Got a Competition Coming Up? Use These Tips From 3 Pros
Rachel Papo for Pointe
Whether you've just started on the circuit or you're already the proud owner of several medals, dance competitions can be nerve-wracking. How can you make the most of the experience? Three former comp kids who've gone on to find major success in their careers shared their top tips.
Ryan Steele, Broadway performer:
Photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Ryan Steele
"I didn't realize that I wasn't just competing for a scholarship or a title, I was auditioning for future jobs. Some of my strongest professional relationships were built at conventions and competitions. Not just with the teachers, but with peers as well. Those relationships will stick with you. Make them count!"
Lia Cirio, Boston Ballet principal dancer:
Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy Boston Ballet
"Don't compare yourself to your fellow dancers. Focus on you and the goal you wish to accomplish."
Jaclyn Walsh, Keigwin + Company dancer:
Matthew Murphy, courtesy Jaclyn Walsh
"Onstage, there are so many other variables aside from bodies in space: the lighting, spike marks and live music. The experience I built while competing made me more prepared to tackle these as a professional."
Mention "flamenco" to anyone in the Cuban dance scene, and they are likely to bring up Irene Rodríguez. Artistic director of Compañía Irene Rodríguez, Cuba's premiere flamenco company, Rodríguez has shared the stage with such renowned flamenco artists as Eva Yerbabuena, María Juncal and Antonio Gades. She is also a faculty member at Havana's Fernando Alonso National Ballet School, and has served as a choreography consultant at Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Irina Kolpakova in the studio with Katherine Williams. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.
Being coached by a treasure like former Kirov prima Irina Kolpakova is an experience most dancers only dream of. But company members at American Ballet Theatre have been the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom since 1990. Thanks to Instagram, where pros like Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside share snippets of their sessions with Kolpakova, any ballet lover can be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the famed ballet mistress.