Welcoming Melanie Rodrigues

It is our pleasure to welcome Melanie Rodrigues 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’m originally from Dayton, Ohio, but moved to Chicago two years ago to join Ballet 5:8’s Trainee Program.

Q. What attracted you to Ballet 5:8?

A. Ballet 5:8 has unique, talented, and strong dancers, and Julianna has a creative repertoire, presenting audiences with authentic and thought-provoking topics. How could one not be attracted to this company?! After joining their Trainee Program, I saw how the company is like a big family who encourages one another and builds each other up.  I also love that Julianna is always pushing the dancers, company artists and trainees, to a higher level.   

Q. Why do you dance?

A. Ever since my mom put me in ballet at age 5 I have always wanted to dance en pointe, and once I was en pointe I didn’t want to stop!  I absolutely love performing on stage! There is such freedom in not having to use your words to express ideas and emotions. I particularly love being able to take the character or emotion I am portraying and make it my own. 

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

A. I like that this area of Chicagoland reminds me of Dayton with similar Midwest qualities but is still so close to the big city.  

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

A. I am not Hispanic. :)  I actually get this question a lot because my last name. My dad is originally from India, with Portuguese influences!

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

A. I am really excited to learn new repertoire!!