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.
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?
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.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
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?
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.