I am so excited about today's Dancing Through Life's featured dancer as she is the first dancer that I actually met through this here blog! Meet Larissa Taurins-- a dance administrator, avid crafter and former dancer from Canada, but she's also a blogger (Yay dancing bloggers!) I really related to Larissa's feelings towards dance; they parallel mine in so many ways. I was thrilled to become blog buddies with her and find yet another person who shares my ambivalent feelings towards the dance profession. Check out her sweet blog, Purl Knitting, her etsy shop and read on to learn more about how she keeps dancing through life.
1. When did you start dancing?
I started dancing in my living room around age 2 or 3. When I was three I went to the see the National Ballet of Canada’s Swan Lake and I sat through the entire thing, completely mesmerized. From then on, every afternoon I danced to my record of Swan Lake by myself, having my dad come and do the lifts with me. When I was 8 I started taking lessons.
2. What styles did you train in and which is your favorite?
Throughout my childhood I was seriously into ballet, but then I got into an arts high school where I was a dance major, and fell in love with contemporary dance. I enjoy both forms equally, but I am more comfortable dancing and performing contemporary technique.
3. Did you dance professionally or in college? If so, where, what schools, companies and/or shows?Throughout high school, I danced with the school’s company, and we got tons of performing experience that impacted me for life. I also was part of a youth company at my studio, the Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, where I now work.
After high school I attended a professional training program, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, but left after two years.
|Larissa's the one in the tutu--so cute!|
4. When did you decide to pursue a career other than that of a dancer?
When I was professionally training, I realized that it wasn’t the place for me. That kind of daily intensity and total immersion in dance was not really living life. I was unhappy and confused, and it has taken a few years to let go of my dream and pursue a more balanced, varied life. However, I still consider myself a dancer, at least at heart.
5. What do you do now?
I am currently finishing a degree in dance studies from York University, and working as an administrator and rehearsal mistress at the Pia Bouman School. I have also re-embraced my love of knitting, and opened an etsy shop (called Purl Knitting). It has become a true passion for me. Otherwise, I have placed a lot of importance on the joys of daily life, including baking, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
6. How has dance affected your life? How does it inspire you?
There is a magic to dance that will always stay with me. It is ingrained in me as part of who I am, and I will always have that with me. The fact that so much emotion can be expressed through the moving body, and be universally recognized, brings me a lot of joy.
7. Do you feel like your dance background helped you in other aspects of your life? Did it contribute to your other successes?
I feel like my background in dance training has been a huge support to my current lifestyle. The dedication, work ethic, and sense of responsibility for oneself still carries me through my days.
8. How do you keep a hand in the dance world? How do you support it?
I am still very much a part of the dance world, just not in the way that I imagined myself to be when I grew up. I have been studying dance academically, I started a magazine for emerging dance artists in Toronto with some friends which has been running now for 5 years, and I love my job as a dance administrator. I still have some unresolved feelings about performing, as I would like to still be able to do it in some capacity. I have suffered from chronic migraine headaches for the last few years, which stops me up. But I have started to make dance films (which I dance in) as a way to perform.
9. Do you have a favorite dance film, book or dancer?
Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn are a continual inspiration for me. Also, the Ballet Russes era amazes me.
10. Do you plan to keep dancing throughout your life?
About me (Larissa Taurins): I am a twenty-something crafter, dance administrator, and dancer at heart. I live in Canada with my love, and have a passion for tea, knitting, crafting, longs walks and vintage clothing.
Thank you Larissa for sharing how you keep dancing through life. As always, if you are, were, or simply would like to be a dancer and want to share how you incorporate dance into your life, email me or leave me a comment!