Dara Oda

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Dara Oda, originally from Naperville, Illinois, began her training at the School of DanceWest Ballet under Ricardo and Regina Moyano. She attended the Regional Dance America festival from 2006-2010, where she was awarded cash and program scholarships, and received further training from summer programs at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. In 2014, Ms. Oda graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Belhaven University. Since joining TBT, she has enjoyed performing in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, George Balanchine’s Rubies, Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries and Ohad Naharin’s Mabul duet. She is in her fourth season with Texas Ballet Theater.

Where are you from?
Naperville, Illinois

When did you begin dancing?
I started taking creative movement at age 3 and didn’t stop!

Why did you begin dancing?
My dream was to be a ballerina

When did you join Texas Ballet Theater?
After the 2014 Summer Intensive

What is your favorite ballet to see?
Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

What is your favorite ballet to perform/what is your favorite role you have performed?
Sleeping Beauty or David Bintley’s Galanteries

What surprised you the most about being a professional dancer?
How challenging it was to transition from dancing with the mindset of a student to dancing with the mindset of an artist

What is your favorite movie/TV show?
How I Met Your Mother

What’s your least favorite word?
Congeal

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Chef or Pediatrician

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate and wine

Do you enjoy teaching or choreographing?
Yes, both!

What is something you enjoy doing outside of dancing?
Making new recipes and trying out restaurants

What outdoor activities do you enjoy?
Kayaking, tubing, jetskiing

Do you have a favorite sports team? If so, who?
Chicago Blackhawks

What do you want to accomplish after TBT?
I’d love to do contemporary and maybe get my Master’s degree

Use one word to describe the feeling after dancing the last performance of The Nutcracker.
Bittersweet

What is your favorite meal?
Sushi – especially homemade sushi!

What’s one thing you believe is necessary to be a great performer?
You have to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable with your audience