Interview with Cristiano La Bozzetta
Posted: Jun 21 2020
Cristiano La Bozzetta. You may know him as a gorgeous, talented, funny Italian ballet dancer. Or, you may not know him at all. (In which case, get on to Instagram, facebook, YouTube or tik tok and you’ll find him pretty quickly 😉 ).
But what about the man underneath? Well, we were extremely lucky to have a chat with Cristiano, (or Cris), on zoom recently and we’d like to introduce you to the real man.
During the course of our conversation we discussed all sorts of topics ranging from social media, to being a professional dancer, to his plans for the future. And we’d like to share some of this charming man with you below…
First of all, your English is excellent, where did you learn?
I’m more attached to English than I am to Italian! I went to school at an international Academy and from a young age I was desperate to learn English.
How old are you now?
I’m 20 years old.
Which ballet company do you dance with?
Malandain Ballet Biarritz in France. At the moment I live by the sea and it’s been amazing to go out for a walk by the sea during this lockdown.
When did you start dancing?
I was 10, almost 11 when I started. My parents suggested I started sports and at first I wanted to be a swimmer. The day before I was due to start swimming I went to a dance studio with my sister and she was too shy to finish the class! But the teacher invited me in to try ballet and I fell in love straight away.
Did you experience any bulling growing up?
I was pretty lucky with my family, who were always very supportive. However, I did have one experience at school when one of the popular guys called me a faggot. I was due to do a dance recital that week and my confidence was destroyed… but it didn’t stop me. And look where I am now; I’m a professional dancer and who knows what that guy is doing? My message to young male dancers out there is “don’t be afraid of what people will say. They always will. You don’t need to give an explanation.”
What do you love most about ballet?
My grandmother was a classical pianist, so I always loved classical music. For me, ballet is the bond of music and expressing myself through movement. Dancing is about getting to know yourself… I don’t dance because of dancing, I put on music and channel my emotions into movement. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to music, be it opera, symphony, R&B, soul, jazz, pop-rock. Everything!
Also, I love EVERY sort of dance… contemporary, neo-classical, flamenco character… Today it is great being versatile so a dancer shouldn’t limit themself.
Do you have other passions?
I love to sing! As a child in Italy you learn an instrument, so I also play keyboard and flute, but my main instrument is singing. When I went through puberty I found that really hard as my voice changed, but I’ve accepted that and I still love to sing. One day I’d like to have proper lessons.
Where did you train to be a professional dancer?
I trained at the Academie Princesse Grace in Monaco. It’s an incredible training school – their students have won the Prix de Lausanne for the last 3 years in a row.
What message do you have for young dancers?
In the dance industry you will encounter a lot of people who will judge you and feel you’re not good enough. You have the choice whether to listen or not. Be true to yourself.
Don’t let anyone take it away from you.
When did you start using a dance belt?
From the beginning – my teacher told me to. It’s just good education. Honestly, get any male dancer to do a class without one and then a class with and I promise you 100% that they will prefer it with.
What have you learned from ballet?
Being on stage helped massively with my social insecurities. I was very self-conscious when I was younger, and I didn’t want to be judged. At that time I surrounded myself with people who wouldn’t criticise, but now I’m more confident.
Without ballet I wouldn’t be someone who can make friends on a bus. I can do that now. In fact, I often do!
What skills does a dancer need?
To be strong willed and determined. It’s gonna be tough, but tough moments make you stronger. Remember that constructive criticism is one thing, but destructive criticism is another.
Who is your idol?
I don’t really have an idol.
I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but my biggest inspiration is myself. Of course I look up to people, but it doesn’t mean I want to be like them, so I’ve had to learn how to be my biggest inspiration.
If I had to choose someone who inspires me as an Artist it would be Beyoncé because she works so hard.
Do you have a particular diet?
Not really… I eat healthily 99% of the time.
Am I going to have chips and a cocktail with friends? YES.
Am I going to have a brownie at a celebration? YES.
But, you are what you eat. With my metabolism I need a lot of protein and carbs, but this is very individual. I think that each dancer needs to build their own nutrition and get to know themself. Do some research. Think about ‘in the long term is this going to be helpful?’
How much water do you drink?
A LOT OF WATER.
At least 3 litres per day, though on a day-off more like 2 litres. My advice is don’t wait until you’re thirsty to have a drink of water.
Do you always warm up?
Yes, always. I have a routine. I believe when you start dancing you need to be ready to perform. My warm-up includes abs, push-ups, Pilates and stretching. Pilates really helps with body awareness.
In the morning I’ll do about a 30-minute warm up to music and sometimes I mix it up for variety. I think the older you get the more you need it, and if you don’t you can really hurt yourself.
What about cool-down?
Yes, I always stretch, especially after a long day. I also do a lot of rolling. When I first started rolling I really noticed a difference, in particular when the training is intense.
Take care of your body. It’s absolutely fundamental.
Is there anything that you wish you had known before becoming a dancer?
All the answers are lying in you – learn to follow your instincts.
Don’t let other people run your life; at the end of the day you are the master of your life and you have to make decisions for yourself.
Other people don’t know what you’re feeling. Yes, you have to learn to trust people, but just because they’re older it doesn’t mean they know what’s right for you.
Your biggest limit is yourself. No one else. Nothing. So don’t give yourself a limit.
How would you like to see the dance industry change in the future?
I have concerns about mental health in the industry. I’d also like to see more diversity and inclusivity. Why are all dancers in the corps de ballet still the same height? These are old concepts and I think that more variety will lead to more creativity.
What do you see in your future?
I want to teach the next generation, to help make change and open their eyes. I think that people have a duty to humankind and people who have power should be a role model. This industry can sometimes be a bit back-stabbing and that is SCARY. I want to help dancers get back to real values and be true to themselves.
I'm thinking about getting into acting too!
I'm even thinking about auditioning for acting schools… one in London in the UK and one in the USA. I recently fell in love with the USA while on tour. I want to explore my inner artist and hopefully work on my singing too.
Why are you considering a move away from ballet?
Ballet is a lovely way to start, but you’re not stuck there. Artists should be open minded. The skills and qualities developed in dance are UNIVERSAL and can translate to other walks of life.
And finally, what are your thoughts on encouraging more male dancers?
I think that nowadays it’s much better and so many boys are getting into dance. But the dancewear brands are still very unsupportive – girls have like 99% percent of the store! It does make you think ‘maybe this is not for me’. So it’s great that there are brands out there now like boysdancetooUK who are starting to fill that gap.
We discovered Cristiano through his YouTube vlog, and we’ve totally fallen in love with him due to his kind and open nature. He’s honest and above all caring and we wish him so much luck in his future!
Do you have a question for Cris? Post it below in the comments and we’ll get it to him, or contact him directly on Instagram.
Don’t forget to get in contact if you’ve got ideas and themes that you’d like us to explore in these blog posts, by emailing hello@boysdancetooUK.com