PC Lindsay Thomas

Spotlight: Leta Biasucci Has Had Enough of Your Hair Advice

Leta Biasucci is one of those dancers whose presence seems to attract the audience's eye with magnetic force. The Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist's seemingly impossible buoyancy and fiery spark have carved her out a place in a wide spectrum of roles, uninhibited by her small stature and natural inclination towards the soubrette.

We caught up with her for our "Spotlight" series:


What do you think is the most common misconception about dancers?

This notion that dancers eat, breathe and sleep dance. Dance can be all-consuming, but so are a lot of other careers. There is such an inspiring, wide range of interests among my peers.

What other career would you like to try?

I think about life after dance quite a bit, but I am not entirely sure what it holds. For the past six years, I have been chipping away at my bachelor's degree from Seattle University, and I am excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

What was the last dance performance you saw?

Last week I saw Seattle's own Whim W'Him. It was an awesome show!

What's the most-played song on your phone?

I don't know that I have a most-played song on my phone, but Mariah Carey is a favorite in the soloist women's dressing room.

Do you have a pre-performance ritual?

For roles that are accompanied by nerves, I like to find time before a performance to spend visualizing the piece. I close my eyes and imagine how the 'perfect' performance would feel. I find this practice to be meditative and allows for me to feel more excited than nervous.

Not necessarily a ritual, but I have to double-check my performance shoe ribbons and re-sew ones that look like they might possibly come unsewn. Who wants to spend a show worrying about shoes falling off?

What's your favorite book?

I have a difficult time picking favorites of anything! Recently, I have loved All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. I am in the middle of reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. She is a brilliant and hilarious Seattle author.

Where can you be found two hours after a performance ends?

On the couch in my sweats. I am a homebody and need that time to recharge.

Where did you last vacation?

Last spring, my fiancé and I went to Kauai. What a magical place!

What app do you spend the most time on?

Probably Instagram, but I am admittedly much more of a consumer than a contributor (also perhaps an addict?). Huffington Post is a close second.

What's the first item on your bucket list?

I guess it should be to make a bucket list…

What's your go-to crosstraining routine?

When my schedule is pretty busy, I stick to yoga and light free weights. When my schedule isn't too heavy, I, like any good Pacific Northwesterner, love to hike. But after a long week, miles of elevation sounds like the last thing that I want to do! There is really no substitute for dancing to get in dancing shape.

What's the worst advice you've ever received?

"You should straighten your hair more often."

If you could relive one performance, what would it be?

A few years ago, I would have had an easier time answering this question. There are always ballets that you feel like you could dance forever; some that are such tremendous gifts to dance, and that make you sad to see them go. With each passing season, however, I become increasingly aware of how fleeting this unique career is. I try to embrace the present because ultimately, I can't take any of it with me.

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Jason Samuels Smith, photographed by Jayme Thornton

Moving Forward by Looking Back: A Week at the L.A. Tap Festival Online

I turned to tap at the outset of the European lockdown as a meaningful escape from the anxiety of the pandemic. As a dance historian specialized in dance film, I've seen my fair share of tap on screen, but my own training remains elementary. While sheltering in place, my old hardwood floors beckoned. I wanted to dig deeper in order to better understand tap's origins and how the art form has evolved today. Not so easy to accomplish in France, especially from home.

Enter the L.A. Tap Fest's first online edition.

Alongside 100 other viewers peering out from our respective Zoom windows, I watch a performer tap out rhythms on a board in their living room. Advanced audio settings allow us to hear their feet. In the chat box, valuable resources are being shared and it's common to see questions like, "Can you post the link to that vaudeville book you mentioned?" Greetings and words of gratitude are also exchanged as participants trickle in and out from various times zones across the US and around the world.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS