"With Buggé Ballet, I have found that family dynamic that can so easily go missing in the freelance world."
I moved to New York City in August 2014 to take a new direction with my dance career. After
five years as a dancer with various full-time ballet companies, I decided to take a leap of faith
and pursue a life as a freelance artist. My new lifestyle has proved to be quite the adventure and
has provided me with a new set of opportunities and challenges. In the past six months, I have
worked with seven different ballet and contemporary companies and a number of different
choreographers. I began working with Buggé Ballet in January and my first performances with
the company were at Jazz at Lincoln Center at the Booking Dance Festival. I am excited to be
back in the studio with Nicole and some of the other company members as we begin the
rehearsal process for our April performances at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, and my second
project with the company.
Although I have only just begun working with the company, I can already sense something
unique and special in the work environment. One aspect of full-time company life that I have
really missed is the family dynamic that develops from working so regularly with a consistent
group of people. Here in New York, I have worked with some wonderful artists and made some
great new friends in the process, but as a freelancer, I am usually on my own to determine when,
where, and with whom I take class. I bounce from STEPS on Broadway to Peridance to
rehearsals all over the city with various companies, and, in that sense, I am very much on my
own as an artist. With the dancers of Buggé Ballet, however, there is such a warmth, an
openness, and a beautiful sense of camaraderie. I was welcomed in for my first project and
immediately felt comfortable with the people around me. I never felt like “the new girl” or like
an outsider. I only had two days of rehearsal with the full group to jump into two ballets for the
Booking Dance Festival in January. This was quite a stressful, high-pressure situation, but my
fellow dancers were incredibly supportive and committed to making me feel prepared,
comfortable, and welcome. Even now, we have had just a few rehearsals for our April
performances and I already feel so comfortable on both personal and professional levels with the
group of six dancers involved. With Buggé Ballet, I have found that family dynamic that can so
easily go missing in the freelance world.
Another reason that I have loved my time with Buggé Ballet is that Nicole is a person before
she is a director. Often, I have found that directors get so wrapped up in their work, their
choreography, and the product that they forget to treat dancers as human beings. Nicole has a
special way of being both a friend and a choreographer simultaneously. She maintains her
position as our director and demands respect in and out of the studio, but she never forgets that
her dancers are human beings with individual needs and emotions. It is rare and special to find
that in a director.
I am really excited about this new project, and I am looking forward to working more with
Nicole and the wonderful Buggé Ballet team!