Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB

On the Rise: Dylan Wald

Though it was only his first season in the corps, Dylan Wald was chosen for a career-defining role last fall: the sole dancer in Jessica Lang's The Calling. His presence, control and focus were astonishing. But Wald's precise sculpting of the dance, as well as his mature port de bras, is something he carried with him throughout the repertoire this past season at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Company: Pacific Northwest Ballet

Age: 20

Hometown: Minneapolis

Training: Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute, Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Casting jackpot: Also during his first year in the corps, Wald had featured roles in Kent Stowell's Carmina Burana and Alejandro Cerrudo's Little mortal jump. One of his most demanding ballets was William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. “It's a difficult piece—fast cardio, full of jumps," he says. “I wanted to work as hard as I could to really experience the genius of Forsythe firsthand."

Tackling Balanchine: PNB soloist Margaret Mullin attributes their recent partnering success in Balanchine's Square Dance to Wald's unqualified commitment. “We were both premiering in this piece, so teamwork was key," she says. “Dylan was in the studio first thing every day. He works hard to develop his technique, and he makes me feel like my needs come first." To get through the ballet's technical challenges, Wald says, “I try to maintain a connection with my partner and keep up my sense of humor."

What his artistic director is saying: “Dylan works after class, he takes additional classes, he does strength training—he seems to be involved with dance 24/7," says Peter Boal. “When dancers have that level of commitment, there are results."

Head games: Wald's biggest challenge is staying calm. He says he needs to constantly remind himself not to think too far in advance. “I have the least control when I'm thinking two steps ahead," he says. “Trying to stay present helps. I call it 'training the brain.' But it's also important to be okay with being nervous. I try not to be too hard on myself—it's scary at first, but the nervousness goes away."

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Inside one of Interlochen's brand-new dance studios. Courtesy Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen’s New Breathtaking Dance Center Is Ready for Class

After months of practicing in a cramped space at home, young dancers have dreamed of training in a spacious, airy studio. And when the facilities are as resplendent as the brand-new dance center at Michigan's Interlochen Center for the Arts, everyday technique class is to be savored.

The recently renovated and vastly expanded 26,000-square-foot Dance Center at Interlochen is now a world-class facility on par with those of premier conservatories and professional companies. Joseph Morrissey, Interlochen's director of dance, says a lot of careful thought went into the architecture: "This could not just be a building that dance is going to go into. This is a building that is made for dance." To build the best facilities for his students, Morrissey sought out Flansburgh Architects, the group behind the beautiful Perles Family Studio at Jacob's Pillow.

July 2021