Rock to Recovery : Petra Conti

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Petra Conti is the Ambassador of the Italian ballet in the world since 2014. She has performed on some of the most important stages around the world and she held the Prima Ballerina status at the prestigious La Scala Ballet company in Milan, Italy. She has also been a Principal Dancer with Boston Ballet, and is […] From Straw Hut Media Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Rock to Recovery
Wesley Geer of Rock to Recovery and formerly of Korn each week interviews rad musicians, rockstars, celebs, people, that have overcome their demons to thrive in an industry rife with challenges.

Episode transcripts

Yeah, Oh, look, Idid it every week. I am so
amazed at myself. All Right,here we are live on rock to recovery
radio. It's I don't you guysdon't know at home what this is like
because we switch over shows really fastand we got instagram and facebook videos and
this and that in the lighting andthe HOCHEMAJIG. Anyhow, I'm your host.
I'll take a deep breath. Thisis rock to recovery radio. I'm
your host, West Gear. Weon kx Ninety three five FM, LAGOONA'S
ONLY FM. We got like ninetyseven phones and cameras going on here,
Lagoda's only fl this is human craftedradio and we want to thank the station.
This is totally a nonprofit radio station, so it's you listeners at home
and the donations you make that makethe show possible, and I want to
thank kx nine five fm for givingme a chance to do this radio show.
So why are we here? I'MA guy who's sober and somehow didn't
die from deadly addiction, I meanbad and and essentially mental health issues as
well. And what happens for alot of us when we get into this
world of recovery, as we doyou start want and help other people because
you like you know how bad itis, and then you get on the
other side you like, I wantto help you out. It's kind of
and also makes your recovery in yourlife better, right, helping help another.
So we all know somebody it's beentouched by addiction or mental health issues
or eating disorders or whatever, awounded veteran, and we interview those people
and show how they made it throughthose difficult times to not just limp out
and survive, but thrive and getinto the vortex of radness. So this
week I'm very excited about our guests. I am very excited, really excited.
I had adjust the camera. They'rea very excited about our guests.
I met her because I went tomy first ballet and it was the nutcracker
at pantagious, right pantage. Itwas did all be? It was Dolby
delbet theater. Okay, what doI know? Yeah, no, it's
okay. I'm glad that you rememberme. So so this is so cool
because we've done a lot of bandguys, you know, and we want
to change it up. So thiswoman, who will I will tell you
who it isn't a second. Asan Italian Ballet Dancer, you are principal
dancer. You are principal dancer withLa Ballet, you were principal dancer with
Boston and Lascala Theater Ballet, whichthat sounds Italian. Yes, Italian.
You could tell by your accent shemight be Italian. And also at Bavarian
State Ballet. Yeah, I wasjust that was my first year there,
so I was just like a dancer. Yeah, you're just getting started.
Yeah, they didn't know you're goingto take over the joint yeah, and
and you were a company member,Oh, company member, of the Marinsky
Ballet. Yeah, a training yeah, trainy. That's impressive. So,
with no further ADO, welcome torock cuby radio, Petra Conti, Petrakondi.
Yeah, I'm so happy you're here. Sorry for my town in Xen
no, we love it, it'sgreat. Yeah, I think the world
would would all agree that there's someaccents that are not so pleasant and yours
is really nice. Thank you somuch. Yeah, I appreciate it.
There's some accents like we have themhere in America. There's some Mac sense
where you're just like now, likeyou know the car, the Radiata broke
in my cat, like that's notesn't but Petro Conti, that sounds good.
You're for not very nice. Go. I practiced all night, all
that I was practicing. So,yeah, we're gonna get into your story
and I'm very, very interested,and about what it takes it to become
a ballet dancer. I know it'sit's wow, it's super hard, guys,
super hard, isn't it? Yeah, it's. It's extreme workloads,
it's physical work, is mental work. It's a lot of mental. You
Lot of mental. It's mostly momenttaland then it becomes also physical. Yeah,
it starts with the head. Yeah. So what people don't know about
your story is that you battled cancer. Yeah, and beat it, kicked
its butt. Yes, we can'tcuss on hair. What do you say?
Kicks cancers. Yeah, and that'samazing. So how we met is
I went with a girl I wasdating a time. We saw your performance,
my first ever, and I'm anartist, so I'm thought, okay,
I'll check out the ballet and mybrains at a probably be boring,
and I was like, Molly,wow, it was incredible. The production,
the story and seeing you in thephysical feats. You pull up there
and I would imagine that there's probablya lot of guys. I'm sure there's
plenty of that have seen ballet andor cool it, but there's probably a
lot more would be like that.It sounds that I would never go.
It was incredible, like just theprecision and I don't know, to me
it was just as incredible as watchinglike a more incredible than watching like a
big guy dunked the basketball. Weget all excited over that. That's kind
of like caveman, right. Butyes, is beauty and precision and getting
the body to do stuff that itreally isn't meant to do. Yeah,
right, we practice our whole lifeto become like that. Because, first
of all, let's say that balletis not natural. Okay. So we
start from a part of position andwe turn what desertion, parallel, parallel,
free position, rest, so youryour heels are touching. So from
here we start to turning it out. So we have the under or so
it means, which means the turnoutposition where the heels touch and the fe
know completely like turn how do you? How do you say it? I
don't know. It's that's the that'sthe basic. That's the basic of ballet.
