A Dancer's Debut with New York City Ballet

When she was 12 years old, Shoshana Rosenfield was a candy cane in New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker. It was a memorable experience for the aspiring ballerina. “All of my idols were right there, a couple feet from us,” Shoshana says. “Right after I performed, I’d find a spot in the wings to watch. I got the best seat in the theater.” Now, Shoshana is performing with NYCB again--this time, as a company member! Shoshana, who was an NYCB apprentice last year, made her debut two weeks ago dancing in Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons. DS talked to Shoshana about her first performance and her experiences as a new member of NYCB's corps de ballet. —Katie Rolnick


Dance Spirit: How did you react when you found out you’d been promoted to full company member?
Shoshana Rosenfield: All the apprentices found out at the same time, which was really nice. There were a lot of hugs and tears. It was sheer happiness and excitement.


DS: What did it feel like stepping out on the stage for the first time as part of the corps?
SR: It was incredible! I came off afterward and was riding a high for hours. I couldn’t stop smiling.


DS: What has been most surprising about being a company member?
SR: It was really different to come and look at the casting. There’s a spot on the board for corps members and different spot for apprentices. I looked for my name under apprentices and it wasn’t there.


DS: What was your favorite part of your apprentice year?

SR: We started out with Nutcracker, then we went right into winter season, which last year was almost all full length ballets, so we were on stage almost every night. We got a lot of performance experience. My favorite ballet was Symphony in Three Movements. It was the first ballet that we did after winter season. It’s Balanchine and was more modern than the full length ballets. The music is so inspiring and such an adrenaline rush.


DS: What ballets are you most looking forward to dancing?
SR: I’m really looking forward to Nutcracker again. We perform it 48 times, so you know that you'll be on stage every night. And Snow and Flowers are really dancing parts. I think Swan Lake is coming back in winter season and I love that classic ballet. That’s actually one of my dream roles, Odile/Odette.


DS: Which company member do you look up to as a role model?
SR: I love Wendy Whelan. I think she’s just incredible. She really goes for everything. And she’s not typecasted, she does all ballets. That’s the dream: You want to be able to be a chameleon and do everything.


DS: What advice do you have for aspiring ballerinas?
SR: Pursue your dreams, follow your heart, keep dancing and everything works out the way it should.


Catch Shoshana and her fellow newly-minted corps members, including DS cover couple Lauren Lovette and Taylor Stanley, in NYCB's fall season at Lincoln Center, which runs through October 10.


Pictured: Shoshana Rosenfield rehearsing the "Russian Girl" in Serenade for the 2009 SAB Workshop Performances. Photo by Erin Baiano.

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