Q&A with Corps Member Clara Ruf Maldonado

What are three things you love about Seattle?

  1. I love that while still being in the city, there is an abundance of nature all around us. I’ll never get tired of the views of mountains over water, especially at sunset.
  2. Coming from New York City, I feel very lucky to have moved to another progressive city. I love being a part of a community with an appreciation for the arts and openness to the incredible experimental work PNB has to offer.
  3. I’ve weirdly grown accustomed to the gloomy days and prefer them over having the sun in my eyes.
Read Clara’s Dancer Bio

If you were not a dancer, is there an alternate career path you would have chosen?

I grew up acting in different community theaters in my neighborhood. One summer, we even got to tour to Poland and Austria.  I think that if I hadn’t gotten so busy with my ballet training I would never have stopped acting.  Luckily, there are so many opportunities to apply the skills I learned growing up in my performances with PNB.  For me, the most enjoyable part of performing is definitely getting to immerse myself in a role.  I feel that even in an abstract work, I’m playing a character.  I love letting that take over and getting to feel like I am someone completely different while I’m on stage.

Describe your perfect day off.

I’m usually pretty exhausted from the week, so I tend not to go far from home on my rest days.  I would consider a perfect off day to be a quiet night in cooking to some tunes over a glass of wine with fellow dancer Ryan Cardea while we get harassed by my beagle, Bob.

What is the best advice that you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve gotten has been to take a couple of deep breaths before going out on stage. I’ve definitely had some pretty wild goes at the Sugarplum Fairy variation. It’s very easy for me to get swept up in the moment and feel a bit out of control. Dancing with PNB’s orchestra, and for a live audience gives me all the adrenaline I need. I’ve learned that calming my mind before I go out helps me stay in control and stay confident, especially when I approach difficult steps.

Photos by Angela Sterling & Lindsay Thomas