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The Doctors are joined by Matisse Love, the youngest American to ever tour and dance with the Russian Ballet. That is certainly the big leagues but ER physician Dr. Travis Stork has to ask, “Why Russia?”
Matisse explains she trained in Los Angeles starting at age seven at a Russian ballet school. By age ten, she knew she was serious about ballet and became a self-proclaimed “ballet fanatic.” She would lock herself in her room watching performances on YouTube of Russian ballerinas.
Matisse begged her mother to let her compete and from that point, she was motivated to make ballet her career. Her mother, Mimi, joins in the audience and comments on what it was like to have Matisse leave for Russia at 16 years old. Mimi shares that Matisse was offered to go even earlier, at 13 years old, yet Mimi felt she still had more to experience as a normal child. However, she knew it was inevitable so, at 16 years old, Matisse was able to go. “It was larger than me. It puts her in a whole other league being there,” Mimi says.
Dr. Travis asks Matisse about her pointe shoes which are used to essentially dance on the toes. She explains she started younger than most, at 10 years old, as opposed to 13 or 14, when the bones are more developed. She says she had to do feet exercises every day to strengthen her ankles, the metatarsal bones and her muscles.
Matisse actually has her pointe shoes on and returns later in the show to perform a dance to Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.” Watch the video below to see her performance!