'Breaking Pointe's' Christiana Bennett on partner Rex Tilton's injury: 'It was terrifying for me'
On Season 2 of The CW's ballet reality show, "Breaking Pointe," we have been able to see much more of the dancers' personal lives and how it affects their professional dance careers. Monday's episode (August 12) is no exception, as we will get to see how married couple Christiana Bennett and Chris Ruud's relationship has taken a hit due to their work lives, as well as a conclusion to Allison DeBona's decision to give up either dancing or love.
Principal ballerina Bennett -- who was just cast as Cinderella in Ballet West's big ballet -- took the time to chat with Zap2it about her marriage, whether or not she'll be able to dance in the ballet since her partner Rex Tilton is injured, and what we can look forward to seeing the rest of this season.
Zap2it: When you saw your name up on the casting sheet for Cinderella, how did you react?
Christiana Bennett: I was so excited when I saw my name up on the casting. It's definitely a part that I've always wanted, especially this version of Cinderella.
Of course, the part came with a little uncertainty as there was no prince listed next to you, since your partner was still injured. What did that mean for you?
That made me really nervous because Rex and I are so close. He called me instantly to tell me his name wasn't up next to mine and we talked about what that might mean. I was really nervous because we had worked so hard already that I would have been so sad if he wasn't going to be my prince. It was scary for the two of us because we had already invested so much time and energy but we really didn't know what was going to happen next. It was terrifying for me. If I didn't have a prince, how was I going to be Cinderella? I saw it as I was afforded this amazing opportunity but maybe not really if I didn't have anyone to dance with.
You had to jump right into rehearsals, so how did you deal with that uncertainty?
Rex and I tried to be really positive together and hold out hope that he would make a full recovery and be able to dance. Keep rehearsing as if everything was going to be fine. Sometimes it was hard to stay positive because he was hurting and didn't know what was going to happen and I had to rely solely on him. There were tough days when I could just tell that he was down.
Tonight, we will start to see how your career has affected your marriage with fellow dancer Chris Ruud. Has this season of the show impacted it negatively?
Part of this project is to show America what it's like to be a dancer. With that comes the personal side of our lives. Marriage is one of those things that's affected by a lot of things, so it's interesting to see it played out onscreen. I'm pretty sure it carries through the rest of the season.
On the flip side of that, it's been great to see you interacting more with your fellow dancers as opposed to last season when we really only saw you with Chris.
It's been incredible. I work with some of the most amazing people in the world and getting to know who they truly are been so great. It's been an amazing experience for me to not just stay in my shell all the time and to let everyone know who I really am, and not just some figurehead. I've made truly incredible friends that I'll have the rest of my life because I've opened myself up to them.
Now that casting has been mostly finalized, what can we look forward to seeing in rehearsals?
With me and Rex, there will be a lot of, "Are we going to make it to the finish line?" Is Rex actually going to be my prince? The stakes always raise when the casting goes up because then you can focus solely on the parts that you're going to be performing. With that comes a whole different type of competition and stress. The ante is raised. And you'll also see a lot more dancing now that people are submerged in their parts. And Allison will have her talk with Adam about her future plans. I think there will be a lot of tears and heartstrings tugged. We are artists, and because of that, we sometimes can't separate our personal and professional lives. You'll see that all play out.
"Breaking Pointe" airs Monday, August 12 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.