Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anyway he said things look really good. He removed the tape my doctor had put on the incision last week and the wound is pretty much healed. It still looks kind of gross, but it's way better than the past times I've had to look at it. The bruising is less and the nasty blood stains are gone (ewww). He did some handwork around it to start "molding the scar tissue" so that it doesn't make my ankle joint stiffen up. Then he dug into my calf a little to find that yes, it's still ridiculously tight even though I haven't been dancing. Guess I was just born with tight muscles, haha.
He tested my range of motion and was pleasantly surprised that it was "scarily good." (It probably doesn't help - or does? - that I've been semi-dancing/marking steps in the boot while teaching rehearsals this week...) He said I was only missing like 5 degrees of flexibility when I point or flex my foot. I was happy to hear that! Although, that's not saying much considering my good foot doesn't point like a pretty ballet arch to begin with, haha. Whatever.
For another week or two we'll continue just gentle stretching and working around the scar. After I see my doctor in October we'll finally begin strengthening so I can get back to dancing. He said best case would be that I can start taking basic barre 3 weeks after we start strengthening...but seriously, if I'm out of the boot 2 weeks from now and can stand and plie decent enough, I may try a little barre. There's no sense in pushing it because I have no auditions or anything officially scheduled til my official 3 months are up. But I really really really miss dancing...
It was cool though - as my therapist was poking around my heel there was NO pain! It was an odd feeling to see him pressing on the areas that used to feel excrutiating for 3 years and now to feel absolutely nothing. It was like I was numb or something because I'm so used to seeing that and associating it with the intense pain that used to be there. I hope it stays that way forever!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
|Photo by Lee Cherry|
Read my interview below with Ellenore about her recent gigs, the importance of finding an agent, and her struggle with injuries (we share the same doctor!).
You've had a whirlwind couple of years with amazing dance gigs! What have been some of the highlights for you?
My time on “So You Think You Can Dance?” was a magical and amazing experience. I had a blast and it let me to do so many different things! After SYTYCD, I had the pleasure of working with Adam Shankman on the 82nd Anuual Academy Awards, which was brilliant! Since then I worked on the soap opera “One Life to Live” as a principal dancer and am now dancing for Janet Jackson.
Let's talk Janet Jackson. What was that audition process like? How did you feel when you got the job?
The Janet Jackson audition was like no other audition I have done before. I reminded me of what auditions used to be like back in the day. Girls lining up out side the studio with full make-up and hair done, holding headshots and resumes in the rain for 3 hours just to be seen. It was very surreal. Once all the dancers were in we didn't even get to dance! First cut was appearance only...what a shocker! The next two rounds of callbacks consisted of learning a very girly routine as well as Rhythm Nation, which for me was amazing. I have been watching Janet Jackson music videos since I was 8! It was a pleasure just to learn four eight-counts from the choreography. Ms. Jackson came in at the last round to hand pick some dancers she wanted to see. When I got the phone call I got the job, I flipped out! I started to cry! I called my mom and told her and my dad and they were both so proud! I was a great moment in my dance career.
|Ellenore, right, with Janet Jackson!|
For about a month we work everyday [no days off!] for 8-10 hours a day learning all of the choreography. We were performing at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and she had a set list of 36 songs, 30 dance songs. So we had to learn 30 of Ms. Jackson iconic singles in the month! Talk about crazy! We had to learn and perfect about 1-2 dances a day. I have never been pushed so far in a physical sense and mentally as well. Ms. Jackson was very kind to all the dancers, taking us all out to dinner or bowling for someones birthday, always being very gracious in rehearsals. It was an amazing experience. Next stop for me and the Janet Crew in Shanghai, China in 2011!
You were a hit on SYTYCD! How did that help your career?
Gosh, I'd have to say that show single-handedly jumpstarted my dance careers. Before the show I was dancing with small dance companies here and there, but wasn't getting anything big time. I sent my headshots and resumes to different talent agencies in the city but nobody responded to me. The minute I got off the show and headed back to the Big Apple, I had a agent and I was booking jobs. It was so different for me! And now anytime I go to an audition, at least one person will come up to me and say, “Are you Ellenore from SYTYCD?” It an awesome feeling that people watched the show and enjoyed what I did on that stage.
How did you signing with an agent come about? How is that beneficial to your career?
