Internationally recognized dancer Maia Makhateli is dancing her way into our hearts.
Maia Makhateli, principal dancer of the Dutch National Ballet, was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, into a long line of renowned performing artists. Her parents, who oversaw her training from a young age, had been principal dancers in the Georgian National Ballet. In 2002 her family moved to the United States, where Maia became the youngest member of the Colorado Ballet. In 2005 she was a soloist in the Birmingham Royal Ballet in the UK for one season before joining the Dutch National Ballet.
In April of 2017 Maia took on the new role of motherhood, having continued her ballet training throughout pregnancy. We caught up with the awe-inspiring dancer to learn more about her worldwide journey with dance.
You’ve lived in a variety of regions throughout your life. How has your environment influenced your art?
My country, Georgia, was suffering with difficulties, many people without jobs and unable to feed their families. Of course, opportunities for building a career there were very limited. My parents played a big role in our move to the other side of the continent to provide the best environment for me to start building a successful career. Today I feel lucky that I had the experience to take my career to the next level by seeing so many different theaters and amazing artists around the world who gave me a lifetime of inspiration.
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How did you develop your dance skills?
Well, I believe dancing is in my genes, as I come from a dynasty of dancers. Of course, skills are important, and every day I’m still developing and learning new skills with lots of dedication and patience.
What message do you hope to send through your work?
I really hope to inspire young generations to love this beautiful art form so that it can grow even bigger. I hope to show young dancers how lucky we are to get to do what we love, and to inspire them to never give up on their dreams.
What are the greatest challenges and rewards of your work?
The greatest challenge of this profession for me is being better than I was yesterday. That’s what keeps me going, and I will always try to accomplish that challenge and look for the next one. The reward for me is the recognition of hard work, dedication, and sacrifices and the feedback from the audience at the end of the performance, when you hear them clap and when you stand in front of thousands of people, knowing you just made them smile or shed happy tears.
Aside from dancing, what are your everyday inspirations?
My family is my biggest inspiration. Our son, Luka Shesterikov, who will be two years in April, is my biggest inspiration.
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What’s one truth you’ve learned as a dancer?
Dancers’ careers are very short, so there’s no time to waste. If you want to achieve something, you have to be determined, dedicated, passionate, and ready for sacrifices and lots of hard work from a very young age.