Team Zarely: When did you start ballet classes?
Sasha De Sola: I started attending recreational dance classes when I was only 3 years old. By the time I was 10, I realized I was very passionate about ballet and I wanted to pursue it professionally.
Team Zarely: Did you decide to be a ballerina by yourself or was it your parents’ decision?
Sasha De Sola: Both of my parents are musicians so I grew up surrounded by music and art. However, when they first enrolled me in dance classes I think they never could have imagined that I would be so taken by it. They thought it would be more of a hobby for me but I just fell in love with ballet.
Team Zarely: What do you think is the hardest part about being a principal dancer?
Sasha De Sola: Our schedule at San Francisco Ballet is very demanding and it can be difficult to find the time to make sure your body has the chance to rest and recover between rehearsal and/or performance days. For me, it's all about finding a delicate balance of hard work and adequate rest and not becoming overwhelmed by the pressures of performance.
Team Zarely: What do you dream about?
Sasha De Sola: I definitely have some dream roles that I would one day like to dance in my career. But beyond that, I am always dreaming and thinking of ways I can give back to others. I was very fortunate to have people who supported me when I was a student and beyond, and I would love to find a way to support other younger dancers who may need a little extra help to fulfill their dreams.
Team Zarely: What do you advise to aspiring young dancers when they ask for recommendations or pieces of advice?
Sasha De Sola: My advice to young dancers is always persevere even when times are difficult. Ballet, and life in general, is filled with ups and downs but it will always be worth it to fight for what you are passionate about.
Photos by Zach Epperson