Quotable: Five Inspiring Thoughts from Our Dancers

PBT in George Balanchine's Agon. Photo by Rich Sofranko

 Draw creative inspiration from five PBT dancers, who share their insights on the joys of self-expression. From pre-show instrospection to expectations from the wings, enjoy a few of our favorite quotes from the 2014-2015 Season.



“I still remember the first time I performed at the Benedum Center. It literally gave me chills when I first stepped foot on that huge stage and looked out at the 2,800 seats in the house. At that moment, I was still in PBT School and I was totally in awe and starstruck performing on the stage with the company.”  – Corps de Ballet Dancer Danielle Downey



 “Sometimes, there are ballets a dancer aspires to perform simply because of their reputation. These three works (on the PBT Premieres program) have incredible reputations, but that’s not why I consider them bucket list worthy. Each piece demands those who dance them to be true artists. To simply execute the steps, without the proper feeling or quality, in any of these works is practically sacrilegious.” – Corps de Ballet Dancer JoAnna Schmidt 


 “It’s a creative outlet.  It (choreographing for PBT School) gives me complete freedom, and it feels so liberating to have something that is up in your mind become a real thing in the studio and on stage…It’s almost a safe way to convey my thoughts…I used choreography to say what I couldn’t say in words.” – Corps de Ballet Dancer Cooper Verona


“Right before we go on for the Snow Scene, the snow starts to drop. There’s a pause…it’s like a chill almost… the audience is clapping and the snow starts to fall…it’s always a cool feeling because it’s all starting. It’s happening.” – Corps de Ballet Dancer Olivia Kelly


“I remember the first time I got to dance the role of Marie (or Clara in that particular production) and how my teacher was adamant that I not make the choreography “matter of fact.” He wanted each action to be as if it was happening for the first time – bubbling up out of my being, flooding over the footlights and seeping into each audience member’s imagination. That is something I still think about with each and every performance.” – Principal Alexandra Kochis


“A little creativity can bring new vibrancy to life…Dancers focus a lot of time on technique and form…What separates ballet from other athletic endeavors is the creative signature each dancer adds to his or her performance. Sometimes this quality comes deliberately from study and practice. More often it comes from our own perspective and life experiences…By exploring the world creatively you may find the more beautiful version of it.” – Principal Julia Erickson