning warms us up and gets our bodies ready for a full day of rehearsal. Class normally lasts about an hour and a half. After class, we have a quick break, then begin rehearsing from 11am to around 4pm. We have an hour or so lunch break in between, depending on how many rehearsals you are called to throughout the day. When we are rehearsing in the theater before performance days, my schedule is a bit different. Company class starts later in the day, around 1:30pm, and we're called to the theater at 6pm to then rehearse until 10pm. After work I come home for dinner, school work, a Netflix series maybe, and often fall asleep on the couch doing so. Shower, sleep, and do it all over again. 
 
How long have you been in LA, and what’s your favorite part about living there? 
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I have been in LA for about four years. What I love about LA that I didn't get in NYC is the variety of things to do outdoors. Fifteen minutes from my house in one direction is the beach, in another are trails to hike, and beautiful views every which way you look. I also love food out here. People have moved here from all over the world, and represent and share their culture in the community with food. 
 
Any crazy backstage / onstage stories to share? 
 
A couple seasons ago Los Angeles Ballet was doing an entire Balanchine program. We were in our second week of shows, rehearsing in another theater with "Who Cares?". I was casted in "Five Girls", a five min or so dance full of jumping, dancing non stop. Five girls opened Who Cares?, had their dance in the middle, and closed in finale. The principals of the ballet only came on for their pas de deuxs and solo variations, and came back on to join the company in the finale. A few days into the second week of shows, one of the principal dancers got injured in "Who Cares?". At that point of the run, there were no more principals to replace her, and barely dancers in the corps to fill the gaps. I was thrown on, to perform a variation I was not originally understudy for. On top of having to do the principal role, I had to do my original spots as well. To make the story short, I had four quick changes in the span of thirty mins, and some how finished the ballet standing, with a smile from ear to ear! 
 
What do you find most rewarding about dance?
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The most rewarding part of dance to me is the effect it has on the community. Whether someone is familiar with dance not, it has the ability to move them, leaving them with a lasting impression and hopefully inspiring them in some way. Dance brings people together of all walks of life. The effect dance has on children especially, is one I will always cherish! 
 
What’s your favorite music to dance to? 

I don't think I have a favorite! I listen to all types of music, and pretty much dance to everything! 
 
What do you like to do when you’re not dancing?
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Outside of dance I like to do yoga, spend time outdoors hiking, or on the beach, and go to art galleries.
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Do you follow a fitness routine outside of your dance classes and rehearsal?

I don't follow a very strict routine, but I do like to cross train. I switch up between pilates, yoga, cardio machines, and soul cycle. I try to listen to my body when it comes to choosing what is necessary for each day, even if that means nothing at all. 
 
How would you define your personal style? Do you like to keep your dance / street wardrobes separate, or do you integrate, embracing the athleisure trend?
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definitely embrace the athleisure trend. For the longest time I only bought athletic wear I could wear to work and on any regular day, because I figured it was more pertinent than "real people clothes," as I like to call them. Haha. I soon found that I had enough - almost too many athleisure items - so now I'm making a point to buy more normal street wear. I have more of an eye for street wear now that I have decided I'm good on the athletic wear for a while. I will always love a good legging and sports bra though. I'm very happy my craft calls for that type of clothing.
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How DO you handle it all? Any secrets to share? Can’t-live-without morning routines or magical power snacks? Any mantras or practices that keep you going?
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Positive affirmations really help me. Growing up, I was always one to look at cocky and seemingly overconfident people with a little envy for thinking so highly of themselves. I've been working on just that. Telling myself that I will get through something and do it well, that I am deserving and capable, helps me with my confidence and self image. It makes dealing with stress a little easier. I've also learned to love meditation. Simply finding a moment alone to find my breath again, clear my mind, and organize my thoughts helps to keep me going.
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Cook, order in, or out to eat?
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Out to eat! My biggest weakness is going out to eat too much. 
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Future plans?
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I'm not exactly sure what I want to after ballet, but I do have many interests. I hope to end up doing something in arts management, as I see how important direction of art institutions are. I also have this love for real estate and property value, psychology too... I'm open to many things!

What is one thing you wish more people knew / understood about ballet? Any misconceptions you’ve encountered?
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I wish people understood how much hard work goes into the craft, and how undervalued it is in the US. That not only goes for ballet, but fine art, and artists in the states in general. Somehow along the way artists have gotten lost in the community as not so worthy of equal pay. 
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We share an appreciation for embracing our feminine fortitude and encouraging that in other women! We like to use the motto “be the belle” as a reminder to be the very best version of ourselves that we can each day. What does “be the belle” mean to you?
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"Be the Belle" to me means to be my best self, live my best life, and to never apologize for it. No one is going to take care of you entirely, but yourself, so find what it is that you need to achieve the best you. If it takes embodying another powerful woman that inspires you, do that. If it takes talking to yourself in the mirror every day, do that. It's so incredibly important to find yourself and what makes you, you, and to be comfortable and proud of the skin you're in. It is a reminder that you are capable, worthy, beautiful and powerful. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 
  
♡ 
follow Jasmine's ballet adventures | @jaypearr 
  
jasmine perry belle force