Lauren Lovette (photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy New York City Ballet)

Lauren Lovette Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

New York City principal Lauren Lovette has become an icon thanks to her emotional maturity and exceptional musicality. The 26-year-old quickly rose through the ranks after joining the company as an apprentice in 2009, reaching principal status in 2015. A Thousand Oaks, CA, native, Lovette started studying ballet seriously at age 11, at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. After attending two summer courses at the School of American Ballet, she enrolled as a full-time student in 2006. Last year, she made her choreographic debut with For Clara, her first piece for NYCB. Catch her latest work this month during the company's fall season. —Courtney Bowers


Dear little Lovette,

There are so many things I wish I could prepare you for—so many challenges and joys ahead! Little do you know how brave you're going to become. You're afraid of the camera now, you freeze in the spotlight, and you fear large groups of people. But I'm here to give you some wisdom and advice to get you through the next few years of your life.

You'll have to work harder than everyone else. You'll meet girls who are better than you and you'll be tempted to give up. Learn from those dancers. Stand next to them at the barre and absorb their work ethic.

(Photo by Ellen Crane, courtesy School of American Ballet)

Live life with an open hand, for what has been given to you can quickly be taken away. Roles aren't "yours," they're everyone's. Your health is a gift. The quicker you learn this, the better.

Learn how to give, even if it's helping your biggest competitor. Don't store up the things that keep you
sharp; share them with those around you. Who you are as a human being on this planet is far more important than how many pirouettes you can do.

Lovette at SAB in 2008, age 16 (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)

Don't live your life to check things off the list. Live each moment fully and feel things all the
way, even the painful moments. Enjoy the daily work, for in the work there is reward and deep satisfaction. Knowing you've done your best is the greatest peace a person can have.

Stop trying to force your life in one direction or another. Let it happen and live it as hard and as intensely as you can. Perform every time you dance and you'll never have regrets when you fall asleep.

Fall down. Get back up and try again.

Love,
LL

Latest Posts


Courtesy Hollywood Vibe

These Dance Comps and Conventions Are Coming to a Living Room Near You

While dancers all over the world are sharing the heartache of canceled classes, shows, and projects, our hearts hurt especially hard for a group of dancers we at Dance Spirit couldn't admire more: comp and convention kids. Determined to challenge your artistry and learn from cutting-edge faculty, you dancers normally brave crowded ballrooms and nonstop schedules all year long. But just because you might not be in one of those crowded ballrooms for a while doesn't mean that part of your dance life has to grind to a halt.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Tiler Peck

Tiler Peck's Top 10 Tips for Training at Home

On March 15, New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck announced to her 172,000-plus Instagram followers that she'd be teaching a live class from her family's home in Bakersfield, California, where she's currently waiting out COVID-19. Little did she know that she'd receive such a viral response. Since then, Peck has offered daily Instagram LIVE classes Monday through Friday at 10 am PST/1 pm EST, plus an occasional Saturday class and Sunday stretch/Pilates combo. "The reaction was just so overwhelming," she says. "These classes are keeping me sane, and giving me something to look forward to."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
An instructor from The Hive in Chicago leads class over Zoom (courtesy The Hive)

The Dance Student's Guide to Making the Best—and the Most—of At-Home Training

If you're social distancing to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19, you've inevitably realized that training safely and successfully at home poses a significant challenge. We talked to dance experts to find out how you can make the best of this less-than-ideal scenario—and about the unexpected ways it can help you grow as a dancer and artist.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
contest
Enter the Cover Model Search