Danseuse Sassy à la Mode By Antoine Poupel
Pointe shoes and tutus? She knows them well. Tokyo? New York? She knows them by heart. After seven years as a ballerina with the prestigious New York City Ballet, this adventurous young woman needed a new challenge. With her experience, she could go to any number of dance companies around the world. But she chose to explore her sensuality and femininity at the Crazy Horse in Paris, through a whole new world of dance.
Danseuse Sassy à la Mode By Antoine Poupel
“I’ve always wanted to explore as many things as possible”
Danseuse Sassy à la Mode By Antoine Poupel
Danseuse Sassy à la Mode By Emilie Messaoud
“I loved this idea of going from the prestigious New York City Ballet to the iconic Crazy Horse Paris”
“I am passionate about all things beautiful”
Danseuse Sassy à la Mode By Antoine Poupel

How did you get your stage name?

Sassy is a nickname that I’ve had forever. À La Mode: because I love fashion of course. Generally speaking, I am passionate about all things beautiful. That’s why I fell in love with so many artistic things, like fashion, the piano and ballet.


How did you get into dance?

I was born in new York in 1997. Growing up between Tokyo and New York, I experienced two very different cultures. From the age of three, my parents signed me up for ballet and piano classes: these two activities quickly became my passions. Classical music was my first love, but I also needed to move so much that ballet seemed perfect for me. At the age of thirteen, I knew I wanted to be a ballerina. At that time, we were living in Tokyo: I persuaded my parents to let me go to boarding school in New York and study at the School of American Ballet. This is the official school of the New York City Ballet. This exceptional company was my ultimate dream. Until I was eighteen, I lived as a boarder far from my parents. I worked as hard as I could to achieve my goal, and I was lucky enough to be chosen from the twenty-five dancers in my class. The years I spent in this company were extremely hard. I learned discipline across all areas of life. At the same time, I continued to study, taking business and psychology classes at university on Mondays.

After seven years, I felt I needed a change. I’m naturally curious, I’ve always been keen to explore as many things as possible and to live in different countries. But I knew I would be leaving a renowned institution, so I didn’t know where to go. I had never thought of joining the Crazy Horse. It was when I saw the show on a trip to Paris that something clicked. I was fascinated and amazed. The show was very artistic, special and completely different from what I was familiar with. A few days later, I applied by e-mail, and two months later found out that I had an audition. I flew from New York to Paris and back in forty-eight hours, auditioned and was selected! I was a bit nervous, because at first my parents were totally against the idea. But they knew that when I decided to do something, I would see it through to the end. I felt lucky and nervous: I was leaving something I loved for something that appealed to me but knew nothing about. The only thing I knew for certain was that I would grow as a person and as a dancer on this new stage.


How did you feel your first time on stage at the Crazy Horse?

Well… A bit stressed at the beginning because backstage costume changes are incredibly quick, space is tight, and you have to think about a lot of things! For me, it wasn’t a physical challenge because ballet at that level was very demanding. But what took a lot of effort was the concentration. I had to make sure everything was organized and not forget anything!


New stage, new costumes, new audience. How did you feel in the intimate temple of Parisian femininity that is the Crazy Horse?

At the New York State Theater, I used to dance for an audience of two thousand people who sat beyond the orchestra pit. In other words, you couldn’t see them, you had to imagine them! Here at the Crazy Horse, there’s an immediate connection with the audience, which I find very interesting. As for nudity, it’s the last thing on my mind! The costumes and lighting effects are exceptional.


How do you spend your time when you aren’t on stage?

I need to move constantly. This is in part just my nature, but I also need to maintain my body. I am passionate about Pilates and am a certified teacher. I also do yoga, swimming and continue to take ballet classes. I have a growing passion  for fashion, so I enrolled at the Institut Français de la Mode to study for a degree.


Which of the Totally Crazy! group acts is your favorite?

What I like about this show is that each act offers a different world and different challenges on both an artistic and a technical level. My favorite act is Reine des Cœurs. It is positive and joyful. It comes just after the overture and immediately creates a festive mood. It is also an opportunity for initial eye contact with the public!


Discover Sassy à la Mode in video : 

Photos : Antoine Poupel, Emilie Messaoud

Video : Paul-Henri Pesquet