That's a beginning. Yeah, fromthat, from the turnout position,
you start. It's like how youwould draw a duck in a car too,
yes, exactly, and open.Yeah, so, the hips opened,
the knees op. It's like acompletely different change of structure. So
we that's why we have to startwhen we are ten or even sooner sometimes,
because it's changes our body completely.And who had that idea to like,
let's just you know what I mean. I mean it started back in
the friends with the with the King, the King Sun picking. Read that,
so lel. How do you callit? Like the the Red Sun,
with the king, the friend,French king, the Sun King.
Yeah, do so, lay,yes, son. Yes, so he
started in his courts. They startedlike creating some dances, and then it
became more and more. Before itwas just for entertainment between acts of like
opera, hours singing and yeah,and somehow slowly it became like an art
on its own. Yeah, butif you think about it, we then
and since the beginning of time,sure, dancing is just like music.
Yeah, it's the expression of ourhuman emotions, of the feelings that we
have. And and since you know, the man cave. Yeah, yeah,
the expression, you know, tothe gratitude or the anger or whatever
feeling we have, we always expressit to dance. You imagine a kid,
kid dances. Yeah, it doesn'tknow it's he's just naturally comes,
you know. And so they saythat dancers, like through dancers, are
and through artists are just kids thatdidn't grow up, that had the still
have this, you know, thisfreshness and craziness of like being a child
child. Yeah, so that Itotally get that, because a lot of
people will talk about musicians and howwe seem so young. Yeah, exact.
I don't know if it's that whereimmature that we still play music.
Probably that's what happens also for usdancers. You know, we are immature,
we are crazy. Yeah, like, I guess like every artist it
there is a musician, you know, painter or dancer or whatever. We
are just still like kids inside andwe are fresh, a reminder, minds
are open and creative, and yeah, that's that's what we are basically.
But do you think it keeps USyoung also and immature? And we do
arts and it keeps you why weare young, and I feel that's also
our bodies I probably because of like, of course we are especially as that
we are dancers, so our bodiesmove so much that usually they say that
we look younger then what we lookbut inside I can tell you that we
are much, much older than welook because we are bodies are like broken
inside. I could see that.Yeah, I mean, well, we'll
get into that. What. Yeah, answers. Yeah, especially ballet.
Did Ballet Dancers? Yeah, Imean every kind of dance, but like
ballet. It's specifically made to reallydestroy your body. Yeah, yeah,
it's a trick. Yeah, takeyeah, MMM. So, yeah,
we were talking about like it keepsyou young. Hmmm. And we're talking
about the expression of it all.And when I talk about rockr covery a
lot when we go to get rockyour covery, we get non musicians to
play music and a lot of peoplesay, well, I'm not musical.
It's like, well, you are, it's in your body. And so
what I always explain to use thecaveman thing. I always tell them when
did music start? It wasn't likeBruno Mars fell from the skies and just
it was like probably caveman, exactly, yeah, or man, cave man,
cave yeah, and it is verysimple and they were probably beating on
logs and dancing around, dancing andsinging and doing music. And here's what
happens is, if you took likea little kid and if you just watch
them, they'll ants going down thesupermarket isle, or if you give them
a little piano, they'll play becausethey just want to express ro it's not
true. And we I was talkingto, I was actually hanging out with
Robert, the Bass player from StoneTup of pilots yesterday and we're talking about
that very thing. Because kids,we're watching this little kids is wiggled down
the here's like five, just doingthis all over. We're saying, where
does that go? At what pointdoes that stop? I feel like society
stops us a little bit. Yeah, and it's judgment, the judgment,
the rules and yeah, and I'mglad that we actually have the arts that
keep us doing, you know whatwe were doing when we were kids,
totally, and that's that's kind oflike we do a lot with addiction on
here and stuff and people what Ialways try to do with rock your coveries,
show them that see that playful spirityou have that feels so dead from
drugs or alcohol it's still there.That's a little five year old kid.
It's all still there, right.Yeah, yeah, and I tell you,
it's the best part of ourselves,you know, that find that inner
child and it's still there somewhere.It is right when we get through all
the layers of adulthood and hurt andpain or whatever. Yeah, we've been
trained to think. Yes, yeah, so, well, we're getting deep.
Yeah, so tell me we're okay. Your mom was Polish, yes,
and then Your Dad was Italian,Huh, and, and and they
they had sex and then I cameinto the world. Okay. So,
yeah, the exacts in Poland.Okay, sorry, you a Polish citizen?
No, I'm a talented you're born. And yes, I was born
in intaly because my father like gotmy mom to move to Italy. Yeah,
and my mom actually was a dancer. The guys always get the girl
that, of course. So mymom and my sister from a previous father
also a ballerina. So I'm kindof the third one in the family doing
ballet. What did now? Didyou? How? What level did they
do ballet this mom? So mysister, unfortunately, she had a bad
pine injury when she was eighteen.Yeah, from dancing, from dancing.
