MEET THE DANCERS: Jenavieve Hernandez, Barbara Becraft Fellowship Apprentice

Jenavieve was trained in Spokane, WA at Academy of Dance. She also spent 10 years in Boise, Idaho with Ballet Idaho Academy where in 2015 she was the recipient of the John William Jackson full scholarship. Under Director Peter Anastos, Jenavieve performed in Ballet Idaho’s company performances including The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. Jenavieve has also danced with contemporary companies including Boise Dance Co-op, Project Flux and Idaho Dance Theater.

This is Jenavieve’s first season as a Barbara Becraft Fellowship Apprentice with Ballet Fantastique.

Q & A with Jenavieve

What do you like to do in your days off or in your free time?

I like to be outside as often as I can, either hiking or walking around town with friends—mostly ballet friends right now because I haven’t really met a lot of people outside of that! In reality I usually end up doing laundry or meal prepping for the rest of the week.

What inspires you to perform?

A big part of me starting to dance was my mom. She’s a dancer, so she was a really big inspiration to me and she’s always been super uplifting, saying things like “you can do it if you want, but you don’t have to,” so that’s been my core… but it’s always for me. I always try to improve and that’s what keeps me going, the idea that I can always get better and that’s what inspires me to perform.

How would your friends describe you in three words?

Sarcastic, scatter-brained and procrastinator. People can look at those negatively, but I think they’re great qualities.

Who is your favorite super villain?

Cruella De Vil. With a passion. The way she looks and acts. I don’t like what she does but it’s the personality I really like.

Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I have hopefully gone to and graduated from college by then. I still want to be dancing by that time but I think I will move past ballet and move into more of contemporary dance. I still see myself consistently dancing and then going to school and maybe having a dog because I want an animal!

What is your life motto?

Lately it’s been, being myself completely and for nobody else. No matter if that means dressing however I want, eating whatever I want. My life motto has changed a lot because I live by myself now and I’m still super young but being on my own and having my own responsibilities now, I kinda just don’t care about what anyone else thinks of me.

If you weren’t a dancer right now, what would you be doing?

I would probably still be in Idaho going to school. I have so many things I would like to do in my lifetime and one of those things is to get paid for being outside. So I would probably be going to school full time in Idaho and hopefully majoring in something like Biology or Environmental Science to work towards my goal of getting paid to be outside.

What are you most looking forward to in working with BFan?

Honestly, all the opportunities to come because I’ve already been here for like what, two and a half months, and I’ve already gotten so many more opportunities than I ever have in my home town studio. Here I’ve already gained so much. I think it’s the teachers, the people, it’s everything! I just feel like in this environment I’ve already learned so much more than I have anywhere else and I’m just looking forward to continue making progress, improving and making more friends.

What is your favorite animal?

A whale! I think they’re crazy and weird and they’re the biggest thing on this planet that we know of.

What is your favorite ballet?

I love Swan Lake because I was once in the core and so I got to experience it, I love to watch it and I got to be in it so it was like a full circle for me.

What does it mean to you as a dancer to change the look of dance?

Just yesterday I was actually teaching a contemporary class and I feel like to me personally I’ve always had this idea of the teeny-tiny perfect ballerina with a perfect bun but as I got older and got exposed to more types of dance, my outlook has changed. I think anyone should be able to dance. It doesn’t matter what size or shape, who you are, your race, your height, I think you can turn anything into dance. So that’s what I was telling my students in the contemporary class. We were doing a weird improv exercise and they seemed to be really uncomfortable moving in such a foreign way and so I told them it doesn’t matter if it’s ugly movement, right, because you can make something that is inherently ugly into something beautiful if you put your whole self into it.