Welcoming Emily Ratkos

It is our pleasure to welcome Emily Ratkos to Ballet 5:8 as a Company Apprentice for the 2017-2018 Season. We've asked each of the new dancers a few questions so we can get to know them before the season begins.

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

A. For the 2016/17 season, I was a trainee with Ballet 5:8 but before that I was studying at the Grand Rapids Ballet School. I’m originally from Michigan and have lived there for the majority of my life. 

Q. What attracted you to Ballet 5:8?

A. I was drawn to Ballet 5:8 with their desire to create “Honest, Relevant, Breathtaking Dance,” for their audiences. After this past season I can definitely attest to the truth of this statement! Especially during the creation process of Scarlet, we were challenged to step outside our comfort zone as artists. Every day in rehearsal we were encouraged to take risks and put in the effort to have those risks pay off, and to tell a realistic story, relatable for today’s audience.  

Q. Why do you dance?

A. I dance because it’s what I’ve always known and loved. Much more than that though, it has been a resource for creative expression, a powerful way to communicate, and the ability to learn and grow every day.

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

A. I love the constant movement and growth of big cities. Chicago is full of busyness and excitement and it has been a great experience performing in the city, moments of peace amidst the chaos.

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

A. Something people are surprised to learn about me is that I am a black belt in Martial Arts. I took Karate for about five years and tested for my black belt when I was twelve.

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

A. For the 2017/18 season, I am looking forward to starting my first year as a professional dancer and jumping into the new choreography and repertoire we will be performing and touring.