Ballet Uncovered ~ Balancing Pointe Podcast



Uncover the world of Ballet and Dance! Balancing Pointe Podcast's host Kimberly Falker interviews some of the world's top dancers, choreographers, writers, photographers and just about anyone who has "made it" in the world of Ballet and Dance. Discover what it takes to make it to the top ~ listen as she uncovers her guest's secrets to their success.


  • 20 - Laurel Keen, Alonzo King LINES Ballet

    24/01/2014 Duración: 33min

    Laurel Keen was a Principal dancer for nearly a decade with Alonzo King LINES, a contemporary ballet company based in San Francisco. In her years with the company, Laurel originated 21 roles, was featured on the cover of Pointe Magazine and earned the prestigious Princess Grace Award. In describing what makes her an exceptional artist, Alonzo King once said,"Her clarity is like calligraphy carved in steel...her faultless honesty and sincerity... her ability to be rather than do." Laurel grew up in Minneapolis where she began her training at Minnesota Dance Theatre, studying there from the age of seven until she reached high school. During this time, she also received training from the School of American Ballet, Dance Aspen, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School (PNBS). She moved to Seattle and continued with PNBS as a professional division student. Laurel was able to perform and tour with the company, dancing in several Balanchine works. Upon completing her training with PNBS, Laurel returned to Minneapolis and

  • 19 - Harper Watters, Corps de Ballet, Houston Ballet

    17/01/2014 Duración: 38min

    Originally from Dover, New Hampshire, Harper Watters trained at Portsmouth School of Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Performing arts Arts, Washington Ballet and Houston Ballet Summer intensives. Watters was a member of Houston Ballet II from 2009 - 2011. In 2011, Watters competed at the Prix de Lausanne Ballet Competition where he won 6th overall as well as the contemporary dance award. Watters joined Houston Ballet as an apprentice in 2011. In 2012 Watters became a member of Houston Ballet's Corps de Ballet  

  • 18 - Jordan Matter, Photographer and Best Selling author "Dancers Among Us"

    10/01/2014 Duración: 43min

    Jordan Matter is a photographer in New York City and the photographer/author of the stunning book Dancers Among Us, A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday. It is evident in all that we know of Jordan that he truly does celebrate joy in the everyday. He loves his life, his family, and his job. Photography was not always his passion; baseball and acting took those spots earlier in his life. That began to change for him however, after viewing an exhibit by photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. Moved by the stories of humanity the images portrayed, he picked up the camera first as a hobby, then as a passion. Later, looking through a friend's routine and mundane headshots (from another photographer)he was inspired to grab his camera and photograph her. Soon, his career as a portrait and headshot photographer boomed. His idea for "Dancers Among Us" came from watching his three-year old son play with a toy bus and figurines. Watching his son's imagination at work he thought about creating photographs that would show

  • 17 - Galit Adani, Founder of Dance To Unite

    03/01/2014 Duración: 35min

    Galit Adani, a professional dancer and educator, is the Founder and Executive Director of Dance to Unite, Inc. in New City, New York. Dance to Unite, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers free dance classes with the mission to teach about different cultures in order to achieve unity and world peace. In October 2009, after years of extensive experience with youth and upon the encouragement of her students and their parents, Galit felt inspired to create Dance To Unite, a program that would combine education and dance for the purpose of future peace. The mission of Dance to Unite, Inc. is to use dance as a vehicle to teach and to celebrate cultural diversity. The organization is committed to creating positive experiences for children to develop understanding, acceptance, respect and compassion for all cultures culminating in unity and peace. The classes are complemented periodically with special guest artists who conduct workshops to promote the organization's mission. In 2012, Dance To Unite welcomed N

  • 16 - Olivia Boisson, Corps de Ballet, New York City Ballet

    25/12/2013 Duración: 31min

    Olivia Boisson is a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet. She was born in Queens, New York, and began her dance training at the age of six at The Ballet Arts School of Forest Hills. She later studied at the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2000 before enrolling as a full time student at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, during the fall of 2004. In August 2012, Ms. Boisson became an apprentice with NYCB, and the following December, she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet.

  • 15 - Christine Shevchenko, American Ballet Theater ABT

    23/12/2013 Duración: 22min

    Christine Shevchenko was born in Odessa, Ukraine where she was chosen to train in rhythmic gymnastics and ballet at an Olympic School. At the age of eight, she moved to the United States and trained for nine years at Pennsylvania Ballet's Rock School. In 2002 she was invited to perform with International Ballet Theatre Company's "Stars of Kirov, Bolshoi and Ukrainian Ballet" in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2003, Shevchenko became the youngest recipient of the Princess Grace Award. Other awards include the Bronze Medal in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 Gold Medal and Title of Laureate at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. She joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in December 2007 and the corps de ballet in June 2008.