She was paralyzed for one year,but finally she got back to because she
was she had very strong muscles inthe back. So thankfully that helped her
recover. How did she injure herselfdoing an anthrilla sat it's called. It's
a jump with kicking both legs bagand she fall down. So you're jumping
in there and your legs go behindit. Yeah, it's like a Caesar
bad back. Yeah, it's andshe fell. She fell on the on
the year of her diploma, soI means on the last year, so
before the getting the degree, thelike ballet degree. YEA, if she
felt she was one year off andthat she she got better and she actually
got her degree all by ourselves,because all of the you know, school
friends, they or of course theygraduated. Yeah, and she just did
everything by herself. One year laterand I remember I was a kid,
because we have eleven years of youknow, the friends between us, and
I remember I was a kid andand she was there taking her degree,
you know, strong, in pain, but she did it and then she
quit ballet after that. How didyou feel? Yeah, how did you
feel watching that as a kid?Didn't smile. That was very inspiring and
I felt like that was part oflike ballet. It's part of my family,
like I also like used to seemy mom doing splits sometimes at home
just to stretch. Yeah, andor Lauren honey split. Yeah, that
was it. I mean that wasvery natural and I say I thought that
in every family something like this happens. You know that, like mom puts
Chopin music on and we just likedance a little bit like more classical,
in a classical way. You know, that's so cool. Like so for
me I'm getting a visual like this. You know Italian fairly. Mom's doing
splits, Chopin. Yeah, Ilove Chopin. Yeah, in the background.
Wow, I hope at home everybody'sgetting visual of Yes, and I'm
glad your sister's okay. Yeah,thank you so much. So I was
drawing parallels with American football, oh, because even though it's brutal and hitting,
there's sometimes the there's some grace inthere of the movement and whatever,
and I think people when they seeballet, they certainly would see the grace,
but I think they forget how brutal, how brutal, how hard it
is to make. For you tosee that we are just flying, you
know, to make it seem thatis easy. Yeah, that's that's the
hard part, right. Yes,yes, yes, yeah, we have
to look super light, especially girls. You know, they have to get
lifted by men. So we needto look like feathers. Our jumps or,
you know, our turns should belike, you know, easy,
peasy, look like nothing. Weshouldn't be seeing that effort. You know,
that's like breathing that. Also,it's hard to control the breathing because
right never see a ballet dancer panic. It's like lying on the floor.
We do that, but backstage,say yes, offstage, you don't see
that. Get to see that.So, so mom's doing ballet. Yeah,
and then your sister gets injured andyou just feel like this is a
normal kind of part of life.Yes, I feel like that's that's the
normal. That's everyone's life is likethis. That in everyways family, like
there's ballet. Yeah, and thateveryone gets like good bally feet. I
didn't know that I had Ballerina's feetuntil I went to ballet school, but
I think so. That's a thing, you know, to have the super
high arch. That's like a veryspecific victing for a ballerina really, and
it's very you know, if ifa, if a kid has dad,
you know, it's already like,Oh, you gotta be a Ballerina.
Oh No, it's like say lotabout guitar fingers. Exactly. Guitar fingers
or Piano Figures? Yeah, that'sthe same thing. So I had,
luckily, I had those Ballerina feet, but I didn't even know that I
had them. I went to yourbound and tell you know, because they
had ballet feet to Ballerina feet.So I thought is like everyone has so
and then I ended up in theBallet Academy exam and all our the other
kids around. They were like,Oh my God, your feet are amazing
and I was like, what isthat? You didn't even know what we're
they were talking about, you know, but they these. Now my feet
are kind of like a big dealon the social media. Really. Yes,
so I can. That probably getscreepy to yes, that's get a
lot of creepy comments and like followers. But I mean, is there like
an instagram account called Petra's feet?No, but maybe soon. I don't
know. I'm sorry about guys willruin everything. Yeah, it's okay.
I said Half Bales of society.Okay, okay. So did you want
to be a dancer or is thislike I guess it's was a vocation?
I would say it was a vocation, meaning you wanted it to be a
job. Yeah, and and youknow, like every vocation, you you
have some ups and downs, andI tried. Even my my action.
My parents didn't want me to becomea ballerina. You know, they try.
When I was ten, they putme to do tennis, to do
piano. I was great at tennis. I was better at piano and but
I want point. I was likemom, you know that I want to
do that, please, like,let me try. Did they want you
to do piano or tennis as acareer or just to do it as a
pass just to try something else besideballet, because they thought that maybe they're
influencing me, and I was likeno, no, I really need to
be a ballerina. That's that's insideme. That's cool. Yeah, yeah,
so I started previously in a likevery small school across my my home,
my family home in frozin on,and that's where I lived in the
way then it was I was tenand the the what's Serage, they usually
start ballet. So I would saythis is a big advice from Petaconti.
Guys, don't start too soon.Don't put your kids into ballet when they're
five really, because their body andthey're, you know, brain are not
ready. Got You to to getthat discipline that you need to start having
once you start ballet. You know, you have to be at least nine
hundred and ten two really start doingballet. Okay, you heard it from
Petro Con yes, but valley,you can start with you like ridden,
just gymnastics or, you know,whatever you want to do to make your
child look like you know, havethis plates already and stuff, but actual
ballet it's very hard. So youneed to be kind of grown up to
start doing it. It's like youcan't be a kid. Yeah, so
you were about ten years old.I was ten years old. I started
in this like school across my homeand it was pretty bad. The teacher
wasn't at all nice with me andshe would put me to do like man
rolls. I did with her justI think six months. What's a man
roll like? You know, forexample, in that cracker you I don't
know if you so. No,there's it's another version, but there's like
nutcracker, there's this Chinese dance andthere's like a male Chinese and a female
Chinese Dancing Rao ton thum thumb,and so she would be put me during
the the man roll. Oh why? She was kind of mean. I
don't know. I I mean,I hope she's not listening to that.
Maybe she needs to, maybe shedoesn't. She doesn't know English. I
hope her name. No, no, no, let's not say that.
