Get to Know JQ!
Q: How did your interest in ballet begin? When did this lead you to CPYB?
I grew up in San Francisco and started ballet because I was inspired by my sister! I would always hang around the studio waiting for her to finish class and I decided that I wanted to do it too! My parents also thought that it would teach me how to be quiet (it didn't work). I came to CPYB when I was thirteen after spending a year in Moscow, Russia. I had been there for a few summer programs before and my parents and I both thought that it was the best place to pursue both ballet and academics, since getting a traditional education was difficult for a young American in such a foreign country!
Q: Do you have a special memory about Marcia that you would like to share?
Oh gosh, where to begin... One that always stands out to me is when Alex Manning and I brought her flowers in our tuxedoes before we went to prom. I tear up when I think about how happy she was.
Q: So, where are you now? What does a day in your life look like today?
Now I live in Helsinki, Finland, and dance at the Finnish National Ballet. I usually wake up, have some breakfast, and then head to class. After class, I either have rehearsals until 5:00, or I go to the gym. Then I come home and cook some dinner and read a book or go see a movie or something. I also like spending time with my friends and going out to eat sometimes. Helsinki has a lot of nature, so it's also fun to go for a bike ride or rock climbing or some other outdoor activities.
Q: What did you learn during your time at CPYB that you still use in your daily career/life?
One thing that I learned at CPYB was that it's really important to be kind and honest with the people who you are working with. Marcia cultivated a really special atmosphere at the school, and that made it easy to get along with your peers and your teachers. I try to spread that same kindness and warmth that Marcia did in the other places I've been since I left CPYB.
Q: What words of wisdom would you share with current students?
Beyond "Always listen to Marcia"? I guess it would be related to the last answer I gave. Try and remember to always be a good person. Working hard and being a good dancer is important, but it's more important to help other people. Do your best to do one thing every day to make life better for someone else.