Reverence: Precision and Power

Which ballet character do you feel is most like you?
Liberty Bell, from Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes. It’s closest to my personality—bright, full of power and lots of energy.

What is your hidden talent?
Skiing! My parents took me when I was 3 and since then I’ve been going on a family trip every year, so I’ve gotten really good at it.

Do you like high heels or sneakers?
High heels. I love wedge sneakers, too, but not normal sneakers.

If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?
A figure skater. I have the qualities they need, like a high jump and flexibility, so I think I would be good at it.

What was your worst onstage nightmare?
My debut as Kitri in Don Quixote. On my first entrance, I threw my fan on the floor! I was shocked for a second, but I just kept going like nothing was wrong, and my friend picked it up and gave it to me pretty quickly. A lot happened in my head, but everything was fine.

What is your favorite costume?
A Le Corsaire tutu made by my teacher back home in Japan, who’s very good at creating costumes. I am actually into sewing and making costumes—I make my own tiaras—but a tutu is quite hard, so there are a lot of things I need to learn.

What is your go-to dance snack?
A protein bar and Coca-Cola.

What’s the toughest part of being a dancer?
Dealing with the drama and stress that dance puts on the body—and sewing pointe shoes.

What would you take with you on a desert island?
An iPad for Netflix, sushi and an unlimited amount of Coca-Cola. And a yacht in case I get bored of the island. P

Latest Posts


Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

2020 Stars of the Corps: The Joffrey Ballet's Dara Holmes

A seasoned dancer, Dara Holmes' career with The Joffrey Ballet has consisted of a lot of heavy lifting in the ensemble. "As a new company member, I was onstage all the time," says Holmes, 28. "The older you get, the more you start to appreciate your body and want to preserve it. If I want to keep dancing and do bigger roles, I need to be healthy."

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Jeremy Kyle, Courtesy Laubacher

My First Month as a Professional Dancer in the Age of COVID-19

I moved to Eugene, Oregon, in August, brimming with nerves and excitement to launch my career as an aspirant with Eugene Ballet. After months of quarantining at home in Pittsburgh because of the coronavirus lockdown, transitioning to my new life on the West Coast marked a rapid shift. But in time, it granted me newfound feelings of security. For starters, the ritual of filling up my water bottle, packing my shoes and leotard, putting up my hair and walking into the studio reintroduced a much needed flow of normalcy into my life.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks