Silas Farley Talks city.ballet.

Can't get enough of city.ballet.? Every Monday, we'll be posting a new interview with a different cast member from the AOL On docu-series about New York City Ballet. This week, we talk to corps member Silas Farley, who found out on-camera that he'd be joining NYCB .


Most dancers have no trouble expressing themselves with their bodies, but aren't nearly as comfortable doing so with their mouths. Silas Farley is one of the few who seems to be equally adept with words and movement—which is why he's a breakout star of city.ballet. In Episode 2: Apprentices, and Episode 3: Corps de Ballet, we watch him eloquently describe his feelings as he waits to hear whether he'll be making the jump from apprentice to full company member. (Non-spoiler alert: He does.)

"While a lot of us in the company have very similar stories, not a lot of us like to use words," he says. "But I've always loved to talk! My entire family is very chatty and gregarious. So to be one of the few people chosen to speak on behalf of the dancers—if I can shed any light on what it really means to be in this company, I count that as a great honor."

Episode 3 shows Farley's reaction immediately after receiving his corps contract ("Glory, hallelujah!") and a joyful phone conversation discussing the news with his father. None of that, he says, was staged. "You know, at first I was like, whoa, these are very personal moments to share with a lot of people," he says. "But in hindsight, to have that captured on film—that's priceless. It's an unadulterated, absolutely real documentation of a huge milestone."

Why does he think dancers will benefit from a series primarily targeted at non-dancers? "One, because they've been there," he says. "Two, because they know who these people are already! You get to see Ashley Bouder's apartment and find out what kind of seltzer Sara Mearns drinks! In all seriousness, I think dancers will find particular joy in seeing what it's really like to be part of this company—to see that it's both an exalted artistic endeavor and a job."

Watch the full city.ballet. series at

Latest Posts

xmb photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

What she's always working on: Strengthening her glute-hamstring connection (the "under-butt" area), which provides stability for actions like repetitive relevés and power for jumps. Bridges are her go-to move for conditioning those muscles. "Those 'basic food group'–type exercises are some of the best ones," she says.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Hiding Injuries: Why Downplaying Pain Can Lead to Bigger Problems Down the Road

Sabrina Landa was thrilled to be offered a traineeship with Pennsylvania Ballet. "As a trainee, everything felt like a chance to prove myself as a professional," she says. Her training hours increased and she was dancing more than she ever had before. When Landa began experiencing pain in her metatarsals partway through the 2018 Nutcracker season, she notified the staff. "But in fear of losing my shows, I downplayed the severity of it," Landa says.

She notes that no one pushed her to keep dancing but herself. "I was 18 and was aiming to receive a contract by the end of the year," she says. "I felt so much anxiety over missing an opportunity that I was afraid to be honest about my pain." Pennsylvania Ballet's artistic staff were understanding and supportive, but Landa minimized her injury for the next few months, wanting to push through until the season ended and contracts were offered. But after months of pain and an onset of extreme weakness in her foot, Landa was diagnosed with two stress fractures in her second and third metatarsals. She spent the next three months on crutches and six months off dancing to allow for the fractures' delayed healing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Skjalg Bøhmer Vold, Courtesy Merritt Moore

How Quantum Physicist Ballerina Merritt Moore Learned to Dance With a Robot (Plus, Her Newest Film)

When the world went into lockdown last March, most dancers despaired. But not Merritt Moore. The Los Angeles native, who lives in London and has danced with Norwegian National Ballet, English National Ballet and Boston Ballet, holds a PhD in atomic and laser physics from the University of Oxford. A few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, she came up with a solution for having to train and work alone: robots.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks