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 email@example.com 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.
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB 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!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers