Interview with Yumi Aizawa

Yumi Aiwaza - principal ballerina in Grand Théâtre de Genève – Geneva, Switzerland

Yumi was born in Nagano, Japan. She left Japan at the age of 14 to pursue her passion to study ballet and choreography abroad. Since then Yumi lived in different countries, while performing in classical ballets like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker in Hamburg, Dresden, Bordeaux. During the last 6 years she lives and performs in Geneva, where she found her new passion - contemporary dance.
Kon'nichiwa, Yumi! What’s ballet for you?  
It’s my life and my passion. Dancing makes me feel like being in another world because of the music, costumes and decorations. Each time there is something special and opportunity to re-live that very moment. When the performance ends and I hear the audience's applause, I’m often happy and a bit sad at the same time as I start missing this excitement of being on stage, so I’m waiting for the next show. 
Why did you choose Geneva Grand Theatre? 
I came to Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, because I wanted a change in my career as a dancer. I wanted to dance more contemporary pieces that I was interested in. Here in Geneva, I’m able to experience those things.
How do you find Geneva? 
I really like this city. In the heart of Europe, peaceful Switzerland, the country of mountains and lakes, beautiful nature and clean Alpes air. I fell in love with Geneva very quickly. Sometimes it reminds me about my own roots, Nagano, Japan.               
How does your typical day look like? 
Being a dancer requires lots of work and self-discipline. If we don’t have a performance in the evening, we usually spend 6-8 hours in rehearsals. We’re either creating new performances with new choreographers or rehearsing already created pieces. It maybe sounds as a great effort for the day, but I'm used to it so it's not such a big deal.
How do you cope with your workload and stress?
I don't have so much stress outside of my work. Yet, there is a lot of stress in dance world, of course, as I think in every other world. I'm very lucky and happy that I'm able to be a professional dancer which is my passion and what I love to be so at the end the stress I have at work is not that big. I just take bath and a cup of nice tea in the evening then everything is fine. 
Interview with Yumi Aizawa
Interview with Yumi Aizawa
Interview with Yumi Aizawa
Interview with Yumi Aizawa
What’s your recipe for staying young and full of energy?
 I don’t think there is a special recipe. We all age with time and it's a natural process. Like anything in life, we need to take it and enjoy it fully. In general I think we need to live an active life. For example, exercise regularly, make it a habit like a personal hygiene. I am lucky that I am paid to have it done every day. Being a Japanese, my diet is rich in fish and rice, but from time to time might have a Coca-Cola. I am very careful with selection of cosmetics products. Living in Geneva, I see lots of different high quality products produced in Switzerland.    
What’s your everyday beauty routine? 
During ballet performances I have to use a lot of make-up, this is why when I am off the stage  I use minimum cosmetics. So in general, I choose more natural, organic brands that I’ve tried and now fully trust. Because I’m travelling a lot my skin and hair tend to dehydrate. For my skin care routine I prefer some moisturizing creams, and for hair care, now I am using Valdore shampoo, conditioner and oil.  
How did you find Valdoré products?
Being a dancer, I have to stay beautiful and have a great appearance. My hair is an important part of my artistic image. Therefore, it’s important for me to keep them healthy and full of energy. I found out about Valdoré products when my friends recommended them me and gave me to try. I was surprised by how good shampoo and conditioner were. My scalp is sensitive and I am careful with the shampoo I am buying, that’s why I look for mild formulas with reduced amount of chemicals. Valdoré products use natural ingredients and the latest scientific technologies, developed and produced in Switzerland. Not a surprise, why I really liked it and want to bring to my friends in Japan.
Photographs by

Gregory Maillot /
Gregory Batardon