Meredith Webster

Meredith Webster (by RJ Muna)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet veteran Meredith Webster has a presence that goes beyond movement, filling not only the stage but the entire room with an energy that starts deep inside her core. Whether delicate and fluid or strong and aggressive, Webster’s dancing has a sense of grounded security that captivates.

Webster grew up in Manitowoc, WI, where she studied with Jean Wolfmeyer. She also trained at The Harid Conservatory and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and received a BS in environmental science from the University of Washington in 2003. While in college, she danced with Sonia Dawkins/PRISM Dance Theatre and Spectrum Dance Theater. In 2005 she joined LINES, where she continues to impress audiences today. —Nicole Bilbao


Dear Meredith,

I am lucky to say that looking back I have very few regrets. But even though I’ve definitely learned and hopefully evolved, I feel far from wise. Instead, the more life I experience, the more ambiguities I see—the more I realize I don’t know. So I don’t have a list of “dos and don’ts” for you. What I can do is tell you some of the things that are important to me now—things I’m still working on in life and in the studio. A person can get infinitely better at both living life and dancing…so really we’re both just starting out!

Webster's teenage audition photo (courtesy Webster)

Pirouettes and port de bras are worthy of study, but the skill I’ve found most valuable is listening. Listen before you speak. Listen to as much information from as many sources as you possibly can. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t formulate or stand up for your own opinions, but make sure you hear others’, too. Listen to your body. Become aware of its natural tendencies—even if you choose not to follow all of them.

Keep a balanced and broad perspective. Strive to understand yourself and your immediate surroundings ever more deeply. Challenge your boundaries and test your confidence. Respect your obligations and your roots, but cultivate your capacity for empathy, too. 

Give more. Increase your breadth, indulge your curiosity, hear more music, spend more time outdoors. In general, get bigger. The work we do in the studio and onstage is our way of connecting to a knowledge that is bigger than us. You actually already have access to this knowledge; if you keep listening, you will begin to hear it more and more clearly.



Latest Posts

Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Challenge Your Friends and Family to This TikTok Ballet Quiz

The latest popular TikTok dance challenge isn't the "Renegade," or set to "Savage," by Megan Thee Stallion—it's testing how much your friends and family really know about what you do in the studio all day.

TikTok user @kayausvlogs recorded herself asking her partner to guess what common ballet terms look like based on the way they sound. The results were...mixed, to say the least—and pretty hilarious. Naturally, the trend went viral, and now dancers everywhere are testing their friends and family and posting the results. Here are some of our favorites.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search