A Passion For The Work

In reaching the top, how much is talent and how much is sweat?
Talent may give you a momentary success, but if you want a sustained career, you have to work very, very hard at it.

Who is your toughest critic?
I am!

Are you superstitious?
Not at all. I once worked with someone who was superstitious, and it seemed to be such a complete waste of time.

What’s the toughest part of being a dancer?

Injuries, those unexpected accidents that throw your career into hold. But I’ve learned a lot from them. They’ve forced me to

reanalyze my technique, find new teachers who could help me throughand discover alternative approaches to recovery.

And the least glamorous?

When you’re traveling the world and you’ve done a fantastic show and you’re laden with flowers, and you walk back to a lonely hotel room, to room service and TV in a language you don’t understand. That’s a hard comedown.

What’s your biggest indulgence?
High-heeled shoes. I just love them. They make legs look amazing, and it’s great to step into a room and be so many inches taller than normal.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how nervous are you before a performance?
I’d say I’m a 5; really not too nervous. I rehearse a hell of a lot, and that gives me a certain assurance that I’ve done everything I possibly can to prepare.

If you weren’t dancing what would you like to do?
To write. It’s something I dream of.

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Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

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