Dancer Profile: Isadora Loyola, American Ballet Theatre

Isadora practicing for La Bayadere and the renowned arabesque entrance of the Shades!  

Flexibility paired with strength is imperative for each dancer to zig zag down the stage with control performing arabesque after arabesque, and seemingly float in unison, successfully putting the audience in a trance and capturing the essence of the scene. 

Isadora Loyola

Dancer Profile: Kaho Ogawa, American Ballet Theatre

Ogawa practicing her arabesque using her Flexistretcher in a daily rehearsal.

Kaho Ogawa

Kaho Ogawa was born in Tokushima, Japan and began her ballet training at the age of three. She studied with Yoshimi Ohara, Eriko Kushima, and Hiroshi Tokuyama. She has won number awards in prestigious competitions including the Tokyo National Ballet Competition and the All Japan Ballet Union Competition (at which she received the Grand First Prize three years consecutively). In 2010, Osgawa won the Silver Medal at Youth America Grand Prix, and received a full scholarship to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In January 2012, Ogawa was privileged to compete at the Prix de Lausanne. 

Ogawa joined the Studio Company in February 2012 and American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in November 2012. 

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!