Company Dancer at Ballet Arkansas / Ballet Teacher at Blackbird Academy of Arts
Originally from: Carmel, Indiana
How long living in Arkansas? I moved to Arkansas in 2014 to dance with Ballet Arkansas. This is my second season with the company.
When did you start dancing? I started dancing at the age of 3, when my parents took me to see a production of the Nutcracker. I saw the girls on stage dancing and told my mom I wanted to do that too!
What is your dance education background? I grew up dancing with Suzann Delay in Indiana where I had the opportunity to perform leading roles in many different ballets. I also performed at the Regional Dance America MidStates Festival and in Youth America Grand Prix. I went to college at the University of Utah where I received my BFA in Ballet Performance.
What made you want to be a professional dancer? There is no single moment I can think of - I have just never imagined myself doing anything else. My whole life has always been about dance, ballet specifically. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are performing, feeling all of the hard work come together into something beautiful that people can relate to.
What do you like most about teaching dance? It is so exciting when you see your students grow and improve. Knowing that I had something to do with that growth is so humbling. My favorite part is when they have an "Aha" moment, and you can see the corrections click in their minds and bodies. That's how you know you are doing your job. I also hope to inspire students to love dance and the arts. It is so important to keep the arts alive and the best way to do so is to pass on your own knowledge and passion to your students.
What is your favorite role you've danced in a ballet? My favorite role I have danced is Swanhilda in the ballet Coppelia. When I was a senior in college, a man named Rene Daveluy choreographed his own version of this comedic ballet, and I was cast in the lead role. It was the first time I really had to act on stage and carry a full-length ballet on my back. The choreography was challenging, as well as all different aspects of the character.
Which ballets do you most love to watch? I have two ballets I could watch over and over again. The first is Sleeping Beauty - I have always been absolutely mesmerized by this ballet. It requires perfect technique and I just love the story. The second is Don Quixote. This ballet is more sassy and exciting with lots of big jumps and partnering tricks.
Do you have a favorite quote? "Comparison is the thief of joy" by Theodore Roosevelt. I think it is so relevant to dance. It is important to try to not compare yourself to other people around you and to remember why you're doing it.