"Legs for days" just begins to capture the essence of long and lithe phenom Stanley Glover. In rehearsal with Gregory Dawson at BalletX, his fingertips crackle with energy as he lunges past the edge of the marley. But in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's The Little Prince, Glover is smooth and coy as the Snake, with pure attitude dripping off his many angles. With a wide range of movement available to him, this physical polymath is well at home in his second season in Philadelphia.
Training: University of the Arts, BFA
Accolades: 2019 Princess Grace Award, Top 20 on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 11
Roderick Phifer, as the titular Little Price, with Stanley Glover as the Snake
Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.
Life in the circus: Glover spent a year on the Vegas strip as a principal dancer in Cirque du Soleil's Mystère. "There were so many people to learn from—what they eat, their way of living, different types of art—everyone was willing to teach you," he says.
Open invitation: BalletX artistic and executive director Christine Cox first spotted Glover as a standout in class at UArts. "He's a boundless dancer; there are really no limitations for Stanley," says Cox, who made sure he knew the door was open to join BalletX after completing his Cirque contract.
A company of premieres: "There are all these nuances to pay attention to," says Glover about constantly working with different choreographers at BalletX. "You don't know what someone is going to do—contemporary ballet, using the floor, hard-hitting."
Must-haves to start the day: Overnight oats and avocado toast with an egg
Preshow rituals: "We get into a circle, say a word of encouragement and breathe together," says Glover. "Then I kiss the tattoo on my finger, in honor of my mother." (He credits his mom—a cheerleading coach who passed away when he was young—with instilling his early love of movement.) Glover never steps onstage without Aquaphor on his lips, and despite any nerves, he feels most at home in performance. "In person I'm really shy and introverted, but I'm the most myself onstage."
In his downtime: With a fair share of touring in BalletX's 40-week season, Glover uses travel time to work his way through George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, which "Game of Thrones" was based on. He regularly teaches a voguing class, and also trains in martial arts, boxing, cheerleading and track, especially in the off-season.