Yes, I am currently now with MSA Talent Agency and they are great! Lucille, the head of the Dance Department, contacted me directly after the show. Many of the Alums from SYTYCD work with MSA, but most of the dancers are in LA. Since being with MSA I have been working non-stop! I love being with an agency because they find auditions they I probably never even heard of! I've danced for a Japanese Chocolate commercial, Propel Water commercial, Macy's live event, you name it! At least with MSA they treat me like family, which is so great in this industry. They really have helped me since the show and I love them for that!
Have you struggled with any injuries in your dancing? How have you overcome them?
I had my first surgery on my left knee. It was awful. I thought I'd never be able to walk again. With the help of Dr. Rose and the the physical therapists at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, I had arthroscopic non-invasive surgery and was healed within five weeks after the surgery! My latest injury I have sustained was from SYTYCD. During the Machine Gun piece with fellow dancer Legacy, I feel on my right shoulder and almost dropped out of the competition. After taking one day off the rehearsals, one of the producers got me an appointment with a nearby doctor that treated my pain temporarily. Because of that I got to finish my run on the show. However, it did not fix the problem. My shoulder still hasn't gotten better and I've been having pain for about a year. I recently had another surgery on my right shoulder, again by Dr. Rose, and I am in recovery now. All I have to say is be preventative, exercise regularly outside of dancing and always eat right. And if you do get an injury that technically isn't your fault [like falling out of a chair!] then don't beat yourself up. It can be fixed through proper care and seeing a doctor.
Who have been the greatest influences on your dance career? How have they helped you?
Any advice to young dancers looking to enter the commercial dance world?
The best advice I can give is try to get an agent. As crazy and hard as that sounds I bet if you send in a headshot and resume and a reel of you dancing with an interest in that particular agency, they will be more inclined to ask to meet with you. Also, take class with different people as much as you can. I know a lot of dancers that have gotten work from a teacher they took with at Broadway Dance Center or Steps. And when you are at an audition let your true personality shine through. In the commercial world choreographers and producers are looking for good dancers, but they are also looking for dancers that know how to perform and put on a show!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
• Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM
• Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 6:00 PM
• Friday, October 1, 2010, at 6:00 PM, and
• Saturday, October 2, 2010, at 2:00 PM
"Autumn Crossing" is commissioned by Friends of the High Line and presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. All performances are free and no RSVP required.
Monday, September 27, 2010
At home I've started taking the boot off to walk around and that seems to be going okay, sort of. My ankle joint is super stiff and it starts to hurt if I fully roll through my foot as I walk. But...it's getting there. It's supposed to be at least another week before I try to go boot-less.
In the meantime I'm getting very restless. I want to dance SO badly! I've been sitting in on rehearsals for Nutcracker and for our November show at Ailey and I've been standing to do arms and mark the legs of choreography, but it's SO tempting to just dance! Saturday I accidentally sort of jumped on the bad foot - stupid - and that was the end of that. I think even when I'm out of the boot I may still have to wear it in rehearsals for a while to force me not to do things!
I start PT on Wednesday and depending on what he says, I may try to start back with my yoga as much as I can (maybe no standing poses...). I miss moving. My body feels sort of weird...I feel sort of loose and mushy from not working my muscles, but at the same time my back and hips ache as if I've had a tough class. Strange.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Read my interview with Alice about the switch from ballet to modern below.
What's it like dancing with Hubbard Street 2? What does your typical schedule look like?
Working at Hubbard is an inspiration everyday. Just the energy in the building is enough to get me thrilled for the dancing that is to be done. Everyone is dedicated and excited about what goes on at HSDC and because of this there is a collective commitment and drive to do great work. This atmosphere encourages artists to fearlessly take dance to the next level. A typical day with HS2 includes a morning ballet class with the main company beginning at 10 and then rehearsals from 11:35 – 6 with a lunch break at 2. It’s a full day but the time flies as there is always much to be done.
How often and in what respect do you get to work with the main company? What is that like?
When we are not touring, the second company and the main company take class together everyday. These classes are wonderful learning experiences for me as each and every Hubbard dancer is uniquely gifted. Each has their own way of preparing for a day of rehearsals. Observing this has helped me immensely, not only on a technical level but also with figuring out how to prepare my body through classical from to rehearse work that is often far from balletic.
Each year the second company performs with the main company during one of their home seasons. Last year's performance was quite an experience as there is a certain artistic potency that only exists on stage and for the two companies to experience that together was a lovely thing. We also performed together in an event called Inside/Out, which is a yearly show composed of works that the dancer’s choreograph on each other.
What are some of your favorite things you've danced with HS2?
