With both experience and careful observation, I believe that dancers tend to dance best when we are driven by some sort of emotion, particularly in today’s case, happiness! Behind the scenes, dancers find their own sources of happiness. These sources are different for each one of us, which makes it that much more special. Happiness compels us, intrigues us, motivates us, and lets be honest, keeps us going!
With no subject or topic in mind, these dancers answered: What is something that makes you happy?
Jermaine Maurice Spivey – Dancer with Kidd Pivot in Frankfurt, Germany (previously with Cullberg Ballet, Ballet Gulbenkien and Juilliard):
Happiness: “Driving with no destination, early afternoon naps, trains (real ones, not subway trains) playing guitar, shopping for other people, scotch, the smell of geranium.”
Tom Mattingly – Soloist with Ballet West (Previously with Cincinnati Ballet):
Happiness: “Dancing makes me happy. . . lol. It’s kind of a bunheaded answer but it’s true. Dance has brought me more joy than anything else in my life. It enabled me to get out of a negative place in my life and move past it. Without dance I wouldn’t have been able to move around the country and meet so many awesome people that made me realize that I’m someone worth being.”
Kara Zimmerman – Dancer with Joffrey Ballet (previously with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet):
Happiness: “Coffee, time with friends, beautiful sunsets, dancing, water, amusement parks, trying new things.”
Dwayne Holliday – Danced with Ballett Deutche Oper am Rhein, Milwaukee Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet:
Happiness: “My wife makes me happy, Yoga, life…Taking a bit of time to reflect on what I have been given, as opposed to what I was not blessed with.”
Danielle Bausinger: Dancer with Cincinnati Ballet (trained with San Francisco Ballet School):
Happiness: “Chocolate, Love, movies, beaches, naps particularly on a rainy day, Disney, and being an Aunt.”
Julia Erickson – Principal dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre:
Happiness: “I love all things indulgent and hedonistic but it also makes me happy to find the guilt-free pleasure: naps with my kitties, the ocean, checking things off the to-do list, the New York Times, the New Yorker (can you spot a theme?), perfume, fresh produce, creating – making stuff (sewing, jewelry, etc), baking, cooking, creating a wonderful dish out of only things in my pantry, a summer mani-pedi, helper dogs, love and loved ones, having friends from different walks of life, forgiveness, street food, traveling with Aaron to far off places, playing and giving and exploring while dancing, Seattle late summer nights, amazing quality sushi, a Cafe Intelligensia latte, creating a new delicious yet healthy recipe for a Barre flavor!”
Kelly Yankle – Dancer with Ballet Met (Previously with Cincinnati Ballet):
Happiness: “Relaxing makes me happy, knowing that I have nothing at all to do or worry about (that is rare, haha). Speaking Spanish makes me happy. Laughing makes me happy. My boyfriend and friends make me happiest!
More to be continued. . .