Welcoming Valerie Linsner

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 am originally from Champaign, IL, and I moved to the Chicago area to join Ballet 5:8's trainee program in 2017 after finishing high school.

Q. What attracted you to Ballet 5:8?

A. I was very attracted to Ballet 5:8's mission. I wanted to go somewhere where there is a point to the dancing, a point to the ballets. I love classical ballet, but at the end of day, it's very empty on its own. At Ballet 5:8, the rep is relevant, thought-stirring, and loving.

Q. Why do you dance?

A. I dance because I truly love it! As soon as I could walk at nine months, I was dancing all around the house and putting on shows for my family. It's very natural for me and I do not think I would fully be myself if I were not dancing. It's the way I was made!

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

A. I really like how many forest preserves are nearby for walking and hiking, but I can't forget about the pizza too!

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

A. I have sadly never been on roller coaster.

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

A. I am most excited for all the new....new repertoire, new people, new experiences....these are all things that will  force me to grow. Even though growth is hard and not always fun, I know it is good and provides infinite potential to grow closer to Jesus.