Revisiting Pointe's Past Cover Stars: Polina Semionova (December 2008/January 2009)

We revisited some of Pointe's past cover stars for their take on how life—and ballet—has changed.

Polina Semionova, December 2008/January 2009

Then: Principal dancer, Staatsballett Berlin

Now: Principal guest dancer, Staatsballett Berlin; guest artist, Mikhailovsky Ballet and La Scala Ballet; principal guest, American Ballet Theatre, 2012–16

Semionova in a burgundy gown, posing in a back attitude and holding her skirt on a bright purple cover of Pointe with hot pink text.

On being a Pointe cover star: "The stage is the biggest reward in my career, but being on Pointe's cover was a big support too. In 2008, it was just the beginning for me. It was a time of constant dancing and little sleep. The encouragement gave me strength."

Semionova in a pink and gold outfit and crown, in a deep pli\u00e9 onstage with one leg behind her and her arms framing her face.

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère

Yan Revazov, Courtesy Staatsballett Berlin

What's changed since then: "Dancers are their own promoters these days. I see pluses and minuses. A bigger audience can enter your world, but nothing can replace live performance. I also see a greater focus on athleticism in dance training today. This is helpful in the time of quarantine; we can still train our bodies. But we shouldn't forget the artistry. A well-prepared body is strong, but developing the mind and soul is just as important."

Advice for dancers: "It took me time to realize that every break is for a reason, whether for an injury or a pandemic. It's not always bad to take a rest—use the time to recover when you have it. Invest in learning and developing in other things. Being a dancer doesn't have to mean being physically active all day. And if you have children one day and have no time for breaks, enjoy that time as well. The daily routine always comes back."

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