Dear Katie: What Can I Do Now to Make My Dreams of Becoming a Choreographer a Reality?
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
While I love dancing, I think my real dream is to direct a dance company of my own. I'm only 16, but what can I do at this point to start making that dream a reality?
Good for you! Not many people have that dream so early in life. Knowing what you want at a young age is a gift in itself.
The thing to understand is that dance companies aren't just about dance—they're also businesses. That means, as a company director, you'll probably be involved in things like marketing, budgeting, and hiring, in addition to your duties as an artistic leader. So on top of your dance training, I'd suggest taking a few business-related classes, if you have the time and funds. You might want to consider pursuing a business or arts administration degree in college, too.
Bigger picture, think past your dancing. Are you good at making difficult decisions? Do you know how to speak in front of people? Do you understand how to promote a brand? If so, you already have many of the qualities that make for a strong company director. If not, now's the time to start developing those qualities.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.