Born: Moncalieri, Italy
Trained: Teatro all Scala Ballet School in Italy
If someone handed you $1,000,000 tomorrow, you would…
I would first help my mom, take her on a beautiful trip and pay off everything she still needs to face since my dad’s death.
If you could live in any other time period, which would you choose?
Hard to say, I rather enjoy the moment I’m living in now.
Could you tell us 3 random things we don’t know about you?
I love reading, working out and spending time learning new things. I especially love listening to other people’s life experiences, I always feel that they can enrich me personally.
What would you have done as a career if ballet hadn’t come your way?
I would have definitely studied to become a doctor. Neurologist or brain surgeon. I’m planning to start studying after my ballet career, it’s never too late right? What’s the last thing that brought tears to your eyes?
When my dad passed away last year.
When you have a day off, what’s your favourite way to spend it?
On free days I like to get organized for the next work day, read my books and meet with friends.
Where in the world would you like to see yourself living some day?
I see myself living here in Toronto.
What is your fashion style outside of work?
Depends on my mood but I like the comfy-stylish sophisticated look.
Do you have any bad habits that you’re working on breaking?
Bad habits? Not really. Was there a pivotal moment that sold you on being a ballet dancer over doing anything else?
There was no pivotal moment, everything came naturally. Since I started, I felt fulfilled by dancing and so I just kept doing what was making me happy.
What is your philosophy towards your work?
I’m absolutely committed to my work as any other workers are but with the knowledge that I have the privilege to love my job. I get paid to do what I love and I feel like I have to work hard to deserve it.
How do you handle criticism?
Criticism is a part of life. I try to understand the constructive side of every critique I get. Although in a weak moment you can get hurt by them, I want to see them as “corrections” or “ideas” to think about and see if I can build something out from them.
Milk chocolate or dark?
Favorite colour and least favorite colour?
I just love all colours, least favourite is black.
What’s your definition of a successful ballet dancer?
To me a successful ballet dancer coincides with a successful human being who has found his/her balance in life and ballet. Someone who can give true emotions on stage, who is honest with his/her work and humble with the right amount of craziness. What’s the worst thing about being a dancer and what’s the best?
The worst thing is when you don’t feel satisfied by the work you did. The best is feeling accomplished.
Do you ever feel as magical as you look when you dance, or is it mainly just hard work and focus up there?
It’s the perfect mix between hard work, focus, accomplishment, happiness, storytelling and emotion that makes me feel magical.
What do you worry about?
I worry about my mom and about being a good person.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
Probably three books.What’s your guilty pleasure song that’ll make you rock out no matter where you are?
It all depends on my mood.
What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
My way to work.
Thoughts on dating: inside the dance world, or out?
I would say outside but who knows what can happen?
Do you have a celebrity crush?
Sorry, no celebrity crush yet. There are definitely some celebrities that I like such as Richard Gere, Robert Redford, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks.
What is your favorite memory of being onstage?
My favourite memory is when I danced my first solo role as Cupid in Don Quixote with the Hong Kong Ballet. I challenge myself a lot in order to give the best of myself on stage, I loved the fear of being behind the wings and the pure happiness while dancing!
My favourite ballet is La Bayadère.
My dream role is Nikiya but also Giselle.
Words of advice for young dancers?
Be humble, work wisely and honestly.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken, either personally or in your career?
Leaving my country and family.
You were born in Italy. What are you favourite dishes and customs from home?
Sorry, everything is way too good to choose but definitely any food made by my mom.
When are you most proud of yourself?
When I arrive home feeling satisfied and accomplished by my work. Actually being a good person is the most satisfying feeling.
Do you have a favourite quotation?
What charitable causes are you most passionate about?
Since my dad died, cancer research.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
“Be open with your mind” from one of my mentors, Olga Melnikova.
Do you have any habits or superstitions before you perform?
I love taking my time to do my make up, warm up and often, once I’m ready, I like to lay down and think of my steps. Even more than that I like to go over the feelings that I’ll have when I’m doing them.
Do you have any items you can’t live without when you travel?
My phone, not for social media or such but because it’s the only way I can hear the people I love, who give me strength.
Read Erika’s bio, https://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Dancers/Corps/Erika-Delponte
See Erika onstage with The National Ballet of Canada during the 2018/19 season, national.ballet.ca