Skylar Brandt performing the Diamond Fairy variation in American Ballet Theatre's Sleeping Beauty (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy ABT)

American Ballet Theatre Soloist Skylar Brandt Talks Candy Crush, "Cheer," and Her Love of Pasta

If you want some serious practice-makes-perfect inspiration, look no further than American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt's Instagram (@skylarbrandt). In between gorgeous shots of the spirited ballerina onstage and goofy outtakes featuring her fellow ABT dancers, you'll find post after post of Brandt in the studio, drilling the choreography in rehearsal. Now, you can catch her teaching virtual classes for Youth America Grand Prix and other platforms.


Do you have any favorite quotes or mantras?

My grandfather always said "All you have is your time." I try to live my life by that.

What's your go-to stress reliever?

Admittedly playing "Candy Crush" or "The Sims," hanging with friends and family, or watching TV.

What's your favorite show to binge-watch?

"Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Cheer," and "The Office."

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

A ballerina, duh!

What's one food you can't live without?

PASTA!

Do you have any nicknames?

At ABT, people call me "Sk" which also doubles as a sound that's good for getting people's attention from across the room. Other nicknames are Sky, Sky-Sky, Ski, Payles (my middle name is Paley), Sky-P, and Strich.

Dance-wise, do you have any bad habits?

Sometimes I don't get to class early enough to do my Pilates exercises beforehand. That's really bad.

What's the strangest thing you have in your dance bag?

I have this little rubber hand puppet that one of my greatest friends, Gabe Stone Shayer, gave me. I actually use it to keep my hairpins in now.

What's your biggest piece of advice for young performers?

Put in the hard work! It pays off and it is necessary for achieving the highest level of any profession. Life is not about having things handed to you, and even when they are, don't settle.

A version of this story appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Dirt: Skylar Brandt."

Latest Posts


Kennedy George and Ava Holloway pose in front of Richmond, Virginia's Robert E. Lee statue (Chris George, courtesy Kennedy George and Ava Holloway)

9 Dancers Using Their Art to Advocate for Change

Dance and activism can go hand in hand in a number of ways. Over the past few months, many dancers have turned to their art not only to advocate in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but to highlight injustice within the dance world itself. Whether it's incorporating dance into protests, starting conversations with other members of the dance community, or expressing themselves through personal creative projects, dancers are finding ways to speak out.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Nick Silverio (Kevin Wang, courtesy Silverio)

Meet the Dance Competition Judge Behind the Most #Relatable Dancer TikToks

If you're on #compkid TikTok, odds are you've seen a post by Nick Silverio (@nicksilverioo). Silverio was a competitive dancer with Elite Academy of Dance in Shrewsbury, MA, before studying business at the University of Pennsylvania and continuing to dance throughout college. Now he works as a professional dancer, choreographer, and competition judge in NYC, and—like so many of us—turned to TikTok to fight quarantine boredom. His account has grown to almost 40k followers and has garnered over a million likes.

We asked Silverio to tell us a bit about his new creative outlet.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
MDC3 brought an emotional performance. (Trae Patton/NBC)

"World of Dance" Recap Week 11: Last Stop Before the Finals

The remaining six acts finally had their first chance to dance on the "World of Dance" stage—and for four of them, it would be their last. The judges had their work cut out for them, but knew they had to search for what Neyo dubbed the "World of Dance" million-dollar standard. Here are the two acts rounding out the top four, plus one more that received a standing "O" from the judges.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search