Dancer to Dancer

Tiler Peck on What It's Like to Debut as Odette/Odile

Tiler Peck and Chase Finlay in Swan Lake (photo by Paul Kolnik)

For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.

Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.


What's it like to dance a coveted role you never believed you'd get a shot at? Peck, who made her Odette/Odile debut on September 27, just opened up about the surreal, and deeply fulfilling, experience on her blog for Body Wrappers.

"The emotions I felt before, during, and after my performance were immense and unlike anything I have ever experienced," she writes. "New York City, I was overwhelmed by the love I felt from you; I could honestly feel you with me the entire time....I am so happy that [NYCB ballet master in chief] Peter Martins decided to give me the chance to let my dancing speak instead of my height."

Read the whole post—which includes gorgeous photos of Peck in swan mode by former NYCB soloist Craig Hallhere. Then click over here to hear from four other dancers about the first time they danced their dream roles.

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