To bring in the new year, Dance Magazine asked several of our favorite dancers (from 2013) what they're looking forward to in 2014. Here they share their New Year's resolutions.
"As I reflect on 2013, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for: Getting promoted to soloist at Ballet West was a dream come true, and filming Breaking Pointe was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Moving into 2014, I'm making a resolution to enjoy every second that I get on stage. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the 'job' of being a ballet dancer, but after almost stepping away from dance in 2013, I've realized that this career is too short not to eat up every chance I get to perform. I am also really looking forward to dancing in Nicolo Fonte's new Rite of Spring in the coming season." —Allison DeBona
"One huge resolution is to focus on training again: house, breaking, popping, ballet, contemporary—you name it. I want to give myself more time for personal practice. I'm also on the hunt for an intern interested in arts administration... please come work with me!" —Michelle Dorrance
"My goal in the new year is to live in the present moment; celebrate the now and trust that change and opportunity will come when it's time. At this point in my career, it's all about maintaining my identity as a dancer and my skill set, while navigating an ever-changing show business. Happiness comes from within." —Sarrah Strimel
"I am very excited about 2014! The biggest thing that I'm working on is being completely fearless. I want to put myself out there and go full force for everything I want. I don't want to be afraid of auditions or afraid of trying to new things. I'm going to continue to wear my heart on my sleeve and do what I love. Sometimes we let fear control us, and we have to remember to shake it off and go for our dreams." —Paloma Garcia-Lee
"George Saunders, one of my favorite writers, recently spoke to The New Yorker about his ideal approach to art and life: 'The deeper goal is to be more loving, more courageous, more accepting, more patient, but also less full of s**t. In other words, to be able to step up to the beauties of life—and the horrors of it—without any kind of flinching, and really, for once, open your eyes and see it. And if some of that could get into your work—that would be a plus.' In 2014 (and beyond), I’d like for some of that philosophy to get into my work, and my life." —Sascha Radetsky
"I have several resolutions for 2014: I want to trust my creative instincts more. So often I get in my own way. This year, I want to trust the ideas that fly out of my mind, heart and body—believe in myself, my talent and instincts! I also want to remind myself that even at this point in my career, I'm still constantly learning. It's hard for me not to be competitive, but this year I want to let go of that pressure and just enjoy the fact that I have a dream career!" —Annie choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler
(Photo of Allison DeBona with Rex Tilton by Matthew Karas for DM; Michelle Dorrance by Matthew Murphy; Strimel and Garcia-Lee by Jayme Thornton for DM.; Sascha Radetsky by Renata Pavam; Andy Blankenbuehler by Matthew Karas for DM.)
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?