By now you're probably addicted to the new ballet reality show "Breaking Pointe," which follows Ballet West. In the first episode our hearts broke as we watched Ballet West II dancer Katie Martin learn she wouldn't receive a company contract for the 2012-2013 season. As is usual with ballet contracts, she'll be finishing out the current season with Ballet West. But don't expect her to be moping around on "Breaking Pointe"--you'll see her auditioning and bouncing back. We caught up with Katie to learn more about what it's like to star in one of the summer's hottest shows.
Dance Spirit: What was filming like?
Katie Martin: Filming was really cool. You feel like a celebrity because there are at least three cameras on you at all times. I’ve gained a pretty large fan base, and they’ve been really supportive.
DS: Do you feel like you have been accurately portrayed on the show?
KM: The producers have done a fantastic job portraying who I am and what I stand for--especially how I’ve handled a lot of difficult situations.
DS: Did you have any idea that you wouldn't receive a contract?
KM: I didn't know anything officially, but I had a gut feeling that I might not get one. What you saw on TV was me finding out for the first time.
DS: What has it been like to go through this difficult time on TV?
KM: It's so hard! I cried with my mom watching the first episode. We both sat on the couch with a box of tissues. But I feel like all the press interviews have been really helpful. They've been like a bunch of "dear diary" moments. I've been forced to talk about the experience and how I've really been feeling.
DS: Do you think "Breaking Pointe" is an accurate portrayal of what it's like to be in a ballet company?
KM: "Breaking Pointe" does a great job showing America that ballet dancers are true athletes who work very hard. Of course, everyday life isn't as dramatic as the show, but when you're creating a television episode and all the filming is packed into one hour, it gets that way. Plus, ballet is a dramatic art. It's all about beating out every girl in the room.
DS: What has the audition process been like?
KM: It’s been really difficult—it’s not something any ballerina ever wants to go through. I was gone almost every weekend auditioning! I can’t talk about the outcome of the auditions at the moment, but it was ultimately a positive experience.
DS: How has the show affected your relationships with the other dancers?
KM: Thankfully I’ve been portrayed very nicely (I promise I really am a nice person!), but if anything my relationships have gotten stronger. It’s been really positive for [my boyfriend] Ron and me. It’s fun to hear him talk about me on the show, and we’ve gotten closer from seeing on screen how we actually feel about each other. Becks [Beckanne Sisk] is still my best friend and Ron’s still my boy.
DS: What is your dream role?
KM: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake or Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. I love a tragedy!
DS: Where do you hope to be in five years?
KM: I hope to be at least a soloist in a major ballet company. And I would love to be in Europe. I want to have built a substantial ballet career.
DS: What's your advice for Dance Spirit readers who aspire to professional ballet careers?
KM: My advice is to keep plugging away. You need to be able to look in the mirror at the end of each day and say, "I am beautiful. I can conquer anything. I can do this." Don't lose your confidence.
DS: Do you have an acting career ahead of you?
KM: I would love to have an acting career! No one's contacted me yet, but I would definitely be interested. Be sure to put that in.