11 Questions with Miami City Ballet's Samantha Galler

Galler in rehearsal (Daniel Azoulay, courtesy Miami City Ballet)

A charmingly natural actress, Miami City Ballet corps member Samantha Galler has already tackled some of the ballet world's biggest characters, mastering complex roles with subtle finesse. The Bedford, MA, native grew up studying under Frances Kotelly at The Ballet Academy, Inc., where she perfected her technique before performing for six seasons with the Northeast Youth Ballet. After a short stint at Cincinnati Ballet, she moved to Alabama Ballet, where she danced for five seasons and performed dream roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Galler joined Miami City Ballet in 2014, and this month will dance Hermia in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Read on for The Dirt.

—Courtney Bowers


What performer would you drop everything to go see?

Philip Glass or Pink

If you could work with any dancer, past or present, who would it be?

Maria Tallchief, Gregory Hines

What are your must-see TV shows?

Anything on The Food Network, The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and red carpet events.

If you weren't a dancer, what would you be?

A National Park ranger

Who would play you in a movie?

Hopefully me

Who is your dance crush?

I would say Sascha Radetsky since I am a big Center Stage fan!

Dance-wise, do you have any bad habits?

I pull my chin down when I pirouette, but I'm working on it!

What's the most important thing in your dance bag?

A prayer card I have from when my best friend passed away after high school. She's my guardian angel and I carry it everywhere I go.

Do you have any pre-performance superstitions?

I do my hair three times and I like to close my eyes and review the entire ballet I'm about to dance.

What was your most embarrassing onstage moment?

When I fell at the end of Balanchine's Tarantella. As I was turning, my partner was coming to kiss me on the cheek but before he could, I made a brief stop on the floor. I sprang up and did a foot pop and ran off as fast as I could.

What has been the hardest thing about preparing for A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Hermia's variation is one of the hardest but most rewarding parts to this role. It's three minutes of jumping and running. It's like being shot out of a cannon. Visualizing yourself running as fast as you can to find your true love and then physically doing it is hard.

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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