Energetiks talks with Miko Fogarty
Last month Energetiks was delighted to catch up with Miko Fogarty, the incredibly talented young star of First Position, Miko also took time out of her hectic schedule to fit in a stunning photoshoot with photographer Ebbe Sweet in front of the iconic San Francisco bridge (more pictures coming soon!). Read on for our exclusive interview.
Hi Miko, thanks for chatting to us!
First of all, how did you first get interested in dancing and how old were you?
I first started dancing when I was 4 years old. I was doing many activities at the time, for example swimming, violin, piano, tennis, gymnastics, but ballet was always my favourite!
Do you remember your first ballet class?
No, I don't remember my first ballet class, but I do remember my first performance and I was called the “sparkly girl” because I showered my self with sparkles before the show.
A lot of our readers will recognise you from your part in the Documentary film First Position, what was that experience like for you? Did you realise at the time how popular the film would be, and how much it would impact your life?
I loved being a part of First Position. Bess Kargman, the director, did such a great job of letting us get in the zone before competing instead of bombarding us with questions. At the time, none of us knew how big First Position would become but I was excited anyway, because it was such a fun experience for me.
You do a fair bit of competing around America and overseas, do you enjoy this performance side of ballet more, or do you get the most enjoyment out of class and studio time?
I prefer performing because I love getting to connect to the audience, especially when I am bowing at the end of a performance. I try and make eye contact with a few people in the audience and perform for them. But I also love working in the studio especially with new choreographers that I have never worked with before!
How do you cope with performance nerves, any rituals or techniques you like to do before you go on stage?
I don't have any rituals other than to make sure I have done a good class that day and to have tested the stage. I also put a lot of rosin on my pointe shoes, so that I'm sure I am not going to slip.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the other dancers from First Position?
I do keep in contact especially with Aran and Michaela, and I run in to them once in a while. I still haven't met Rebecca or Joan Sebastian though.
What's been the biggest highlight for you as far as dance goes so far?
The biggest highlight has been winning the Gold medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition last summer. I remember saying to my mom right after my last performance that I would be happy with whatever I got because I knew that I danced my best, so when they announced that I got the Gold medal, I was over the moon with happiness. I was able to meet some of the judges including Yuri Grigorovich, Ulyana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova and others which was so cool!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a social media kind of person, so I love checking my Instagram and Facebook to see what every one is up to! Also, I have been working on a new website that will be coming soon!
What makes you laugh?
My brother always makes me laugh. Ever since he was little, he loved being the jokester, so although we have our sibling rivalries, he knows how to brighten my day.
Do you have a favourite tutu or costume that you have worn over the years?
I have a few tutus that I am in love with. They are from Japan and are very expensive ($2500 USD each). But they are the prettiest tutus I have every seen.
What's your favourite movie?
Probably Pan's Labyrinth.
What helps you stay motivated when you’re having a tough or challenging day?
My parents help me stay motivated. They always lift my spirit and reason with my problems. Also, sometimes its good to take a day or two off ballet just to reset and regain your love of ballet again.
Tell us something you’re looking forward to in the near future:
I'm looking forward to hopefully becoming a professional. I'm going to be in my last year of school from this fall so I'm just hoping for the best in the next audition season!
If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?
This is not dance related, but I would love to meet Gandhi. He is such an inspiration to so many people and I love the idea of non-violent revolutions and civil disobedience.
Do you have any pets?
Yes! I have an Australian Shepherd, Balto, and a tabby cat, Mani. Mani is short for Maneki Neko in Japanese, which means lucky cat! I miss them both the most when I am traveling.
Are their any habits you wish you could get rid of?
There are too many in ballet, but in normal life I tend to eat really fast, so I need to think about eating a little slower especially at formal occasions. It kind of runs in my family though, like my father and brother both eat super fast as well.
When are you happiest?
I am happiest when I just finish a performance in which I danced my best. It is the greatest feeling in the world.
Do you have a favourite warm-up song at the moment?
I don't really have one, but I love catching up with my ballet friends before ballet class.
What’s something that you think a lot of non-dancers might not realise about full-time dance training?
How much work it takes to perfect the art form. It takes constant thought and determination to fix one little detail. Also, you can't show any hard work or suffering on your face and body when you dance which can be the hardest part!
What profession would you choose if you weren’t dancing?
I haven't thought about that yet, but I love acting, so maybe an actress?
What are your goals for the future, where do you hope to be in five or so years time?
My goal is to get into a professional company and to be rising through the ranks slowly but surly.
And finally, do you have any advice for our readers who are aspiring to be professional dancers or performers?
One thing I would say, is to do what you love and love what you do. Also, be able to reset each day as if its a new day not to let any insecurities take over you!
We hope you enjoyed the photoshoot Miko, and we wish you all the very best for the future. We’ll definitely be cheering you on, all the way from Aus! :)
I had such a great time at the photo shoot and I absolutely love all the dancewear I got from Energetiks! Thank you so much! Miko x
COMING SOON: We're revealing the rest of the stunning photos taken by Ebbe Sweet from our San Francisco shoot with Miko, plus an exciting giveaway (Hint: It involves Miko...and something very very sparkly!), stay tuned.
Interview by Elly Ford for Energetiks