I must say that the duet "I can see myself in your Pupil" choreographed by Andrea Miller is particularly fun for me to dance as it is very physical, rather crazy, and character driven. I like dancing things that require me to use all that I have, that demand 100% and nothing less. Those pieces are always an adventure.
You came from a ballet background - how has that helped (or not helped) the adjustment to more modern/contemporary work?
Interesting question, for I must admit that when I first arrived here I was very frustrated with certain aspects of my balletic training that were getting in the way of the choreography. Honestly though, without my ballet training I may never have been hired by Hubbard. I was not an impressive modern dancer, so ballet and repertoire were the vehicles through which I showed my character, my work ethic, and my personal artistry. Working here I have had to focus on reprogramming myself to respond to movement in a more grounded fashion, to be stronger, more powerful and more honest. This is a continuing project of mine, one I am enjoying exploring.
What are some of your dance goals for the future? Do you hope to stay with Hubbard Street?
I find I have a difficult time setting goals as far as my future is concerned for both the dance world and I as an artist are ever shifting entities. To be vague but truthful my goal is to continue to dance professionally, to do good work, and to feel fulfilled and happy about my contributions to the planet. I would be thrilled if that meant staying at Hubbard Street. If it does not, then I shall take whatever step seems most appropriate and continue to enjoy life.
Friday, September 24, 2010
It was a momentous occasion :) Those things have been slowly killing me, one day at a time, making life in this city miserable. 3 days after the doctor said I could slowly wean myself off of them, they're long gone! I'm happy.
I'm still in the giant, heavy boot and I still walk super slow and can't really do stairs well, but it's so much better than before. I have to wear a really high shoe on my right foot though to balance out the giant-ness of the boot. It's kind of awkward to walk but...at least I can. I was a little afraid I'd go one day and be like, uh oh, still need them. The foot doesn't really hurt without them, but my calf is a little twingy and if I go far I start to feel it. It's better than the serious arm and back pain I was having earlier this week!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday I took a fiction class, and last night was memoir writing. I LOVED it and really want to write a memoir of some of my dancing in New York City experiences - although I'm not sure anyone will want to read it, haha. She emphasized that you don't have to be famous to write a memoir. But, um, you sort of have to be famous to sell books about yourself, haha. Oh well - while I have less time dancing and more time for writing during my recovery I may try to start something for the fun of it.
In the class we had to make a list of five firsts. They could be anything. Then we later chose one and wrote about it. Since it's been on my mind lately, I wrote about my first major paycheck for dancing. And I actually volunteer to read it to the class - which I don't think I've EVER done in my educational life, haha. I figured I should get as much as I could out of the 1 hour free class, since I won't be able to take the full 6-week course like I want to. I know I'm the most gigantic dork ever, but I desperately miss being in school. I love learning and discussing and hearing other people's points of views about things. Especially in a writing class, it's fascinating to me to see how 10 different people can take the same assignment and come up with such drastically different and interesting things.
Anyway, I thought I'd share mine here...
It came in a purple-speckled envelope marked "MSG." B. handed it to me and I saw my name and new upper-west side address peeking through the plastic window. I couldn't tear it open fast enough. There were bumpy perforated edges on 3 sides but I ripped just one (not neatly) and peeked inside. Everyone around me was doing the same.
$000! Oh my God! I hadn't made that much money in my entire 20-year life combined to that point. Here I was dancing in rehearsals for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular for just half a week and I got my first professional union pay check. As if the music, the Broadway roster of co-workers, the gigantic stage, and the joy of dancing weren't enough.
The muscles in my cheeks twitched as I tried not to beam. They were all used to this kind of thing. Chatter about lunch and 4-show days and physical therapy trips went uninterrupted by pay day.
I sat in a split on the crunchy rug of our (less-than-glamorous) dressing room. The floot was hard, in the basement of a church, and uncomfortable to be on. my little green tennis ball smooshed the meat of my aching left calf to the sides as it massaged the muscle. With one hand I took a bite of my salad - the other dug into my right arch where the nail in my pointe shoe had scraped raw. The stench of overpowered the room.
"Oh honey," J. said, dumping Aleve into his mouth straight from the bottle. "They don't pay us enough for this."
I stifled a laugh. Was he kidding?!
"I know! This is only 1/2 a week we started with," complained one of the pretty blonde dancers whose name I couldn't remember.
"Don't worry - it doesn't include bear-head pay, sheep pay, overtime, holidays..." J. explained. "Once we get into shows you'll get more."
