Welcoming Ellington Nichols

It is our pleasure to welcome Ellington Nichols to Ballet 5:8 as a Company Apprentice for the 2019-2020 Season. We've asked each of the new dancers a few questions so we can get to know them before the season begins.

Photo by Rebekah Lane

Q. Where will you be coming to Ballet 5:8 from? Where are you from originally?

A. I will be coming to Ballet 5:8 from the Forrest Academy of Ballet New York in Manhattan. I am originally from Oak Grove, Minnesota.

Q. What attracted you to Ballet 5:8?

A. I was inspired by Ballet 5:8’s vision and mission to engage in a conversation of life and faith through dance. The unique repertoire allows me to share my love of dance and my faith simultaneously. I also appreciate the emphasis on excellent ballet technique and professionalism. The original repertoire is exciting and provides a deeper depth to the performance.

Q. Why do you dance?

A. Dancing feeds my soul by allowing me to completely express myself. I enjoy the feeling throughout the entire process starting in the studio, to rehearsal time, to the rush of adrenaline just before you step out on stage, to the freedom in the moment that seems to just hang in the air, to the after performance satisfaction and fulfillment of all that you have shared and accomplished. The fulfillment also comes in the striving for perfection which is a never ending journey and process. The gift of dance tells a story through movement with music which allows the audience to feel and be transported into a different world, and to be a part of that experience brings me immense joy.

Q. What is something you enjoy about Chicago or think you’ll enjoy about Chicago?

A. Chicago is a new place for me to explore and learn about. I look forward to all it has to offer.

Q. What is one thing people will be surprised to learn about you?

A. I trained extensively to be a competitive figure skater until the age of 11. My figure skating coach introduced me to ballet as a condition to improve my skating. However, little did she know that I would fall in love with the art form and change my direction to fully pursue dance as a professional career.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about the coming performance season? 

A. I am most looking forward to sharing my love of dance with an audience. I am especially excited to perform in Ballet 5:8’s unique storytelling ballets. I am eager to learn and grow not only as a dancer but also as an artist. In training, the main focus is on technique so it will be rewarding to dive deeper into my artistic abilities with Ballet 5:8.