Sascha Radetsky is undeniably magnetic. His effortless grace in turns and vaulting leaps and crush-worthy good looks (not to mention his star role as Charlie Sims in 2000’s Center Stage) make him the idol of many young dancers. His training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre’s School of Classical Ballet with Mikhail Baryshnikov led him to a soloist position at ABT in 2003. There, the California-born dancer stepped into some great ballet roles, including Espada in Don Quixote and the second sailor in Fancy Free, as well as numerous works by contemporary choreographers. Sascha departed his position with ABT to join the Dutch National Ballet in September. —Ariel White
So you need some advice? What, you think I’ve matured and grown wiser over the last decade and a half? All right, for starters, I’d say you should stop stressing about your tours en l’air to the left—you’ll never have to do them onstage. And you might as well just accept your make-up application deficiencies since these skills will forever elude you. You like your hair in a mohawk or buzz cut? Get those urges out of your system now, because apparently princes and pirates wore their hair long and sort of puffy.
Oh, you want advice that’s a little more profound, expansive and heartfelt? I’ll tell you this: You should enjoy your time as a dancer because these careers are short-lived. Savor your moments on stage; relax and soak it all in. Take pleasure in moving through well-crafted choreography. Don’t sweat the small mistakes—they’re part of your development as an artist. Let the unique camaraderie of kindred spirits give strength to your performances. Remember that to dance at your best, you need to purge your mind of petty doubts and distractions. While this is no simple feat, it can be achieved through an awareness of the transient nature of this career.
The path you’re setting foot upon won’t always be smooth. Try to keep things in perspective. There’s an entire world out there beyond the little bubble that is ballet. Break free of that bubble from time to time, and you’ll evolve both as an artist and human being. Have faith that despite the ups and downs and inherent hairdo limitations, this course you’ve chosen can be beautifully rewarding.