More? This was more than I could ever ask for.
"Hey Taylor it's C. calling from Radio City Music Hall. How are you? Please give me a call back as soon as humanly possible about the show..."
To this day I have the peppy voicemail saved on my phone. Completely out of the blue, after they had already told me they didn't have a job for me, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular called to hire me as an ensemble dancer in the New York show.
I will never forget that feeling - the rush of just "ahhh!" running through me as I sat at my internship desk at Sterling Publishing. I literally had to keep re-checking my phone's recent calls to make sure it really did happen.
I've been SO fortunate to dance 2 seasons with the show. It was the best time of my life, dancing up to 17 shows a week in a 6,000-seat theater with incredible cast members. I am grateful more than I can say for every day I spent there.
A part of me still secretly hopes they'll call me in the next month asking me to dance this year (despite, you know, the boot). :(
Here's my blog post from the day I got the call.
Here's my blog post from my very first day of rehearsals.
Here's my blog archive of all things RC.
That sparked me.
Why isn't there such a fund for injured dancers? I did some quick research this morning and found that yes, the big unions (Equity, AGMA) have some sort of emergency relief fund supposedly available to members, and there is a more recent Emergency Fund for Student Dancers that covers full-time students at a few New York City dance schools. And there's NYCB's Dancers Emergency Fund and a similar thing at ABT. And there are a whole slew of foundations for other art forms: music, literature, fine arts...
But for the loads of freelance dancers today - who are not provided with worker's compensation or health insurance - there are no resources. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think so. I'm not really looking for my own benefit at this point - the crutches are almost gone and life is getting easier (even though I won't be able to dance/make money from dancing for at least another 2 months). But isn't there a way to help other dancers who may go through major injuries and surgery like me?
I'm not sure how to go about this - in the past I've researched the process of starting a non-profit and it seems complicated and really time consuming. Time is NOT one of the things going for me at this point. I need to focus on work and getting back to dancing.
But injured dancers struggle. Especially in New York City, it's nearly impossible to get around without being forced to splurge on a taxi now and then. A trip to stay with family costs money (I'm fortunate to have family only a bus ride away in Boston, but others may need expensive plane fare). For those without health insurance it's an even worse financial struggle (again, I am fortunate. I'm still covered under my dad's insurance for a little bit longer). There has to be a way to help?
This is mostly a brainstorm at this point, but any ideas/advice are welcome!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
you MUST check it out if you're a dancer in New York City!
After work I went to help at Nutcracker rehearsal and actually sort of "danced" a little. By "danced" I mean I stood on the bad foot (yes, still in the boot...) and made passe' and that kind of thing, haha. I can't exactly move around swiftly (or quickly) but I can pose :) It felt good to do something resembling ballet, even if just briefly.
Later I was in a really inconvenient place to any bus I needed to take home to Queens, so I actually took the subway for the first time on the crutches. There was an elevator at the stop I was near, so that meant I'd just have to go down stairs only once when I arrive home to Queens. It wasn't so bad - and seemed lightning fast compared to the stupid buses I've been taking. But I'm not ready to do that all the time just yet. I'm so slow and I feel bad holding everybody else up in foot traffic. Plus the stairs sort of hurt and I already have to do 3 flights just to get up to my apartment. So...no more than necessary, please.
I really hate taking the bus in the morning, though. I often work at 8:30am in midtown. So yesterday for my first shot at rush hour on crutches from Queens I gave myself a ton of time, leaving the house at 6:55am (ugh). I ended up arriving 45 minutes early with nothing to do. So today I left at 7:15am. Bad idea. I was actually LATE for work by 15 minutes. Between normal traffic and the UN being in town, it was not fun. Plus the bus was overloaded with people and we had to stop to check the air pressure, haha. Great. Guess I'll have to keep getting up too early to get ahead of traffic.
In the meantime I set up my first PT session (well, first for this round) for next Wednesday afternoon. They have to go through the whole inital evaluation all over again, even though I'd been going there for over 3 months before the surgery. Whatever it takes - I just want to be back dancing!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This looks cool - and the company is run by Robin Cantrell, a dancer I worked with at Rebecca Kelly Ballet. They have shows this weekend, September 24th and 25th at Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn.
And look how cool the costumes are! There's an interview with more info on them here.
Tickets are only $10, but they're trying to raise money through Kickstarter. So if you pledge the $10 there you get a free ticket (ie. normal $10 price) PLUS a digital copy of the music score. So...I'd say that's the way to go.
