Emily Deschane, 18, was born in Deming and lived in the area for the first eight years of her life where, she says, most of her memories are about being outdoors in all kinds of weather doing something active.
"I could never stop moving for as long as I could remember," she says.
For the past 10 years, she has been living in Ferndale. She was homeschooled most of her life, but now attends Windward High School in north Bellingham, where she's a graduating senior.
John Bishop, artistic director of Northwest Ballet, suggested Deschane as the Artist Profile for this week because she plays the title role in the company's production of "Snow White" on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Blaine Performing Arts Center.
Question: Have you always loved ballet?
Answer: I first became interested in ballet when my older brother, Jeremy, took me to Seattle to see "The Nutcracker." I was 9 years old then. I was enthralled by the way the dancers glided across the stage. At that moment I knew I wanted to be a part of the ballet world.
Before I joined Northwest Ballet Theatre, I was with a small studio called Dancing for Joy for six months. My mom saw how I loved dancing all around the house, almost knocking things over, so she decided to enroll me in some classes.
Ballet has not been the only style I have studied. I have experienced a wide variety of styles, including character dance, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, world dance, contemporary, tap, Irish step and modern. Out of all these styles, ballet has been my main focus.
Q: Why do you enjoy dancing?
A: What I love most about performing is the feeling of dancing for others. My goal while I'm performing is to make the audience feel what I feel - to help them escape from everyday chaos and be taken with the freedom that ballet brings.
When I'm on stage, all the distractions float away and there is nothing else that matters more than that moment. I've never experienced stage fright, but that doesn't mean I don't get nervous. Usually just before I set foot on stage, or sometimes an hour before curtain, my heart jumps and butterflies flutter in my stomach. The feeling usually goes away after I start dancing, which is nice.
Q: What is Northwest Ballet's production of "Snow White" like?
A: It is a fun, exciting and beautiful ballet. I have never seen it on stage myself, but from what we have finished so far, it's filled with enchantment, plot, excitement, romance, and a little humor.
Our director, John Bishop, is making the story fit the original, which I think gives a more realistic point of view. I believe audiences of all ages would enjoy it.
Q: What's on the horizon for you?
A: I am not looking into a college education, and most likely never will unless it's a performing arts school. My main goal as a career is to continue dancing for as long as I can. Right now I am focused on finishing high school.
After I graduate I plan to get a full-time job working in retail or some other line of work that sparks my interest. I strongly hope to be dancing on the side as well.
My biggest dream is to join a ballet company and dance professionally. I have wanted this dream for as long as I have been dancing. I love the thought of performing in front of thousands of people in many different places. I want to spread the world of ballet to others, to share its beauty.
Ballet is its own world; you cannot know it unless you are part of it. Ballet is not just putting on pointe shoes and wearing a tutu and tiara. It's living the moment of expressing yourself - who you are inside.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2.
Where: Blaine Performing Arts Center, 975 H St.
Details: The dancers of Northwest Ballet Theater, students of Northwest Ballet Academy, and professional artists, under the direction of choreographer John Bishop, bring to life the story of one of history's most loved fairy tales.
Tickets: $20, at northwestballet.org.