Risa Terasawa was born in 1995 in Sapporo, Japan. She began her dance training at Sapporo Buyoukai and moved to Canada when she was only 13 years old to eventually graduate at Quinte Ballet School in Belleville and GOH Ballet Academy in Vancouver. She was a semi-finalist of the renowned Prix de Lausanne, and finalist of the Young American Grand Prix in San Francisco.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Sapporo, Japan. I went to Canada at the age of 13 and lived away from my family. Both my hometown and Canada offer beautiful scenery with snow and great food, and the people are very friendly and polite.
When did you start to train ballet and what was your motivation?
I started ballet when I was 7. My parents let me learn many things as a child, for instance, I took piano lessons, swimming and gymnastic lessons. I usually get tired of things very quickly but ballet was the only thing that I have continued for the longest time and the passion towards dance still grows more and more each day.
What has been the most special moment of your dance career so far?
My most special moment in my dance career would be the first time that I came to Canada. I couldn’t speak English or communicate with others so I faced many difficulties at first to get used to the new environment, however, those experiences made me stand on my own feet as a person and realize how important ballet is in my life and that’s also when I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a professional dancer.
How would you describe yourself?
As a dancer I always strive for perfection and think first before working hard to make progress in dance efficiently and quickly. I am dedicated and offer my absolute 110 percent all the time, but I am also fun loving and talkative as a person.
What were your first experiences in Dortmund?
My first experience in Dortmund was coming here to audition and I got lost in Westfalenpark. It is a very big park with many exits and trees that I went around, back and forth for so many times. I chose to come to Germany because Ballet Dortmund offers many various repertoires that are very interesting and challenging for dancers, including Mr. Xin Ping Wang’s innovative and inspirational creations. Also I always wanted to live in a European city where beautiful architectures and cultures are.
What dreams do you have?
My dream is to become a principal dancer and travel all over the world. I also hope to become a ballet mistress or ballet teacher later so that I can pass on my knowledge, experiences, and passion to the next generation. My dream role is definitely Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. Also I would love to dance choreographies by Jiri Kylian.
What are your interests besides dancing?
I love traveling to foreign countries and going to museums, especially to see paintings. Ballet is who I am now. I really can’t imagine my life without it, but I would say I will always be an artist, like a designer, painter, musician, or actress. Usually in my free time, I walk around the city or parks without deciding where to go and enjoy the fresh air, since dancers are mostly spending their time inside the studios. I also love listening to music, therefore my iPod is the absolute must-have item in my bag.