When we found out Sasha Mukhamedov was stopping in Paris for just a couple of days, asking her for an interview was inevitable! How can one not be delighted by her incredible personality and sense of humour? Sasha is not only a very strong and spectacular dancer, but also an incredibly enjoyable person.

Two years after her nomination as a Principal Dancer at the HET  Dutch National Ballet, she decided to take a sabbatical and join San Francisco Ballet in July 2019 to experience the “American way of working” and become a more complete artist, Sasha definitely has an outstanding amount of experience.


“Both me and my brother would not go in that direction”

The first steps into the field are always very unique for every dancer, but coming from a “ballet family”, many wonder if Sasha’s decision to take on ballet was truly her own choice or if she was somehow influenced by her parents. The only way to find out is to hear her interesting, complete and surprising answer.


“She knows exactly what my body can do”

What happens when you follow your parents’ footsteps and throughout the journey you happen to have questions? Do you go and ask them or try to figure everything out on your own? A parent in the end is always a parent and it must be incredibly hard to also view them as teachers. We were curious to know about Sasha’s experience and there we have our questions answered.

“I always wanted to be able to do it myself”

Some of us might think it is a great advantage to already have “the name” to make a career, though it is often not an extra help. We don’t take into consideration all the expectations, pressure and desire to be original. Was it tough for Sasha to build her own reputation, detached from the expectations associated with her last name?


“If that set routine goes wrong…”

As Sasha tells us, there are generally two kinds of dancers: the ones that need a specific and strict routine before going on stage and the ones that are not so keen on having one and go with the flow. Which group is she in? And how does she make sure to be in her best physical and mental shape right before performing?


“Of course their job is to see what suits you”

Approaching a new role, understanding how to make the choreography look best on oneself, working with an “extra pair of eyes” and understanding what you like and don’t like takes time and experience.  Sasha shares with us the highlights of her own process to give life to her role from the studio to stage!

“You’re not as high on adrenaline as you were the first time”

What happens once the show is done? Is there more to it than having dinner and drinks with friends and trying to sleep despite the adrenaline rush? Sasha takes us on a journey after the show and before the next, reviewing also the differences between a Premiere and other dates.


“I like their style, I like the way they work”

After 10 years spent in a company: the desire of experiencing something new, discovering a different way of working and a different environment was strong and led Sasha towards an exciting journey. Is that the dancer equivalent of a mid-life crisis?


“There is no breaking rules in America”

All companies are different, from the kind of dancers they look for, to the repertoire, the work schedule and more. It is important for every dancer to find what works best for them, so that they can do their best on stage. Sasha will tell us about the differences and similarities between the HET Dutch National Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet.


“I always thought maybe one day I would take that up and study that”

There is an assumption on dancers that makes everyone think their one and only passion is dancing. And sometimes it’s true, there are a few pure bunheads through and through out there, and some of them also have hobbies completely outside of the dance bubble. We asked Sasha the same question, so is she a certified “bunhead” or does she have other interests as well?


“And then I feel those moments go in such slow-motion”

It can be the day you gave the best performance ever or the day something unplanned happened… It depends on what one thinks of “memorable”. Talking about this topic, Sasha recalls and shares with us the highlights of her career, so far. You are not expecting this tale of a slow-motion event?


“Sometimes I can do it, but not really well”

If you could wake up having gained any ability, what would it be? Well, Sasha has a couple of interesting and smart ideas, ranging from ballet abilities (who wouldn’t want this?), to sensations she would like to experience, and life-changing things that would be widely useful! What is/are yours? Do you share one in common with Sasha?


“I got to dance with him in one of his galas”

How wonderful is it to notice the dancers’ eyes sparkling when they talk about dream roles (and dream partners as well)? It might seem like Sasha has accomplished almost everything on her checklist though, from dancing the parts she used to binge watch as a young teenager to performing on the side of the most talented and applauded dancers. Is there anything else she wishes of?

“Oh Sasha, I would love to see how you do this variation”

During her time at the Dutch National Ballet, Sasha often worked with choreographer David Dawson. We asked her to tell us more about that experience and she brought us into the tiniest details: from how David noticed (which is a very inspiring story) her to the favorite piece she danced.


“No, I don’t think I could do it”

Given the choice of anyone in the world, we asked Sasha, who she would like to have dinner with… Spoiler: it is not a dancer, but someone who is extremely confident,  a quality that Sasha herself thinks she can always work on. Can you guess who that is?


“But of course I used to think: No, they’re my parents”

Sasha’s answer to the very common “what are you most grateful for?” contains very insightful advice and pearls of pure wisdom. It is indeed helpful to keep them in mind during hard times and remember ourselves about what we should feel gratitude for. So stop right here and click play to fill your motivation and inspiration tank.

“…and just really have a serious conversation”

What matters to Sasha when it comes to friendship? Can one have true friends in the competitive world of ballet? According to Sasha, if you can survive the ballet world, you can survive almost through anything. While starting with this topic, we ended up talking about Sasha’s choice to take a sabbatical year and give San Francisco a try. Why and how did she make the decision?


“That’s something I think took me a bit longer to understand”

This question is definitely one of the most interesting, especially for all the young aspiring dancers who are hungry to learn and are looking up to more experienced dancers for advice. Sasha says the advice she would tell to her younger self  could have helped her being less worried about resolving her problems and making it to Principal sooner, but at the same time, she recognizes everything happens for a reason.