21 November 2019
A Day in the Life of Ballerina Ana Letícia Godoy
Studio Company dancer Ana Letícia Godoy takes us through a day in her life as she takes on the title role in the iconic fairy tale Cinderella.
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ms. Godoy started training at her local school of dance at the age of 3. Since joining Ballet Arizona’s Studio Company in 2017, she has performed in a multitude of productions including The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, Auguste Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker.
Ana Letícia’s Day:
- 7:00 am: Wake up and get ready to go to the studios. I normally just do a light makeup and already have everything set for the day from the night before.
- 7:30 am: Eat breakfast! I normally have a banana and some other fruit, usually grapes, and toast with cheese and orange juice.
- 9:00 am: Time for company class.
- 10:45 am – 12:30 pm: Break. During this time I usually eat a snack and rest before rehearsals.
- 12:30 – 3:30 pm: Rehearsals. Right now we are rehearing for The Nutcracker. Today I rehearsed for Snow Corps, Waltz of the Flowers, and Chinese Tea pas de deux.
- 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Break. Time to eat an early dinner so I have enough energy to make it through evening rehearsals and run of the show. I also did my hair and makeup for the dress rehearsal.
- 4:30 pm: Rehearsal notes. We get a few notes for tonight’s show run and then have technique class to warm up.
- 6:00 pm: Cinderella dress rehearsal.
- 9:00 pm: Finally home! Have some more food and then get ready for bed.
Why have you decided to pursue dance as a career?
I think at this point I have learned to love ballet for how it makes me feel when I am dancing. It is a really hard career to pursue. As dancers, we need to learn from a young age that things are not personal and that it’s not always going to be fun and easy. However, I have learned over time that I love the emotions it brings out in me, I love that it has taught me how to fight for myself, and when I realized that, I knew I wanted to do this for a living.
Show weeks are always a little more intense, how do you take care of yourself and your body?
I normally try to take care of my body every weekend, not just after performances. Our bodies are our tools of work and it needs to always be in the best shape. I like to do Epsom salt baths and put my feet in ice buckets. Then I will normally use a heating pad on my back. After shows specifically, I like to get massages to relax and recover the most that I can.
Have you had any injuries that have changed your approach to dancing?
Yes. I have had a lot of injuries over the years. Most of them while I was still young and I didn’t treat them the way I should have, but that has taught me the importance of strengthening your body outside the studios as well. If you are not then you should not be doing ballet. Eating properly and having a good amount of rest for your body is also necessary for the amount of stress that we put onto our bodies.
Let’s talk Cinderella! Is this your first time performing in this ballet?
It is my first time performing Cinderella! During my first season with the studio company, Ballet Arizona performed Cinderella, so it’s really fun to be able to perform in it now.
What has it been like preparing for the title role?
It has been so much fun! I love fairy tales, so it is super exciting performing in one. We have also had a guest teacher working with us for this role, which has been amazing.
This isn’t your first time dancing a lead role, last season you danced the role of Odette in Swan Lake. What is it like to take on roles like this?
As much fun and super exciting as it is to be part of ballet in this type of role, it is a lot of work and responsibility. I always like to work the most that I can and push myself to do my best, so it takes a lot from you, but in the end, it is a really rewarding experience.
Other ballets that I have done, like Swan Lake, have been more challenging technically, but Cinderella has a lot of scenes and acting, that have to be so precise and honest so it doesn’t look fake. It is different but it is so nice to work on that kind of challenge.
Who would you say are some of your dance inspirations?
I have always loved Maria Kochetkova, she’s a Russian Prima. She is super small just like me, which has always been an inspiration for me to keep working, because it shows it is possible. I also love Karina Gonzalez from Houston ballet, she has such a different and passionate way of moving that I would love to be able to achieve one day.