Meet the Company: New Brooklyn Ballet Dancer Izabela Szylinska
Name: Izabela Szylinska
Neighborhood you live in: Bushwick
Q: Tell me a bit more about your background in ballet.
A: I started my professional ballet training at the age of 10. I attended the Polish National Ballet School in Warsaw. The education takes 9 years and finishes with a diploma. Besides ballet we also studied contemporary, modern, character dances and many others. The school was very rigorous but I was lucky to finish it with distinction.
Q: How did you learn about Brooklyn Ballet? And what attracted you to audition for the company?
A: Brooklyn Ballet was the place of my first show in New York. I had the pleasure to meet Julia Gleich and perform her work in the CounterPointe project in 2012 and 2013.
Q: Which of the dances for this season's performances are you most excited about? Why?
A: I'm excited to perform The Solitude by Julia Gleich again with a slightly different group of dancers. It's fascinating for me to perform the same piece but with a different cast. It brings new energy and sometimes it may change the character.
Q: Why is ballet/dance important to you?
A: It always was a big part of my life, it was always around me…My mom is a choreographer and since I was a small kid I've spent a lot of time at the theater in Warsaw, Poland. At some point it felt like my second home!
For me it's a way to express your feelings, emotions, strengths, and technically, ballet is something where you can always improve.
Q: What is your favorite activity outside of dance?
A: Whenever I'm not dancing, I still like to do things connected with art. I love to see performances, shows, plays. I used to do that all the time when I was in Europe. New York is an amazing place to be so there is always something interesting to do. So I guess I just like to find new things in this city.
Q: Where's your favorite place to hang out in Brooklyn?
A: There are so many places! I love Carroll Gardens - I could walk around Smith and Court streets all day. I'm also a huge fun of the Bedford area - I often find myself sitting at the pier with a warm cup of coffee from Toby's Estate. It's a great spot to experience peace, watching a nice view of Manhattan.
Top photo by Marcin Szro; bottom photo by David Toquica Olave