Troy Ogilvie has impeccable ballet technique and an angelic face. So when she shoots into angular, swooping, erratic movement—a characteristic style of today’s downtown NYC dance scene—it’s both a shock and a delight. Troy’s a favorite of Andrea Miller, artistic director of Gallim Dance, and Sidra Bell of Sidra Bell Dance New York, often taking center stage in their creations. “Her focus is alive and intentional,” says Bell, who has worked with Troy since 2007. “Her performance is always dynamic, and she investigates every part of the material she’s given. That makes her work wonderfully layered.”
A native of Piscataway, NJ, Troy, who’s now 25, started taking ballet, tap and jazz lessons when she was 3 years old. At 9, she joined the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble (NJDTE), which provided diverse opportunities: Troy performed in NJDTE’s Nutcracker and took classes with modern dance masters, including Robert Battle and Martha Graham Dance Company members.
At 11, Troy decided she needed more intense ballet training, so she enrolled in Princeton Ballet School (PBS). When she first started at PBS, Troy thought she wanted to be a ballerina. But after two high school summers at Juilliard workshops in NYC, that all changed. Troy moved toward contemporary dance and ultimately enrolled at the prestigious college.
Troy’s time at Juilliard provided useful practical lessons, from constructing a manageable schedule to working one-on-one with choreographers. More important, it taught her how to find ways—whether in class, rehearsal or onstage—to assert her independence. “You’re in charge,” she says, “from how you execute a tendu to choosing your friends.”
This thoughtfulness marks her dancing today. Troy says she’s interested in work that questions assumptions or provides a new perspective on things she thought she knew. “Andrea [Miller] puts phrases next to each other that, dance-wise, you wouldn’t consider logical,” Troy says.
Though Troy looks forward to taking on new projects and teaching in the future, right now she’s riding this wave: In January, she’ll perform at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in a combined program featuring both Gallim Dance and Sidra Bell Dance New York. She says, “I’m excited to see what life brings me.”
Birthday: January 31, 1985
Fave Food: Peaches in the summer
Fave Movies: Toy Story 3, Cinema Paradiso, Big Fish
Fave Dance Flick: The Turning Point
Fave Books: War and Peace, Orlando