Somebody. anyways. anyways, theproblem was that I was like, mom,
I don't really like this, andshe wasn't really like a big help,
and I was like I need tostart to go to a professional academy,
like you didn't mom, and likeyou, the sister attend your advocated.
I was already like a big grownup, cool and so your parents
were together. They were together,just stood together and never happens. Yeah,
I'm so for Lucky. Okay,so I say to my teacher,
Oh, I'm gonna try and dothe exam for the professional body academy and
she's like, Oh my God,you're never gonna get there. You're terrible.
You need at least two more yearswith me here in this school.
In order to start and do somethingbigger. Why are there so many messages
out there like that? Who isthese Dream Kill No, you know,
I think it's because, you knowall you sick. She was. I
think it's just to keep people,you know, money in like, you
know, one student more, it'slike one more. Yeah, extra money.
Yeah, to buy some wine exactly. But of course I didn't listen
to her and I went to ownand did my exam and of course at
the exam, like all like theywere in love with me right away.
They were. Yes, are yourfeet? They saw my feet, they
sow my under or, which meanthe turnout that I told you, because
I said underwear and done, theyare, and they are because they are
so it bad turn out. Yes, turn out like this. Let's show
you too. Yes, excited thatfeet. The I'm sorry, no,
no, it's great because at leastthe people, like the said, don't
see us on radio. They theycan like realize what's an under or position.
Why? I talk in friends,because ballet is in French. Okay,
yes, good to know. Wehigh. Yeah, rock to recovery
radio, everybody is learning things.Yeah, this is great. A class,
take a day like yeah, sortainfriends you know, we're yeah,
we're culture here. Yes, andyes. So they saw my under oar,
they saw my you know, mypossibilities, I guess, and my
body. And Yeah, they wantedI went in and I had to so
excited. Oh, I was excitedby my dad. Wasn't because from frozen
on it. So, which isa city one hour and something from Rome,
I moved and at eleven years oldI became like a big Petra.
So I moved to Rome to acollege, Sisters College, and I girls
school, like you know, theprayer sisters. Oh, how did you
Catholics, Catholic College, Not School, call it? where I would sleep.
It's like a place where you goand sleep for for six, seven
days and then you just come back, like my dad will pick me up
the weekend and bring me home andthen drive me back the next day.
Wow, and this way. Youwent to that school because of ballet,
because the academy was in Rome.So you went to the school. So
good by, but be by theCADEMY. Yes, yes, so I
started my my journey at the academyand it was eight years of academy there.
I was there for eight years,years. So because ballet, you
guys, is a prestigious academy.So it's a National Ballet Academy in Rome,
Italian. That's the only wonder is. And Yeah, I stayed there
for eight years, because you getat d degree only after eight years of
school, of Ballet School. Okay, is this like a ballet degree,
you guy? Yes, you getabout you get a degree like cats,
a ballerina. That's cool. Yeah, yeah, so your ways eighteen,
nineteen at the so I was,yeah, right, I just in my
I was just nineteen. Yeah,and then I decided that's not enough.
I wanted to study more and,you know, improve even more. And
what's the best place to improve?It's in Russia. Russia has the best,
you know, ballerinas and like school. It's history, you know,
Russia. So I had the privilegeand the big opportunity to go to,
as you said, you mentioned before, to the Marine Sky Theater as a
trainee. So for one year Istayed in San Patersburg. That's why you
were with the Bagarian stay. No, that's Marine Ski. Marine Ski is
in some Petersburg, Bavarian state.Bavarian is in a mune him. It's
in Germany, UN mentioned. Yeah, Shin, which just Munich for yeah,
sorry, really, in Germany,for you guys that don't know that,
they don't call it Munich. Theycalled Moon Chuntion. Yeah, pride
doesn't sound like that. But soI went to Russia and I learned Russian.
Okay, I when I was nineteen. I was all by myself.
Again, you learned to speak Russian. Yeah, no way. Yeah,
see, the thing that we don'tdo in America. We're like we maybe
could say Taco or and Burrito.That's the only other language we know.
I learned Russian. So you haveto know if that's a hard language.
I knew, of course, Italianand Polish, so that was already easier
for me to learn another language.So I learned Russian. Well, of
course, I was by myself inRussia. What do you have to do?
You actually learn? Yeah, so, wow, I can't believe you
did all this. All right,listen, I gotta throwing a song.
Yeah, sorry, I'm not thelast. I'm so innes throwing a song.
That's good, but I have todo yes. So, so the
reality is that we didn't get yoursongs in time, and our Greg Dj
help us out. So, Hey, you gressers at home, guess what
Song we're going to play right now. Worse, it's so obvious, captain
obvious, the DJ here. Sowe're sitting here on rock recovery radio with
Petra, county Premi Ballerina from allaround the world. She's currently the principal
dancer at La Ballet. Yes,telling her about her story into ballet and
we're going to get into how youwere diagnosed with cancer and beat cancers but
and all that kind of stuff.So this is rock recovery radio and if
I hit the right buttons, I'vecan never remember I hit the right buttons.
