Adrienne Carter on Finding Her Place with Miami City Ballet

April 12, 2023

Adrienne Carter wasn’t even entirely sure what a summer intensive was when she auditioned for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s program at age 11. For the Georgia native, who grew up training across multiple styles of dance at her mom’s studio, attending PNB School would prove to be a life-changing decision. “I remember thinking, Wow, this is so cool; there are so many people like me that just love ballet,” Carter says of her summer in Seattle. “The last weeks of the program we saw the company working, and that was my first experience of seeing a professional dancer’s life offstage.” In 2008, Carter headed to a summer intensive at Miami City Ballet, determined to become a professional dancer. “I applied to be considered for the year-round school and got accepted,” she recalls. “I was like, ‘Mom, Dad, what if I moved to Miami when I’m 17?’ ” Carter convinced her parents, and she’s been in Miami ever since, working her way up from apprentice to corps de ballet to her most recent promotion to soloist in 2022.

a female wearing a white tank top and green pants sitting cross-legged in the grass
Adrienne Carter. Photo by Gary James.

Happy Tears:

“A lot of times people are promoted onstage or after a show, but Lourdes [Lopez] texted me during lunch break and asked me to come to her office. I literally had no idea what it was about, and she brought me in and said, ‘I wanted to let you know that I’m promoting you.’ I was so happy I just burst into tears.”

Calming Pre-Performance Jitters:

“I always do the same exercises to warm up because I know they help me feel ready for anything. I also like to listen to upbeat music in the dressing room so that it matches my energy.”

Most Memorable Role:

“Choleric, from The Four Temperaments, is special to me because that was the first principal role I did with the company. We were on tour in Paris, and I was 19. I remember knowing it was a big deal, but I think when you’re younger you don’t have as much perspective. Now, thinking back on it, I’m like, ‘If I really felt that was as big of a deal as it was, I would have been freaking out!’ ”

Teachable Moments:

“I usually go back to visit my family in the summer when we have time off, and I guest teach at my home studio that my friends own. I enjoy helping show students why you do something. A lot of times people will say, ‘Do this correction,’ but it’s hard to understand why. It’s not just about looking a certain way, it’s because there’s so much functionality behind the corrections; they really serve a purpose.”