BLOCH Ambassador Sasha Mukhamedov offers an exclusive insight into her dazzling dance career!
As the daughter of ballet legends Irek Mukhamedov (Bolshoi and Royal Ballet alumnus) and Masha Mukhamedov (former Bolshoi Principal and soloist), it’s little wonder dancer Sasha Mukhamedov was inspired to follow in their famed footsteps.
“I grew up within a ballet family, so I have always been surrounded by it,” she reveals. “I always used to dance around the house when I was little, but it was when I had my first real stage experience at 13-years-old that I thought ‘this is it, I want to become a ballerina.’”
Beginning her ballet journey being privately taught by her famous mother, Mukhamedov has since successfully carved her own star within the industry. Notably becoming Principal with The Dutch National Ballet in 2016, and most recently joining the San Francisco Ballet in July 2019 as Soloist, the professional has also garnered several dance prizes — including ‘most promising dancer’ at the ballet competition in Varna in 2008 and a bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix 2007.
We sat down with the BLOCH Ambassador to find out how she gets her mind and body ready for a sterling dance role, her personal career highlights and of course, her favourite BLOCH products she simply couldn’t dance without!
What is your day-to-day routine like?
I wake up at 8 a.m. and I like to take my time in the morning and eat a good breakfast before ballet class starts at 10 a.m. From then, it all depends on which performance I’ve got coming up. I will usually be in and out of rehearsals during the day and end up finishing around 6 p.m., although sometimes I get lucky and finish early so I can enjoy my evening a little more.
How do you get ready for a big performance?
A lot of rehearsal time goes into preparing for a big role — I just did my debut of Swan Lake in April which I started rehearsing for in January. I also like to go on YouTube to watch how other ballerinas perform the role and see what I like and what I can change to make it my own. On the day of the show I don’t like to rehearse much, just enough so that I can feel my muscles, and then I relax at home for a few hours before returning to the theatre and getting myself into the dancer role.
How do you take care of your feet?
After long days dancing from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. I often do a foot soak. I fill a bucket with warm water and add about 1/2 cup or a cup of Apple cider vinegar and it works like magic! If you add Epsom Salt it works even better. I soak for 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed and it really refreshes my feet for the next day.
What’s your exercise regime like to keep you fit and healthy?
For me it really is all about ballet class — as ballet dancers, it’s our natural way of training — so I think it’s really important to do your best, starting at the barre. Even when you’re tired, a good barre session goes a long way. I also love yoga, so usually if we have two days off, I like to go to a yoga class on one of those days to keep the body feeling like I made a difference that day.
What are your all-time favourite BLOCH products?
Definitely my BLOCH Warm Up Booties! They are the very best boots to keep your feet warm.
Which is your favourite BLOCH leotard and why?
At the moment it's a Mirella leotard, with cap sleeves and flower mesh. I love the shape and it’s super feminine.
Which BLOCH shoes do you wear and what do you like about them?
I am currently wearing the Eurostretch Stretch Split Sole Pointe Shoe. I discovered this style when I was being fitted for a new pointe shoe* by a professional BLOCH pointe shoe fitter. The minute I tried them on they felt comfortable and fitted the shape of my foot perfectly!
What advice would you give to young aspiring dancers who wish to follow in your footsteps?
When you get to the stage, perform every show like it's your last, because that's when you really give exactly what you are meant to give, and when the love of what you do really comes through.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I will never forget my debut of Nikiya, a temple dancer from La Bayadère. This was a ballet I have always loved and always dreamed of doing, so when I finally got the chance to dance the role it really was a dream come true.
Finally, what’s next for you?
Joining San Francisco Ballet is an exciting new challenge for me because they work a lot differently in America to how we do in Europe. I want to see what I can learn from them and how I can bring the American style into my dancing.
*We recommend you get fitted by our professional BLOCH pointe shoe fitters every time you purchase a new pair of pointe shoes to make sure they fit perfectly. An appointment must be booked in advance of every fitting.