We're going to be right back injust a moment. This is guess
who this is. You'll know ina second. Where's it? There we
go, there we go. Whatam I gonna do to make you love
me? What am I gonna doto make you can't? What'll I do
when lightning strikes me and the wayto find that you're nothing? What do
I want do? Maybe you wantme. What have I gotta DO TO
BE HEARD? What do I saywhen it's hollow? Sorrow seems to be
the hardest work. It's side sosad with the s and it's get it's
side so sad. What can't wetalking over? Always seems to me the
sorrown seems to be the hot iswoo. It's a saduation, and the
skin one more. It's side.What can't we talk it over? Always
seems to me. Sorrey seems tobe. The water is wool. What
do I do to make you loveme? What am I gotta do to
Behou what do I do? Strikesme what a light God seems to be,
so sad, so very said.Don't you feel like you're in Poland
right now? That music, thankyou, as beautiful song. All Right,
this is rock to recovery radio onKX nine, three five FM.
I'm your host, West Gear,and we're here with super wonderful, awesome,
vivacious, talented premi Ballerina, PetraConti, telling us her story about
how she became a Ballerina, andeventually we'll get to it. And she
was diagnosed with cancer and kicked itsbutt, and that's one of the things
we connected on when we met,when I came to see you dance,
because I just you know, Istruggle with addiction and you think that's bad,
and then I think to get thatdiagnosis it's got to be just gotta
be a tough one. So inyour story we were talking about how,
at a young age, you justfelt, and I can relate to this,
called to be a ballerina. Yeah, and so you went to an
National Ballet Academan Rome, Matt,thank you. Yes, my brain,
my brain was shutting down, andthen had an extra year of as a
train me at the Marinsky theater inSt Petersburg. You went. So you
were in Rome and we're there foreight years. But a degree. Yes,
and now, at that age dosome people, like, what age
do they do? PEOPLE START GETTINGGIG jobs. So, yeah, probably
eighteen is a good time to starta to find like a professional job in
a company. Yeah, so Ihave to admit I already, like,
worked as a guest artist a littlebit in Italy around that time. Yeah,
but I wanted again, I wantedto be better, become a better
dancer and learn more. Yeah,I felt like I needed another year.
That's insightful of you. Yeah,and I think that's a key to success,
is knowing that you need to workmore, not being too full of
yourself. And I think the greatpeople always even like, if you look
at to use basketball ref yes,even a Michael Jordan is still working or
at her Oh yeah, you workall day, every day. And what
I always say it's like you neverarrived in Bali especially. You never arrived
that, because perfection doesn't exist.You know, it's so you always get
to the point when you're almost excellent, almost excellent, but you know,
never enough. Wow. So,so you went from excuse me, you
went from Italy to Rashsha, andthere's Burg and Petersburg for one year.
Then I moved to Germany. Now, did they freak out on your feet?
They're like she has. I meanit's note. I heard about that.
I'm not the only Vallerina that hasgood feet. But yeah, the
mallories go around looking at each other'sfeed. Yes, and then's something.
It's a thing, right. Yeah, so they probably make fun of some
people's feet, like your feet areno go. We call it like biscuits,
baby bis gets. Yeah, ifit's not a good their biscuits nice
to me is fat Lana, she'llnever make it. She has biscuit.
Yes, exactly. Oh my God, that's so true. Yeah, Hashtag
by arena problem. Yeah, that'sso hot. You're funny. All right,
so how were you starting getting notoriety? Did you stick out? Where
you at the bottom of your class, the top? Like where were you
in this in the world? Likeit's super competitive, I imagine. So
now you mean no, then whenin Russia, I mean when I was
mach scary, when I was aRussia, I was just the last like
you would say, like the cleanerof the toilet, like basically, you
know, I was just like justlearning from the best. And Yeah,
I was. It was just anextra thing that they get. They they
you know, gave me the possibilityto be there because it was at that
time it was really shut down toeveryone, like every outsider, you know.
So I had the privilege to bethere and like take classes with them,
watch every show. So and theyreally have show every day. Wow,
it's amazing. And then also getto be taught by Elvira Tar Asoma,
which was one of the greatest,you know, teachers in some Petersburg,
and and she was giving me rehearsalsevery day, you know, after
the big people, like after thebig names. Yeah, I would see
like county, you know, inthe schedule, like at from nine to
eleven at night, you know,after everybody else you're closer. Yes,
I was the closer. Usually.Yeah, I would get my rehearsals,
and that's why I'm here today,I guess, because I really, like
wanted to to learn from the best, and I always do. Like it's
I'm never satisfied with myself. Now, how is your emotional state? was
there a lot of tears, likeI'm not going to make it, I'm
not good enough. How where wereyou at? Where are you feeling?
Where you like, I know I'mgreat or what? No, I have
to admit I was very unsecure beforemy all my story. I Like I
say I when I was Petra County, one point zero. I was different.
Now and Petrack County, two point. Oh, three point now.
Maybe here's three point on now,I don't know, but the two point
now is right after the surgery.So then you Petra County. It's so
much better than the other one,the other one, the the one before,
was so scared of everything. Very, you know, meant or to
myself. I was very, youknow, demanding, but enough part yes,
in a hard way. So Iwas never happy. I was yeah,
I hated my image, you know, always trying to make it better,
but never happy with what I would. I was, and so maybe
that was a good thing, becauseit after Germany. It brought me to
Italy, to Las Kalatiater, whichis the biggest theater in Italy, and
the I mean the famous one withplay, what's say Pete, to Germany,
there money and then back to myItaly. Okay, but wait now
I got a passs I want toreally get into this slight thing where you
were beating yourself up. Yeah,is this this in your head? How
was her relationships like? Did youlike? Was it just on the insider?
Was it really affecting like your wholelife, kind of like you don't
know. Yeah, I was veryinsecure. I told her I'm the worst.
I like, if in like,I would compare myself to others,
and I always see myself as thelast one. And really, yeah,
and why? I could see thatin Russia. Yes, you work.
