When New York City Ballet soloist Savannah Lowery was growing up, jazz class was playtime. “Ballet was always my thing, but as a kid, jazz was an opportunity to let loose and have a little fun,” she says.
Though her jazz schedule slowed down a bit as her ballet career accelerated, Lowery has started taking jazz class again. “Initially I came back to it because I was looking for a chance to get away from pointework for a while and literally let my hair down,” she says. “And I knew it was great for stamina. By the end of a long jazz combination, I’m usually on the floor!” Now Lowery takes jazz class whenever she can, sometimes twice a week during NYCB’s off-season.
She’s been surprised to find that training in jazz has enriched her work with NYCB, too. “It’s helped me with the theatrical side of dancing,” Lowery says. “I like to take Stephen Harding’s class at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center because he pushes me in that aspect. Most of his combinations are about conveying a message or character as well as getting through a set of steps. I’m more comfortable now with acting silly, cute, even evil.”