At Perceptions Contemporary Dance Festival last Saturday, "contemporary" seemed to mean distraught intentions, audible breath, a pounding relationship with the floor, and loose, almost improvisational movements across the board. The program at Manhattan Movement Arts Center included 10 works by mostly emerging chorographers and concluded with a piece by Perceptions Contemporary Dance Company, the evening's host. As would be expected for this kind of mish-mash program, some were good and some...not so much.
Amidst a bit of what I call selfish dancing (overly long works that seem to be only for the benefit of the performers) a standout of the evening was "Hindered Souls" by Jeremy McQueen (disclosure: Jeremy was briefly one of my partners at Radio City). The pas de deux for he and Alexis Covento is loosely based on one of the most gorgeous scenes in classical ballet: the balcony pas de deux from "Romeo & Juliet." But, with the woman's arms bound tight in rope for most of it, there are few obvious visual connections.
The two begin with their backs to each to each other, McQueen still and Covento convulsing in attempt to free herself from the rope. In her efforts she falls forward hitting the floor. He turns. They dance together in grounded yet free movement, complementing each other well. She struggles with wrists connected. On the other hand, he can use his long arms to express emotion. In distress he clenches his fingers and holds his head. She has no such luxury but still manages to convey her feelings.
At the end she throws her tangled arms over his head in a strong embrace. A second later she's released with hands free. The rope lands on the floor. Love frees.
The final image is of him walking away rather abruptly, taking the rope with him as she reaches after him longingly. The literal representation of "Juliet's" bindings (be they cultural, ancestral, what have you) is highly effective even though it must restrict the dancing somewhat. McQueen has created an emotional pas de deux that makes you want to see more.
Other works on the program I'd like to see more of include Natalie Teichmann/ANAHATA Dance, TrioDance Collective, and LeeRoc Dance Project.
(Top Photo by Nick Verzilli)
Monday, September 20, 2010
This morning I had my first post-surgery follow-up appointment with my doctor – and it brought good news!
It was sort of a rough morning before that. It was my first day battling rush hour with the crutches and the buses…I didn’t realize JUST how slow things move. I was all stressed out because I was 15 minutes late (though this doctor notoriously runs at least 45 minutes behind schedule…) and then when I got there the receptionist didn’t have my appointment listed for some reason. I was like, um, I’m here…luckily there was no problem and I was actually seen pretty quickly.
The doctor removed the boot and the dressing and took a look. He said it seemed okay and he felt around a little bit. There was no pain where he used to push and I’d cringe – so that’s good! Then he removed the 3 stitches (ew) and taped up the wound a bit.
After that he sent me down the hall for an x-ray. He put my old x-ray with the Haglund’s Deformity and the new one from today up side by side and there’s a big difference in my heel bone. It no longer comes to a sharp point. It’s long and flat like it should be, so it won’t dig into my tendon anymore.
He told me I was doing great for just 2 weeks later, and said that I can start bearing full weight on the foot (which means a little break for my aching arms!). I said, “Still with the crutches?” and he said I could slowly wean myself off of them (hurrah!!!). I’m not entirely sure how slow “slowly” is…but he said if I’m up to it then I can remove the boot in another 2 weeks! Oh that will be amazing…
He gave me a prescription to start physical therapy again just to stretch it. Even the few times I took the boot off myself these 2 weeks I haven’t actually moved the ankle joint. Today he pointed my foot (success…though sadly it still not a pretty ballerina arch, haha) and then went to flex it. Eek. It wasn’t really painful, but it was super stiff. My knee was bent and I could barely get to a 90 degree angle comfortably, which means standing on it flat won’t really work just yet. PT will help I hope.
Anyways I left there with an appointment for a follow up in another 4 weeks, when he’ll start to add strengthening work to my physical therapy plan. That puts me at mid-October.
I’m happy. I was starting to really be afraid of getting around the city on the crutches and in the heavy boot…it’s really really hard. But to know that it’s only a week or so more with crutches and 2 with the boot is really encouraging! Even if I won’t be back to dancing for a while still, just being able to walk is something I miss dearly! We take it for granted but…
When I left I tried to bear weight as he told me and walk semi-normally with the crutches. It was so awkward. The back of my heel sort of feels numb or something because I haven’t used it in 2 weeks. And the boot has a gigantic platform, so if I step on a straight leg as I normally would I have to walk on high releve with my good foot, haha. Weird. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. My right foot sure is glad to have a break though!