Yeah, yeah, but and whatwere other people saying to other people,
like, for example, in Romeor my academy? I of course,
got my degree with the best youknow vote, how to say votes,
like the best boats, the bestnumbers. Okay, rating, best rating.
Yeah, I got like best ratingever, ever, ever, ever,
ever, in so you are reallyin the history of yeah, but
I didn't leave that out. So, yeah, so, so, but
check this out. So you getthe best rating, yes, graduating at
anybody ever. God, yes,still, you're beating yourself. Still,
I wasn't. Yeah, it wasn'tenough. And also, maybe because I
was, I had so many peoplesaying that, oh, don't be like,
don't think that you're whatever you youthink you are. You know,
I had a lot of people,haters, haters, and that would like
be jealous about who I was becoming. And so, probably because of that,
I was trying to, you know, even more find what's wrong with
me. And I don't know.I try to get better, try to
get better. And did you havesome good friends and support that? I
had good friends and I have somegood friends. They are the same,
basically, you know. You saythat good friends are forever. You know,
they stick with you in the bestand the worst and best times.
You know. So I had that. And, yeah, and but maybe
also this thing that I wanted toalways be better in proof that that's what
brought me to become a principle dancerat the age of twenty three. Wow,
which is in especially in Europe.It's kind of soon and it's a
super young age to become a principaldancer. So what is principal dancer?
So you know there is. Ohyes, thank you. Oh yes,
we're fixing our my instagram life foror wherever you want to put it.
Yeah, thank you. Oh Wow, thank you. Hi. Okay,
so the principal dancer means the thecaptain of the team, okay, and
is being you get the best parts, I get the principal roles. Okay,
I get, of course, betterpay, but I am responsible,
responsible for for the whole show,Oh my God, and I am an
example for every other dancer. SoI have to be at my top every
day, be on time, everything. Yeah, everything, you know.
So they that's about pressure for atwenty three year old. Huh? And
Twenty three, I think. Ithink exactly. And it was like a
big principle dancer at last, Kalis. I mean it's a big thing.
They seem so lighthearted to yeah,you know what I mean, like almost
doesn't seem to go. I know, I know. And that was I
think that's the hardest part. Tostill like try to be a nice person,
like to like that's who I am. I'm a very you know,
easygoing? Not, not, no, I don't. You know, I'm
not. Yeah, how do youcall it? Like I rigid? You're
not rigid. Say, I don't. I don't feel like better than anybody
else. And still you have tobe the principle dancers. You have to
be a Primo ballerinaw. You haveto be the star, not only of
the show, but you have tosomehow give the image of that you're like
this, you know, the top, the leader, the leader. Yeah,
Cram daylock for them. Yes,yes, and every day. That's
a problem every day, not onlyat the showtime, every day when you
when you're so tired that you wantto cry, that you can barely work.
You know you have to show thatyou still are the Prevo butter.
You know so. So give usan example of like when you want to
quit. What's you remember? Time? Yeah, we want to quit when
you're in such a big pain thatyou how often? Yes, happen?
Who I mean? For me,it didn't happen as many times, luckily,
especially when you want to quit whenyou injured yourself and you don't see
that it's like that you're getting bettersoon, anytime soon. So you're like
everybody go is going forward and Iam back. You know, I'm going
backwards and I don't see and therecovery process is so long for a band,
for a ballerina to come back inshape, it takes months. Wow.
So, yeah, that that's probablythe hardest part. And what in
injury in your career could be over? Yes, all the work, exactly,
all the years of sweat, tears, blood. That must be in
the back of your head. Yes, so I kind of knew it,
since they want, you know,every dancer knows this. That's you know,
you can be the best or youcan you know, tried, you
know, years and years, andif with one day it can be all
over. Yeah, so that's that'sthat's a thing we signed basically at the
beginning. It's Oh yeah, wedon't sign it, but you know,
it's like a contract that you dowith yourself, with your future. Well
put yeah, wow, so yourpretty ballerina at twenty three in in in
Italy, in all back in Italy, in Milan. And I got this
fun part to say. I gotpromoted Premio Ballerina on stage at the Bullshit
Theater in Russia when we were touringwith Las Cala yea promoted on some stage
Russia. Yes, wow, soit was kind of Nice. And the
fun part is I was promoted onstage together when you know it was coming.
No, the surprise solutely. AreYour crying at sure I was.
No Way. I was promoting onstage together with my soon to be hospital.
That's I was promoted two seconds beforehim because they first said my name.
Okay, they were. You guysengaged? This time we were.
Name is Eddie's nations address. Itis as it is, Edis Nasha.
You know him? Yes, ReallyNice Guy. Yeah, we came also
to your you know, to youryeah, and we and he was in
the nutcracker with you. is inthe record nat cracker. He's always ensing
with me, so that's cool.Yeah, and so what I was saying,
yeah, we got promoted together.Wow. So, and as soon
after that, I can tell youthe day we got promoted. On the
twenty one of December, two thousandand eleven, HMM, and on the
thirty of December that same month heasked me to become his wife. So
that's a good month for it wasa awesome ending all the year, two
thousand and December, two thousand andeleven. So good ending. Of the
year. Yeah, that's awesome.Now we got married in two thousand and
thirteen, and that's also a bigyear for us because we decided that,
you know, in in easily youget a role position for lifetime. So
we became a principle dancers until pension. So we would be principles until,
you know, forty five, fifty, almost fifty. What if you can't
dance anymore? I mean, whatif you like gain a hundred pounds?
