Who am I

It all started with ballet…

My name is Laetitia and I am from France. I started ballet at age 3, and at age 8, my ballet teacher told my father that he should strongly consider sending me to a professional ballet school. So at 9, I started my training at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where thousands of kids every year apply for auditions. In my year, 600 were chosen for auditions, and out of them only 18 were carefully picked to be part of the top 3 ballet schools in the world.

I loved dance so much, yet it wasn’t easy. Especially when your ballet teacher tells you every day that you are fat when you are 10 years old and only weigh 25 kilos! The training was very complicated and was composed of lessons on classical ballet, folk dances, mime, singing, anatomy, history of dance and musical theory. Just like all “normal” kids we obviously also had to follow the “normal” school curriculum. So the days were really long and exhausting! The amazing part is that at age 10, you are already considered a professional dancer and get to perform on the Paris Opera stage with all the stars in front of thousands of people, and get paid for it! The discipline is extreme and so are the expectations and the level of competition.

Before completing my dancer-choreographer diploma at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Lyon, I already had the opportunity to go on tour in France, Switzerland, Italy and Reunion Island. I also danced with the Europa-Dance Ballet Company in Paris.

Immediately after school, I joined the National Ballet of Nancy in France. I then performed at the Festspielhaus in St. Pölten, Austria, at the National Baltic Opera in Gdansk, Poland. I also won a Grand Prix award at the International Ballet Competition in Caen, France. I danced solo and principal parts in ballets like ‘Don Quixote”, “Giselle”, “The Nutcracker”, “Bayadere” and “Diane & Acteon.”

Then I Added Ground & Aerial Acrobatics to my Skills…

The ballet world is not as rosy as it seems, unfortunately, and it can get really nasty. All the “backstage stories” (let’s call them that!) made me lose my heart to keep dancing. So I decided that I had had enough of ballet and it was time to move on to something else. Right at that time, I met an amazing person who changed my life: Jean-Ann Ryan. Thanks to her, I found another way to express myself on stage: Acrobatics!

It wasn’t an easy transition after ballet! I had really strong legs but my arms were like sticks! I had to totally modify my muscle mass to perform acrobatics. I did acrobatic adagio training in Paris. The change from ballet to the acrobatic world gave me the freedom to choreograph acts, design costumes, choose music, and make my own schedule. There was so much more creativity involved than just dancing like I was told to. As I built more upper body strength, I also added aerial acrobatics to my skills on apparatus like aerial silks, hoops, straps and nets. Together with my partner Artur, we won bronze medals at the International Circus Festival in Paris, France and Wuqiao, China. Both of these festivals are considered like the Olympic of the circus world. We also became part of the special event division by the famous Cirque du Soleil.

We performed for various TV shows in Norway, Turkey, Italy, Poland, France and China.

Germany is the country that requested most our talent; you could see us at Palazzo Mannheim, Europa Park, Alexander Kunz Theater, Crazy Palace, GOP, and Krystallpalast, just to name a few. We also worked in Lisbon, Portugal and Benidorm, Spain. I think the most thrilling show we ever did was in Calgary, Canada for the Calgary Stampede. We performed every night in front of 20,000 people with our flying silks act at 30 meters in the air without the safety of a net! The contract said rain or shine! We were celebrating every night that we were alive!

We also had the amazing opportunity to perform for many luxury American cruise lines as a specialty act, which allowed us to travel the world for free and get paid while performing amazing shows! We cruised from Alaska to Ushuaia, from St. Petersburg to Cape Town, from Lisbon to Mumbai and from San Francisco to Bora-Bora. Ship life is quite special; you get to wake up every morning in a different city for a few months at a time and meet people from all over the world, which is an amazing life experience.

The challenging part is that you have to perform acrobatics on a moving stage…well, you give a little and take a little.

My Passion: Yoga, Fitness and a Healthy Lifestyle…

My relationship with yoga started when I was at ballet school. One of my teachers taught us “Surya Namaskar,” Sun Salutation, as a way of warming up our bodies in the morning before the ballet barre. I have to say that it is an unconventional way to prepare for ballet class, but I still use it today to prepare and stretch my body before shows. I got addicted to the way my body felt after practicing yoga asanas and really wanted to learn more about the philosophy behind them. So I made the decision to fly to Rishikesh, India, the world capital of yoga to train as a teacher. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and it changed my life! I am now a certified and registered yoga teacher by Yoga Alliance.

During the past 15 years, to keep my body in perfect shape for the shows I worked out regularly at the gym, doing cardio and strength training. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to learn more about fitness and took a personal fitness trainer course. I am a registered health professional by Europe active association.

In 2018, I have also started modeling, which also gives me the opportunity to travel.

 

 

Sharing…

I am in a stage of my life where I feel that it’s time to share all my knowledge.
I have been writing various articles and am a full-time contributor to a platform that publishes articles on live entertainment.
https://theatreartlife.com/contributor/laetitia-bouffard/
My articles also have been published twice in 2017 in Yoga & Ayurveda Magazine in Poland.
I can’t wait to pass all my knowledge on to you through laetitiachannel.com!

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