Dancer Spotlight: Lauren Ciobanu

Guest writer:  Melissa Seuffert

Corps de ballet member Lauren Ciobanu, a Los Gatos, California native, joined Houston Ballet this season.  Ms. Ciobanu trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. and moved up the ranks to principal dancer at Sarasota Ballet before relocating to Houston.  Here she tells us a little more about herself:

What age did you start dancing?
3

Did you always love ballet?
Yes

When did you know you wanted to be a professional dancer?
Always, even as a small child I knew this was my path.

What is your favorite part about being on stage?
The euphoria you feel out there, and the sense of accomplishment at tackling a new obstacle and making it my own. 

Do you have a ritual before going on stage?
I always have my lucky horseshoe with me when I perform.

Do you have a favorite moment in your dance career?
There are many, and hopefully many more to come. I try to find something to take away from each performance to help me grow as an artist.

What is your most memorable role?
Performing Giselle with Jose Manuel Carreño.

Why?
It was an amazing experience, and to be coached and dance with Mr. Carreño was an honor.  I have danced with him several times and was always impressed not only by his artistry and talent, but his willingness to help me become a better artist. Dancing with someone of that caliber was inspiring. 

What do you find most challenging as you take on a new role?
It depends on the role, sometimes it’s the technical aspect, or the character or musicality, or a mixture of all these that make a role challenging. 

What aspects of dance do you find most satisfying?
Working on a new, challenging role and getting to the point where I know I have danced to the best of my ability and given that role the respect it deserves–then being able to translate that to an audience and have them enjoy my performance. 

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Names?
2 dogs: Alfie (a 2 year old Bernese mountain dog) and Sadie (an 8 year old chocolate lab) and one cat named Ramona.

What is your favorite thing to do in Houston?
The city is still so new to me, so I am still exploring…

Fondest memory?
Spending time with my family, especially around the holidays.

Proudest moment?
My wedding day

Favorite movie?
Cool Hand Luke or The Philadelphia Story

Favorite book?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Idiot by Dostoyevsky

Favorite TV show?
Seinfeld and Mad Men

Favorite food?
Any dessert

Lauren Ciobanu
Lauren Ciobanu in Stanton Welch's La Bayadere. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.
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