Yeah, you kind of still likeyou cannot gain a hundred fund because your
principle dancers. So they would likeundermine you, like, you know,
I change your position. Yeah,so you have to still keep the level.
But you know, that was theproblem in Italy or you like in
Europe, the mentalities that you youdo, you do ballet until you're like
you're going on to pension. Youknow the so how what's the average retirement
age? So the average retirement ageis forty seven. That's old. Yes,
I wouldn't even think that. Yes, that's what we thought. We're
thinking about. We don't want todance until we're forty seven. It's gonna
be sad. And that's what no, yes, and that's what we feel
like we felt our colleagues that aregetting older than will. They were so
kind of depressed and like looking sadand also envious, you know, and
being us young talent and a youngtalent, and I was like, I
don't want to be here for thenext like thirty years of my life and
wait for my you know, ancienttension. Let's do something, let's try
something as because we got to thetop of our you know whatever, we
were there. So we're like,okay, what's the next level? You
need to step up. Yeah,so we challenge ourselves. We moved to
America, just the twelve us.They still not think that we are crazy.
What year was that? That wastwo thousand and thirteen. Yeah,
all right. We moved to Boston. That's cool. That's where my mom's
from. Yeah, and I livedthere too. So when did you get
the cancer in Boston? Yeah,so we it was. Well, you're
not feeling well. Yeah, Ican tell you that I started to feel
some nausea business for a couple ofmonths and I had some blood in the
my urine. Sorry. Yeah,sometimes you should hear what people say in
this show with a drug addicts.Yeah, trust me, I think this
is a good thing to say sothat people, if you guys notice anything
like that, please go check yourselfright away. Please do that, so
you have a sign. It's asign that something is wrong with your body.
Right, so you had blood andurine. Sometimes you're like what,
twenty five? I was twenty eighth. Twenty eighth, and you're getting nausea
and dizziness. Yes, for howlong? I mean it was for a
couple months. Yes, and theytried to you know, I was in
Boston. They tried to diagnose mebecause they thought maybe it's like some vertigo
stuff or some aren't like. Iwas anxious because of the shows, you
know. I mean I used todance all my on my life, so
it couldn't be that bad, youknow, going to a performance. Yeah,
of course, you're too young fortypical cancer exactly. So I can
tell you my type of cancer.Usually it comes to old men that drink,
that smoke and that they're o bees. That's really good. That's so
patrick. Yeah, and actually whatthey found that my type of cancer.
It's an unclassified type of renal carcinoma. So yeah, actually I'm helping the
science, you know, because it'sstill not classify my you're welcome. Thank
you. Yes, I think sofuture. So how did they figure that
out? I had back, alsoback pain for a long time and so
I thought, and I was sure, that it was a her nation and
that was in fact that her nation. But I was like, come on,
can we please do an m rightto see if I really have this
her nation? And they checked itat Boston in a hospital and they say,
yeah, you have this herniation,blah, blah blah, but you
also have something on your kidney andyou should check it right away. So
I went to my primary care doctorand basically, not even in the next
month, I was doing surgery.Yeah, so what was it like?
They did extra they did M rayand they did extra testing of all kinds.
They came back and you're sitting thereand they said what and yeah,
the doctor, my my surgeon,was like, there's a good chance that
if we take this two more out, you're gonna have a good life and
long life and your child's chance ofsurvivals are very high. If we did
come in and say you have weyeah cancer, yeah, this is a
how did that feel to hear that? You know, I am like this
everything. I like bad every badnews. Yeah, I need one day
to process it and the next dayI'm fine really. So in next day
I was already okay. You know, I had I had my couple hours
of that day that were bad.We're freaking out. Yeah, you know
what you think? You're twenty eightand you go to this hospital usually to
give birth, not to like removeus the cancer, you know, at
does at this age, and especiallyI was with my husband and I was
like, we imagine our lives together, you know, kids, to be
like to grow old together, toyou know, to create a future for
us, and maybe nothing of thisis going to happen. So that was
that was the saddest part for metoo, to probably maybe leave my husband
and, you know, die withoutdoing all those beautiful things that we imagine.
So we were we were making funof each other and I was like
areas, when you're gonna die,you're gonna everybody, every girl will,
when I'm gonna die, every girlwill want to go out with you because
you're gonna be so sexy and,you know, everyone once. We're just
making fun of this because it's cool. It's better to laugh about things.
And then then, you know,get the press and since that day that
I discovered that I had cancer.My life changed in a way that I
started enjoying every day of my lifeand I started loving my body. I
give it a good vibes, thingood vibes, you know, appreciating every
day, especially after surgery. Youkind of like our reborn person. It's
like you start from scratch again,you know, you you wake up from
that kind of comma, all almostthat they put you in, and that's
your birthday again. Glad you hadsuch a great, bright energy about.
I feel like I would still bescared. No, I know a lot
of people still write me and likeask me help and how did I that?
So I had a lot of faithand I had love. I think
this two love and faith kept megoing. I love it, so let's
I love it. Thank you.For sure. I'm going to throw on
this next little song. Here theymake us play music here, I can
it's a radio station, the nerveof the Y. So this is Kx,
Ninety three, five FM rock torecovery radio. We're here with the
amazing, beautiful, wonderful, Viva, vivacious Petra Conti, talking about her
journey to become a Premi Ballerina.And now fighting through cancer. Let's see,
what's this next song? Well,you guys are just going to have
to figure out. But Anyhow,this is kakes ninety five FM. Will
be right back after this. I'mNaka. Do Take your baby the next
thing that feel thanks Danks, wewill go. That's all up. Yeah,
yeah, this baby dance. Sothis is rock to recovery radio.
