What We Learned from "city.ballet." Season 2, Episode 10

Season 2 of “city.ballet.”—the AOL On series that gives an insider’s look at New York City Ballet—is live now! We’re recapping one episode per week. Watch all 12 at dancemagazine.com

Ballet dancers' lives look glamorous on the surface. But being in a major company actually requires a ton of hard work. How do professional dancers deal with the day-in, day-out grind of classes and rehearsals? That's what episode 10 of "city.ballet" investigates: the stuff that keeps New York City Ballet members inspired and motivated. Here are five things we learned from the ep.

NYCB dancers in company class (still from "city.ballet.")

1. NYCB company class is fascinating. There's nothing like watching some of the world's greatest artists—and, let's not forget, athletes—put their bodies through their paces. The exposed nature of ballet class reveals both their superhuman-ness (how does she move that quickly?) and their humanness (oh hey, she struggles with attitude turns too!).

2. A healthy nondance life is one of the keys to a successful dance life. "I think it's really important not to think about work all the time," says soloist Lauren Lovette, who stays inspired by taking an art class in her spare time. Corps member Silas Farley (who, by the way, got into Harvard as well as NYCB—no biggie) finds an outlet in his religious faith. And fellow corps dancer Mary Elizabeth Sell expresses herself through poetry.

3. Ballet holds dancers to an impossible standard—but that's inspiring, not discouraging. "We go into the studio every day trying to achieve something that's unattainable: balletic perfection," Farley says. "And you're never gonna get there. But the fact that you never get there is not a reason to turn back. It's rather the motivation—the knowledge that there's always more to learn, and there's always more room to grow."

4. A ballet career is like a long-term love affair. In ballet, just as in love, "the more you care, the more the little things are upsetting," Sell says. "But people always say you have to take that risk in love, because it's better to have a broken heart than to have never loved."

5. GORGEOUS TIARA ALERT. At 5:20. So sparklyyyyyy!

Click the image below to watch the full episode.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search