Mazarine Rossert: Bringing Bravery and Camaraderie to a Competitive Industry
Nineteen-year-old Mazarine Rossert speaks with an elegant British accent to match her sweet disposition and lifestyle as a ballet dancer. She picked up this accent while studying English in Luxembourg before leaving home to study at Boston Ballet. Also elegant, are Maz’s quietly stunning features. They poke through her modest workout clothes on her way home from physical therapy. She amicably agrees to take time away from dancing and modeling, to share a bit about this busy life.
What life experiences have made you who you are?
“Well dancing has always been a massive part of my life. I definitely think that has shaped me into who I am. I decided I wanted to pursue this professionally when I was 13 and I moved to professional school in the South of France when I was 14. From there, I ended up moving to Boston when I was 15 to pursue this career.
I have always been very interested in the arts and everything that has to do with performing. So I’d say that is a huge chunk of who I am, but I am also very much into helping people. I really enjoy that side of things. I have been injured quite a bit while training to be a dancer. When you cannot do what you usually do every day, like dancing, you have to find other parts of who you are, and I think that’s helped me grow a lot in the past two years.”
How have you started helping people, since then?
“A lot of the time the younger students in the school will come up to me and ask me, you know, ‘is there anything you know that I can do to help me with this particular pain I am having?’ I’ll give them as much advice as I can and that
will usually help. I like to be a helping hand, someone they can ask and feel comfortable coming up to when sometimes a teacher will feel too intimidating.”
“I feel like we don’t have enough of that in the dance world because it’s so competitive. I try and make it a better place by helping people in the best way I can. I want to become a dancer knowing that I got there helping people and being the best person that I can be without shutting people down or throwing people under the bus. There is a girl who moved to the U.S. when she was 15, just like me, and she came from Switzerland. So I kind of took her under my wing and let her know that I was here for her whenever she needed.”
“In France we have an expression where you pick someone in an older school, in an older class, and you call them your mother, your ‘school mum.’ They help you through the years of high school and all that, and it’s usually someone you have a very close bond with. I’ve kind of tried to bring that to the U.S. and Boston Ballet School.”
Do you have a mum or dad here?
“[A teacher at the school] came back from hip surgery a few years ago and she really understood the struggles of coming back from my surgery. When I was first coming back to pointe, she understood the feeling of being scared and feeling that apprehension of ‘can I do this, or is my foot gonna break,’ that kind of thing. That’s what it feels like when you retrain your body to do the things that dancers have to do. So she really helped me push those barriers, and kind of see my potential, and believe in myself.”
“She never pushed too fast, but she never let me slack; she knew just how far to push, it was just before everyone’s breaking point—she really knows her students well, and knows how to push them.”
Can you talk a bit more about recovering from your injury?
“Last January, 2015, I had to get a little bone removed from my ankle…I had pretty severe damage to my FHL, which is a tendon right next to your Achilles. They found more damage than they anticipated, so my recovery took almost a year which was very hard.”
“You basically start from square one. I went from learning how to walk again, to learning how to dance. A lot of dancers are defeated by injuries, but I refused to let that be the case. I had a lot of problems with scar tissue building up and I had to sort of pull the scar tissue away from my tendon in a way, so very painful. I think that definitely taught me to fight for what I wanted.”
Do you feel like you have made a home here?
“Definitely. I have grown to love this city and I’ll be very sad to leave, and I’ll be very happy to come back some day. I don’t think I’ll live here again for a long long time. You never know though, I never thought I’d be living in Boston in the first place. But everything about this city is really wonderful. A lot of people say it’s the European city of the East Coast. I think it has been the perfect city to transition into living in the U.S. I especially love Beacon Hill. It reminds me of England a little bit, so that’s why I love it so much.”
“I’ve met some incredible people who have really helped me find who I am as a person. And. I’ve learned a lot from so many different people and met so many different people. It’s crazy how many people you meet in a city like this. I mean, I know people all over the states now and I didn’t know anyone when I first came here.”