It’s progress, anyway…
Read my interview with Katie about her first few weeks with the company below...Katie, we miss you in NYC!
My first few weeks here at Ballet West have been absolutely amazing, and I am so blessed to be dancing for such a fantastic company. I was pretty nervous about starting work, especially coming from a school environment, but the entire company has been so supportive and very welcoming. Like starting anything new, it’s been a huge adjustment. There have definitely been days that I felt completely overwhelmed, but I’m really just trying to absorb everything, find my stride, and take it one day at a time. The company has definitely been busy these first few weeks. I am just starting to get a taste of what life as a professional ballet dancer is like…and I love it!
What is your typical schedule like? How is it different from when you were training at Joffrey?
Here at Ballet West our day starts at 10am with company class. After class we have a 15-minute break before rehearsals start. Rehearsals then run for six hours from 11:45-2:45 and 3:45-6:45 with a lunch break in between. My personal schedule depends entirely on what we are working on that week. Some days I’ll work 5 or 6 hours while others I won’t have any rehearsals at all. While in New York my day was filled with class after class. I took a technique and pointe (or pas) class in the morning followed by another technique class in the afternoon. Then I would usually take yet another technique class later in the evening.
So far, how is this better or worse than when you started at Tulsa Ballet? Is it difficult to keep starting in new environments, or exciting?
My year in Tulsa Ballet’s second company was a big learning experience. However, starting here has been a vastly more positive experience. I believe it is so important to find a company that is a good fit for you and your dancing, and I felt right away that Ballet West was that place for me. It seems like a great place for me to grow as an artist and I really hope to be dancing here for many seasons.
What ballets are you performing or covering this season? What are you most looking forward to?
This season at Ballet West is full of fantastic ballets. We performed Balanchine’s Serenade in mid August in Chicago at the Chicago Dancing Festival, and I honestly could not have asked for a more amazing first show with the company! The season here in Salt Lake opens with a John Butler’s Carmina Burana and George Balanchine’s Four Temperaments. I am involved in both works and while Carmina is definitely an exciting ballet I have absolutely loved working on 4Ts. I am dancing Melancholic corps and covering Phlegmatic, and I adore both. Next in the season is the Nutcracker, which we are performing the entire month of December. I have always loved the Christmas season, and as a new company member I am beyond excited for the chance to dance so many performances. Following the Nutcracker we will be dancing The Sleeping Beauty. Then comes a triple bell with George Balanchine’s Chaconne, Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta, and Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero. We actually just started setting Sinfonietta this past week and I was surprised with how much fun I have had starting to learn the piece. Our season ends with an the Innovations program, which includes a mix of pieces from various choreographers as well as company members from Ballet West.
Apprentices are considered and are under contract as artists of the company just as corps members are. There are two apprentices this season and we work entirely with the main company and dance in all of the productions. Of course, we are at the bottom of the seniority totem pole. Ballet West II, while they perform with us for larger productions and pieces, also performs on their own. They actually are on their first official tour in Iowa right now.
What are your goals for this year?
It is interesting how my personal goals have evolved since starting here at Ballet West. In the past I always strived to train as hard as I could and eventually get a job in a professional ballet company. Now that I have crossed over into the professional world I have really had to consider what my aspirations are. This year I hope to establish myself and really find my stride in the company. I want to continue to push myself to work as hard as I can to continue to improve technically but as an apprentice I am also working to improve on the skills needed to be successful in a corps situation. I also hope to really dig into the work here and start to find myself as a professional dancer…as an artist. Eventually I hope to rise through the ranks and have a successful and fulfilling career dancing here.
Do you miss NYC and why?
I of course miss NYC! It truly is a city like no other and I have had nights that I miss it so much it hurts! As much as I am loving every minute of my new life here in Salt Lake City, I miss my friends in the city and the teachers at Joffrey more than I can say. There was nothing like being able to hop on the train and watch ABT or NYCB perform any night I choose or wonder through the village down to the Hudson River and then back up to Washington Square to listen to the musicians by the fountain. I miss those little things…the people, the noise, the life and excitement immeasurably. Still, we as dancers work for years with the goal of finding a job in the professional company. I never imagined I would have a career dancing in New York, so in retrospect I am just so glad I had the opportunity to live there for a time!
Katie and I (and Victoria :) in our Rock School days (circa 2005) on a trip to Central Park, NYC!