I'm your host, West Gear Kx, ninety three five FM. We're here
with the amazing, just wonderful.I just love your energy. I love
it when you laugh. You havesuch a bright, a bright. So
she's selling her story of becoming aPremier Ballerina and how you got diagnosed with
cancer and fought through, and youwere saying that that what was it?
Love and faith, and faith gotyou through. You get me through.
Yes, you guys had a lotof humor about it. You had I
can't say his name. That isthat is yeah, it's like arrows.
But are is heiress, aress.So I thought there's a Dan. Yeh,
all right, okay, one dayI'll get it. And so he
supported you through it. Yeah,I guess my husband was the one that
really supports me the most, becausemy my parents they were like, oh,
they had the worst time of theirlives dealing with it, telling with
it. Yes, my father didn'tgo out of the hope, like didn't
leave home for like a month.And Wow, like yeah, they were
so depressed and you're like not helpingit. Here exactly. I was like,
I cannot even be sick, Icannot have like cancer in peace.
I had to deal with you guysthat are so worried about me. Yes,
no, wonder that your body lived. I you know that you live,
and I love how you said youwere giving your body a lot of
love. Yes, yeah, andI believe that that love gets in ourselves
and everything, because they're all livingorganisms, all of them, and it
like whatever you imagine you and yousay to yourself, it happens. You
know, you, you kind ofyour thoughts create, you know, the
energy for you to go. Soif you have beat thoughts, negative thoughts,
that's that's gone off for sure.You know, interfere with your healing
process, with your energy. Yeah, did you? What? was there
ever a dark, dark day whereyou're just like Oh God, you know
the probably you know, it wasa dark day when I thought that maybe
I'm not gonna dance anymore. Sothat was the issue. I don't know
what I'm gonna do, if I'mever gonna be healed, what's gonna Happen
next. So that was my biggest, you know, fear and but I
said, let's take one one dayat a time, let's enjoy every day,
let's let's have fun every day andbe grateful for who I am today,
for where, where I'm at andwhat I'm doing now, and let's
see what happens. I know Iwent to surgery and I was I was
happy, you know, in mymy not go out. Whoever's whoever knows
what's going to happen. Until nowI'm kind of happy with what I did
and where I met and let's takeevery day, you know, by day,
you know, and your back dancinghalf fast. I was back then.
Seeing yeah, I kind of forcemyself to try again and become like
start again and that dancer. Andit was painful, I can tell you.
And for lots of months I couldn't, you know, lift anything or
even a glass of water. Soimagine doing potted us and stuff. So
my abs were completely gone. Myballin nobody was not a ballery nobody anymore.
So I had to work so hardto get back and it's took me
one year to go to come back, and at that point you maybe aren't
even gonna be like a principle dayexactly. I was like let not cracker.
Yeah, no, I left Boston. Yeah, and I was like
this is my new life and I'mgonna I'm gonna be dancing all over,
all around the world. I don'twant to like be for now in a
company. I want to just enjoywherever I have probable. So I became
a guest artist and I was invitedin Los Angeles to perform as a guest
principle dancer with Los Angeles Vallet,and that's where you met me. That's
where I met and just crushed inyour amazing they told me I got over
cancer. Like what, yes,yes, we were talking about it.
You. Yeah, you have thisbeautiful initiative of like helping people that are
going through stuff like that through music, through rock, and and I am
trying to help, you know,people with cancer go through, you know,
everything they need to go through.In Yeah, with the help of
selling my point shoes. For now, this is a my foundation. I
started this foundation. I sell allmy all of my point shoes, old
ones. Got You, my fans, and the money goes to how can
they find you? On my website? WHOOP DOT PETRA COUNTYCOM petrack countycom sets,
PETRA ACOMTI. Yes, and nowfinally, Oh finally, that's the
best part. Yeah, I'M WE'REgonna come. Yes, please come.
I made your own show. Yes, I made my first, very first
Petrak or empty show here in LosAngeles, downtown, La Zipper Concert Hall,
May Eighteen Concert Hall, Zipper,Concert Zebra, Zeeper, Zipper,
zipper. Sorry, now that's okay, it's me. No, Zipper concert
hall. It's called I'm gonna liveforever and you are. I'm gonna live
forever and you. You choreographed tocreate this whole show. I have the
help of different choreographers. But thegood part is the best part is that
we have life orchestra on stage andeven singers and wow, play music,
music, player Music Solos. Thatwill be different dances and I will be
in all of them. It's liketen ballet pieces and Daniel Crack and Dream
Orchestra conducting and there and likes playing. So if you're in La Zipper theater,
may a teammate be there please.My team's know and rock. You
have a teams, you have theteam. I told Yeah, we're coming
con see this amazing woman Petra County. Thank you so much for comment.
You're such an incredible person. Thankyou for sharing your we can do something
together. We're going ahead. Wehave to do it. Yes, for
the others. We gotta do it. We need to be so cool.
All right, y'all, thanks fortuning in. This has been rocker curry
radio on kx Ninety three five FM. I'm your host, West Gear.
I think what you heard today isdon't give up. You can get through
anything with faith and love. Justask somebody to give you a little support
and we are out of here.