Reverence: Elegant Intensity

What does it take to be a successful leading ballerina?
It’s more than just dancing at a higher level. You have to remember it’s not only about you, even if you’re in the spotlight. You must share yourself with the whole company. You gather that energy so they’re involved with you, so there’s a dialogue. Then it becomes more real and exciting for the audience.

Is there anything about your body you’d change?
Basically I’m pretty happy, except I’m quite tall and it’s been a challenge to find the right partners. I’d hoped to dance Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew. Reid Anderson was staging it. He told me, “I love your dancing. I love your acting. But the way some of the pas de deux are choreographed, it would just be impossible.”

Do you have a dance idol?

Sylvie Guillem. She has a great sense of ease when she dances. I’d seen her dance in classical works before, but when I first saw her in a contemporary piece in my teens, she almost looked like a different dancer. Every movement, although abstract, made sense.


Any special pointe shoe tips?
I sew a yarn semi-circle around the front edge of the toe so that I don’t go over my shoes too far.

What’s your favorite relaxation?
I love cooking. When I’m at a restaurant and order something delicious I try to figure out the flavors. I go home and see if I can make it. But I don’t use recipes. That’s why I can’t bake.

Any private indulgences?
I have a weakness for handbags. I have quite a collection. My husband will ask, “You got a new bag?” and I’ll say, “No, I’ve had it a while. It’s just that you’ve never seen it before.”

How did becoming a mother affect your dancing?
Taking time off to have my daughter Ava, who’s now six, gave me a chance to reflect. It made me realize just how precious dancing is to me. Being a mom, having that responsibility, has made me more mature and true to myself as a ballerina.


 

Latest Posts


Photo by Christian Peacock, modeled by Carmela Mayo

3 Exercises for More Coordinated Pirouettes

Whether you're aiming for effortless pirouettes onstage or trying not to bump into furniture while training at home, we all want sailing, suspended turns. While many components go into a controlled pirouette—a powerful preparation, a balanced relevé, a stable core and well-placed arms—your whole body must be a strong, solid unit to maintain your position against gravitational and centrifugal forces as you turn.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

7 Eco-Friendly Choices Dancers Can Make to Green Up Their Lifestyles

Ballet dancers are known for their empathy and willingness to improve, so it is no surprise that many are educating themselves about the environment and incorporating sustainable habits into their lives. "I recently read that there are more microplastics in our oceans than there are stars in our galaxy. That really hit me," says American Ballet Theatre corps member Scout Forsythe, who has been making an effort to be more environmentally conscious.

Although no one can fix the climate crisis on their own, we can make small, everyday changes to help decrease waste, consumption and emissions. Here are some suggestions for dancers looking to do their part in helping our planet.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
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

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks