#FLXElite: Jovana Mirosavljevic

Get to know one of our #FLXElites, Jovana Mirosavljevic, professional dancer and owner of Backstage Dance Store! Check out this quick Q&A about everything, from her favorite costume to Jovana's personal motivation. Want to learn more? Follow Jovana's instagram @jovanamirosavljevic to stay up-to-date.

jovanamirosavljevic
  1. Who/what inspired you to start dancing? When I was three years old I saw “l’Etoile” (ou La danseuse sur scene), painting by Edgar Degas. I just explained to my parents that that’s me.

  2. Tell us your faves!

    1. What’s your favorite Ballet?  “In the Middle,Somewhat Elevated” (But there are so many that I adore). If classical, let’s say “La Bayadere”.

    2. Role to dance?  I loved dancing Carmen , but I enjoyed so many other non classical roles more.

    3. Stage you have danced on? Sidney  Harman Hall, Washington DC, and stage of Croatian national theatre, always in my heart.

    4. Ballet costume?  Definitely my Carmen costumes by Michal Negrin, israeli fashion designer.

    5. Place you have travelled to? NYC, always.

  3. What gives you inspiration? Nowadays, strength , challenge, overcoming the obstacles.

  4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Two and a half years ago, when I had a “career ending” injury, which all of a sudden turned into my biggest strength.

  5. What motivates you?  My new dance life, second chance, my new life outside of dance, love, friends, family, GJUUM, Patrick Rump, and lately Stuart Loungway.

  6. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?  That I lift heavy weights and that I actually eat a lot!

  7. Pre-performance routine? 30 minutes nap is a must, then make up and hair, GJUUM warm up, warm up class, some Flexistretcher, and I’m ready.

  8. Favorite non-dance hobbies? Modeling has always been my favourite hobby, and I was lucky enough to make it into much more than a hobby.

  9. Go-to cross training outside of the studio?  My only training “religion” is GJUUM.

  10. Words to live by?  #doit

  11. You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite? Stromae, Forsythe, Sylvie, Christy Turlington, Marion Cotillard and of course Audrey if she was still alive...

  12. If you could partner with any celebrity, who would it be? Stromae, but if we’re talking about dance celebrity then I was already lucky enough to dance with Darion Christopher Flores, who is , trust me, about to become a huge ballet celebrity.

  13. If you could turn any movie into a ballet, what movie would you choose? “Closer”

  14. Best piece of advice?  Just love yourself enough to live this life exactly as you want it.

Solo Chat: Allison DeBona of Ballet West

Get to know Ballet West's first soloist, Allison DeBona! We've got the inside scoop from her ballet faves to her dream-list celebrity dinner dates. Check Allison out on Instagram, @allidebona, to stay up-to-date on her life in and out of the studio! 

  1. Who/what inspired you to start dancing? When I was three my mother put me in ballet and gymnastics.  She said I made the choice that I didn’t like gymnastics and just wanted to do ballet! The rest is history, I guess!

  2. Tell us your faves!

    1. What’s your favorite Ballet?  Nicolo Fonte’s ‘Rite of Spring’ that was originated on Ballet West.

    2. Role to dance?  I don’t have one.

    3. Stage you have danced on?  I loved dancing at Millennium Park for the Chicago Dancing Festival because I felt like a rock star in front of 12k people!

    4. Ballet costume?  Ballet West’s Snow pas de deux tutu from The Nutcracker! I feel so pretty in all white!

    5. Place you have travelled to? Victoria, B.C..

  3. What gives you inspiration? Making my family proud is what drives me most to succeed.  

  4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?  Not having the confidence in myself when I need to most.

  5. What motivates you? Right now, what motivates me is having a stable future for a family one day.  Our careers are so short, but I’m trying to make the most of mine and turn it into a sustainable future.

  6. What is something people would be surprised to know about you? I am not capable of lying.  Sometimes I really wish I could, but if I tried, you would know.

  7. Pre-performance routine? It changes based on the rep we are doing.  But, whatever I do the first day of theatre week will stay for the entire run.  The one thing that stays consistent is a hot shower before I head back to the theatre.

  8. Favorite non-dance hobbies? Playing football.

  9. Go-to cross training outside of the studio?  Running and lifting weights.

  10. Words to live by?  It’s OK to have bad days.

  11. You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?  Tim Burton, Val Kilmer, Justin Timberlake, Ben Roethlisberger, the Pope and Oprah.

  12. If you could partner with any celebrity, who would it be? Channing Tatum

  13. If you could turn any movie into a ballet, what movie would you choose? The Monster Squad.

  14. Best piece of advice?  Don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy.

We have to ask!...what’s your most memorable outtake on set with Breaking Pointe?  Anything from the night in Season 1 when they had Katie Critchlow (my old roommate) and I stretching in our dining room. Ridiculous!

Behind the Lens: Get to Know FLX Photographer Renata Pavam!

Love our photos? Most of the photography you see on our website & social media is from our FLX photo shoots with premiere dance photographer, Renata Pavam.  Pavam has an eye for dance photography, coming from a ballet background.  Did you know she used to be an American Ballet Theatre company member? Get to know our star FLX photographer in this exclusive Q&A!


Left to Right: Renata Pavam (Photographer), Adrienne Canterna (Bad Boys of Ballet), and Rachel Hamrick (FLX Founder)

Left to Right: Renata Pavam (Photographer), Adrienne Canterna (Bad Boys of Ballet), and Rachel Hamrick (FLX Founder)

What inspired you to photograph? 

I definitely always liked taking photos. I love looking back at them after a while. But after I saw a fellow dancer's photos, (Rosalie O'Connor) I started thinking I really wanted to take it seriously. I loved the backstage feel of ballet. Everyone looks so beautiful in their hair and make up, how can you not want to take a photo?! So I got a camera and started playing around with my colleagues from ABT. Then I realized I actually loved it, and was kinda good at it!

How do you bring your background as a dancer to photography? 

Dancers are very critical and perfectionist. You have to be. You're in front of a mirror all day long looking at whatever you're doing wrong, and how to fix it. So that's what I do when I take a photo. I never think it's good enough, always trying to make it better. I try to pay attention to every detail. I think that comes from my life as a dancer. And when I shoot dancers, I can help them out and say what position looks good or not. It's like I’m their mirror and they trust me.

Your favorite shooting locations. Go.

I loved the shoot we did at the Dream Hotel. A lot of different places to get a good photos. I also love rooftops, especially in NYC. I'm sure it would be amazing to do a shoot at the Paris Opera. It's such a gorgeous building. Maybe someday.

If you could photograph anyone, who would it be?

Sylvie Guillem! At any point of her career. She's just such an amazing creature. She's not from this world, and there's no one like her.

Check out some of our Renata-FLX favorites below!

Avid Flexistretcher User & #ANFLXmodel Katrina Motley Chats With Us!

America's Next FLX Model winner, Katrina Motley (@kkdancekk via Instagram), recently met up with us in NYC for a photo shoot.  Did you know that this ballerina only began dancing at the age of 10? Get to know this well-traveled, future professional in this exclusive Q&A! 

Q: What age did you start dancing? 

I started dancing at the age of 10. 

Q: Where are you dancing now? 

I am dancing at the Lavrovsky ballet school in Moscow, Russia. 

Q: What is your dream company? 

My dream company is Staatsballett Berlin Ballet. I would really like to dance in Germany in the future! 

Q:  What was your favorite performance so far and why? 

My favorite performance so far is Spring soloist from the ballet The Four Seasons. It was my first major role and it took a lot of rehearsals and hard work but in the end it all paid off! 

Q: Favorite variation? 

My favorite variation is Aurora Act III wedding variation. 

Q: Dream role?

My dream role is Aurora from Sleeping Beauty! Sleeping Beauty is also my favorite ballet.  I just love the music, choreography, and costumes.  The role is really difficult but I am always up for a challenge! 

Q: What are your hobbies when you aren't dancing?

I really enjoy reading and swimming. 

Q: Favorite dessert? 

I love ice cream! But I also really love to eat chocolate cake on special occasions. 

Q: If you could partner with any celebrity, who would it be? 

If I could partner with any ballet celebrity it would be David Hallberg!

Q: If you could travel anywhere where would it be? 

I would love to go to Barcelona, Spain one day. It's so beautiful there, and I love the  weather and beaches! 

Q: How long have you been using the Flexistretcher? 

I love the Flexistretcher! I have been using it for quite a while now- about every day to help me stretch before class. My favorite stretches are the arabesque and middle split. 

Exclusive Interview! ABT Ballerina & FLX Brand Ambassador, Melanie Hamrick

We sat down with FLX Model Melanie Hamrick to get the inside scoop on her training, professional career, and personal faves.  Read about this ABT ballerina and her life in the big city!

FLX: Where did you train?  

MH: I began training with Sandra Ballestracci in Virginia and then at 12 years old, I went away to Kirov Academy in DC.  I studied there for five years before joining American Ballet Theatre.

FLX: When did you start dancing professionally?  

MH: I joined ABT at age 17.  I was asked to join the ABT Studio Company while attending their summer program. I spent five months with the studio company and joined the main company (ABT) for their MET season the same year.

FLX: What’s your favorite role that you have danced with ABT?   

MH: I really loved dancing Olympia in ‘Lady of the Camillias’.  I loved the acting and taking time to develop my character.

FLX: What’s your favorite thing about performing?

MH: Being on stage.  I love when I can go on stage and dance my heart out, while feeling exhilarated and exhausted at the same time.

FLX: What is your favorite costume for a performance?

MH: Lady of the Camillias or the Fairy tutus from Sleeping Beauty. 

FLX: What is your post-show craving?

MH: Mexican food...I also just love a great hamburger and fries!

FLX: Where has been your favorite stage you have danced on?  

MH: The Met in NYC!

FLX: How has the Flexistretcher helped you?  

MH: It has really helped me increase my flexibility.  I used it daily in school because my extensions were only at 90 degrees and today it is a constant in my dance bag!