It is our pleasure to welcome Lauren Pulkstenis to Ballet 5:8 as an Apprentice for the 2016-2017 Season. Here on the blog, we are asking each of the new dancers a few questions so we can get to know them ahead of the upcoming season.
Q. Where will you be coming to Ballet 5:8 from? Where are you from originally?
A. I will be moving to Chicago from sunny Santa Barbara, CA, where I was dancing with State Street Ballet, but I grew up in Lafayette, NJ.
Q. What attracted you to Ballet 5:8?
A. Dancing has always felt like an expression of myself, but in my ballet experiences, most of the work I ended up dancing didn’t connect with me on more than a surface level. When I dance, I want to communicate the truest parts of myself, the parts that I don’t have words for. The relevant and poignant work that Ballet 5:8 is showcasing seems to encourage a deeper expression of the soul, and also encourage a more meaningful experience for the audience. I’m very excited to begin working with artists who are claiming ballet as a vehicle for spreading truth, light, and positivity.
Q. Why do you dance?
A. I dance because my body tells stories better than my words. There is a certain rawness about movement that for me, cannot be translated into words. Dancing has helped my body to be strong and healthy, and taught me many lessons about being vulnerable, humble, and open. I love dancing for more reasons than I understand, but feel so blessed to be able to spend my life doing it.
Q. What is something that you enjoy about Chicago or think you’ll enjoy about Chicago?
A. I’ve actually only been to Chicago twice as of now, but I’m excited to get to explore a new city. While I love the outdoors, I’ve always considered myself a city person. I’m excited to discover the parks, restaurants, and people Chicago is home to.
Q. What is one thing people will be surprised to learn about you?
A. People might be surprised to know that I have five sisters, and no brothers! In terms of age, there are three older than me, and two younger. Donna, Ammie, Kristen, Lindsey, and Kelly are my incredible sisters, and I’m so thankful for the bonds we share.
Q. What are you most looking forward to about this performance season?
A. I’m looking forward to getting to know the dancers at Ballet 5:8 and getting to participate in the creation of new choreography. However, I’m most excited about the chance to use ballet to share stories that are part of my faith and part of my identity.