On Pointe, Rebecca Finell and the Effort to Look Effortless


Photo Courtesty of Rebecca Finell

Joy Eisenberg ‘11
Sports Editor

Photo Courtesty of Rebecca Finell

Not even a half–hour interview could keep her from moving her body. Every minute was spent stretching in preparation for her 4:30 p.m. pointe class.

The life of Rebecca Finell ’13 is consumed by dance. Variations, partnering, jazz, ballet technique with flat shoes, and pointe classes compose her weekly dance schedule. But for Finell, the 15 hours a week she spends dancing isn’t a hindrance, but a privilege to pursue her passion.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three, and now I’m 14,” Finell said.

Finell’s parents originally introduced her to dance and she ended up falling in love with it.

“My parents just wanted me to be a dancer. Actually, they wanted all of us to be dancers, but my two older sisters didn’t like it. I was the only one who liked it,” Finell said.

While she started out at a very young age by taking Ballet technique, which, in her eyes was basically, “just like hopping around the classroom,” Finell’s favorite style has shifted to the difficult and physically strenuous “pointe,” where a hard box is enclosed within the front end of the shoe that encases and supports the dancer’s toes. The professionalism and appearance of moving effortlessly across the dance floor that is associated with pointe has captivated Finell’s interest and zeal for the art.

Even though Finell practices four days a week, most of those practices are followed by rehearsals for upcoming recitals, and as the date of the performance gets closer, rehearsals are sometimes pushed to six days a week.

“We are constantly in rehearsal for our shows,” Finell said. “Once we finish one show, we start preparing for the next.”

On Dec. 5 and 6, the Academy of Ballet Etudes in Norwalk, Conn., where Finell practices dance, presented “The Nutcracker” at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Finell had four different roles during the course of the play,

where she danced as Goldilocks, a magical doll in the party scene, a flower, and a snowflake.  The Academy performs three ballets a year.

With so much of her time preoccupied by dance, Finell still manages to get all her homework done and spend time with friends.

“On a typical day I finish school, eat at home for ten minutes, come to dance for two to three hours, and then some days I will either have to stay longer for rehearsal, or I’ll go home,” she said.

Finell’s level of dedication to the art would lead one to think that she would want to turn her dancing into a career.

“I’m not sure,” she said. “I definitely am considering doing it in the future. I take it very seriously. I love it, it’s my hobby, and it’s my favorite thing to do.”

Whether she decides to go professional or not, it is clear that dance will be a part of Finell’s future for many years to come.