[Interview] Dancer Valentino Moneglia Zamora: ‘Born To Be Wild’ Made Me Want To Pursue Ballet As A Profession

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

In 2016, Valentino Moneglia Zamora joined the Joffrey Ballet Studio Company and scored coveted parts in Swan Lake and Don Quixote. He even landed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Viva Vivaldi and Suite Saint-Saens, Bournonville’s Napoli, and Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31. Today, the handsome company artist showcases his dancing skills to a Midwestern audience on a yearly basis.

BTSCelebs recently interviewed the Robles Ballet School alum to learn more about him, and how he is spending this period of quarantine.

BTSCelebs: Who is Valentino Moneglia Zamora?

Valentino: I am from a small town from the south of Spain. I enjoy plants and cooking, and I am a ballet dancer with The Joffrey Ballet.

What piqued your interest in performing arts?

Since I was a little boy, I’ve always liked dancing around to whatever music was playing. So my mom eventually put me in the professional conservatory of dance in Murcia, a city close by. For the first few years in school, I studied ballet, flamenco, and Spanish folk dances until I chose to focus only on ballet. Learning about dance during these years got me very interested in performing arts, But what made me want to pursue ballet as a profession was a dvd that my ballet teacher gave me called Born to be Wild. It featured the leading men of American Ballet Theater at the time. It made me realize what the performing arts could look like.

Based on all the shows you’ve performed in, which one of your past roles do you identify with the most?

The role of Buffalo Bill in the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker. I picture him as an impulsive, wild man and at times I think I can be a little bit like that.

Tell us all about your daily routine over the past few months.

Since my normal routine has been put on hold, I have tried to invest my time in different activities that I usually don’t have time to do. I have read new books, tried new recipes, learned to play the ukulele, dedicated more time to my plants. But most importantly, I have been able to FaceTime my family every day.

What motivates you to stay active during quarantine?

For me, staying active and doing exercises keeps my mind at ease and helps me deal better with what’s happening in the world today.

What is your go-to playlist?

I am obsessed with the The 1975. I listen to their last two albums almost every day. But before ballet, I like to listen to “Boleros de Los Panchos” playlist on Apple Music.

What advice do you have for Joffrey fans who are bored during this theatre downtime?

Keep an eye on the Joffrey Ballet’s social media. They have been sharing great content of Joffrey Ballet’s past performances and take a look at “On Cue” with our ballet master, Adam Blyde, to learn more about the company dancers.

A Special Thanks to Valentino Moneglia Zamora and The Silverman Group for the exclusive interview and images.

Victoria Jaiani and Valentino Zamora Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

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