Maude Sabourin
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I am from Montreal, Canada. I am currently based in Monaco. I obviously love dance and fitness. I am very blessed that I could make a career out of my principal interests :) I also like cooking, traveling, hanging out in the nature... Simple life pleasures.

How did you get introduced to your passion and when did it get serious?

My parents were ballroom dancers when they were younger, so from the start, there was a very “dancy” vibe in my home. My mom took me to ballet when I was 3 and I fell in love with it instantly. It just felt like my natural environment. I felt comfortable from the start and I loved expressing myself through movement. When I turned 11, I was doing a dance competition and someone from a professional ballet school in Montreal approached my parents and told them that I should come to their school and that they’d make me into a professional dancer.

They agreed, of course, and a year after that the really serious business started. I went from dancing 5 hours a week to 5 hours a day! It was a big change but I fully embraced it and from that moment on I decided that I would do everything in my power to make a career!

Can you share your biggest challenges?

I think my biggest challenge is probably my self image.. I didn’t have the perfect ballerina body according to the standard. I wasn’t the most flexible either. I have a very athletic body and it doesn’t fit in necessarily with the image of the ballerina that people have. I worked so hard to change my body and perfect it as much as I could. And then at one point i decided to accept my image and make my difference my most valuable strength! Yes i am different but that is what makes me unique.

I train myself to be able to reach new physical capacities, to be able to show that the modern day ballerinas can also be strong, athletic and powerful! I still struggle with my image sometimes but I feel confident that maybe owning it can possibly inspire other little girls that are different.

How do you handle pressure and where do you find your motivation?

Handling pressure was never a problem for me. I thrive on it! I feel strong and it feeds me to push myself further!

Motivation can be hard to maintain when you are dancing all day everyday... it becomes common for us. When I loose motivation, I think about myself as a little girl that was only dreaming of doing what I do now :)

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to the sport, of course)?

My first season in Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, we were performing in our home theater and I was dancing in the corps de ballet but I was in front and I was very proud of that! So we were doing our business and suddenly I slipped and fell flat on my face and it made a very horrible and loud sound! I was already so embarrassed, but then, I heard someone in the audience laughing so loud at me that my face turned red! I got up and continued but I couldn’t concentrate because I kept hearing this laugh!!! Hahaha!

How did your passion influence your life in other ways?

Being a ballet dancer is very special. Ballet is a lifestyle. There is no way around it. You live for that because the career is very short. It just goes through your veins! It can be hard at times because not everyone can understand the choices you make. You definitely don’t have a lot of time to socialize and sometimes I wish I had some time do to that.

But you also meet great people, you get to connect with some people on a very deep level because you share the stage with them. I was lucky enough to meet my husband in this beautiful ballet world :)

What does your typical day look like?

My day starts with ballet class from 10:30 till 12:00. Then I have rehearsals until 18:30. We have an hour break to eat during the day.

I also train whenever I have a little bit of time :)

When we tour our schedule is a bit different depending on the theater’s scheduling.

And what about your flexibility training? Where does that fit in?

I think Ballet in itself is a flexibility training. Practicing it everyday will make you more flexible. I do think that you need to have the strength to support that flexibility. That’s why I use strength and conditioning. Being overly flexible can lead to injuries and I think that training helps in preventing that to happen. They complete each other and it enables me to elevate my level.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

Well, my future goals would be to able to influence people in the dance world. Changing the image of the ballerina is one thing. I've been already trying with my instagram page to promote a healthy and fit image of the ballerina. I would also like to influence people in the schools and try to implant a new way of training dancers from a younger age.

I try to share my experience and hopefully I'll be able to make the dancers of tomorrow a healthy, strong, fit and powerful new generation.

Any tips for passionate people who are starting to practice your sport now?

If I had to do it all over again, I’d do everything the same. I was able to learn so much about myself in this process and I still am, that I wouldn’t want to change a thing! It’s a great journey and my advice to anyone starting this would be to enjoy the process! Live every moment fully and never loose focus of why you started in the first place!

Anything else?

I want to encourage people to be themselves and own what they are! Don’t follow the pack! Do it with passion!

Anything you’d like to share?

Follow the movement! Follow me on Instagram @thefitballerina !

Maude Sabourin

I am very blessed that I could make a career out of my principal interests!

Instagram @thefitballerina