  • 14 - Fabrice Calmels, Joffrey Ballet Chicago

    20/12/2013 Duración: 36min

    Born and raised in France, Fabrice Calmels began ballet training at age 3, following in the steps of his younger sister. In 1991, Mr. Calmels entered the Paris Opera School, under the direction of Claude Bessy. In 1998, Mr. Calmels was spotted by John Meehan, director of American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, and moved to New York. He furthered his training by joining The Rock School, and danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet. After September 11, 2001, not able to acquire his visa to re-enter the United States, Fabrice returned home to France and joined Paris’s most famous cabaret, LIDO de Paris. In 2002 , Fabrice finally settled in Chicago with the Joffrey Ballet, under the direction of company co-founder Gerald Arpino, again being exposed to another style of dance. In 2004 and age 23, Fabrice became a lead dancer at the Joffrey Ballet, notably through his principal role as Apollo. 

  • 13 - Renata Pavam,Professional Photographer, Retired ABT dancer

    18/12/2013 Duración: 33min

    Brazilian by birth, Renata Pavum is a photographer based in New York City and known for her work based on the backstage life of ballet. Renata is a former ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre where she worked for 12 years and where she developed her passion for photography. Renata started her training in Brazil with the great Cuban ballerina Ofelia Gonzalez and later at the Jeune Ballet de France in Paris, winning medals at several international dance competitions before joining ABT. Ultimately injuries took their toll on Renata and in July of 2013 she was forced to retire from dance at which point she began to pursue her passion for photography full time.

  • 12 - Chi Cao, Principal Birmingham Royal Ballet

    16/12/2013 Duración: 50min

    A principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet in England, Chi Cao is undoubtedly driven and focused on striving for the best. A beautiful, precise dancer with jumps akin to Baryshnikov, he is described on the Birmingham Royal Ballet's website a virtuoso classical dancer. Born and raised in communist china Chi came from an amazing dance history. You will learn that his dad was chosen to move from a small village to Beijing to train as a professional until the cultural revolution disbanded all arts. From this rich and amazing past, Chi has brought a rich sense of discipline and drive propelling him to the top. American audiences may be most familiar with Chi Cao's work on the big screen. He portrays Li Cunxin in the motion picture Mao's Last Dancer which is a true story of a boy from china who trained in Beijing and later defected from China.

  • 11 - Allison DeBona, Soloist Ballet West - TV show Breaking Pointe

    13/12/2013 Duración: 48min

    Allison DeBona is a Soloist with Ballet West of Salt Lake City, Utah and a featured cast member on CW's hit reality television series Breaking Pointe. By design, her role as the latter has catapulted her dancing and her life as a ballerina into public prominence. After witnessing declining ticket sales and slashed budgets at Ballet West, (as well as other companies world-wide) she readily participated in the reality series in hopes of bringing ballet to a more mainstream and modern audience. As such, she has successfully created a social media audience of more than ten thousand followers. Among them, naturally, are thousands of aspiring dancers of every genre looking up to her, watching her, and wondering how they could be her. So, given how her goals meshed with those of our podcast, naturally we wanted to tell her story. It may surprise some that Allison's journey has not been typical for a dancer. In fact, Allison quit dancing at 13 and did not start again until she was 16. Later she decided to pursue the

  • 10- Rhee Gold - Dance Studio Life Magazine, Motivational speaker

    12/12/2013 Duración: 01h11min

    Rhee Gold is a motivational powerhouse and entrepreneur. He is dedicated to inspiring dance teachers to provide positive instruction and curriculum amidst the sometimes negative edge of the growing world of the competition dance circuit. We came to know him a few years ago through his Facebook page. Positive Dance Moms (and Dads) created in response to the popular but controversial Lifetime Television program Dance Moms. The page, updated daily with inspirational posts, reminds us all of the positive role we do and can play in our children’s lives as dancers. When we discovered Rhee, little did we know the extent of his true force of inspiration. He is the publisher of Dance Studio Life magazine, the producer of, the founder and director of DanceLife Teacher Conference, DanceLife Retreat Center and Project Motivate. As the dance field's first motivational speaker, he has traveled the world presenting motivational and business seminars, as well as keynote addresses for conferences and conventio

  • 09 - Ben Davis, Soloist - Australian Ballet

    11/12/2013 Duración: 33min

    Ben Davis is a soloist with The Australian Ballet. His interview is light hearted, fun-loving and filled with good humor. At the same time Ben is humble and appreciative of living a life of ballet and working at the Sydney Opera House. Generous with his talents, he often guest teaches with various programs throughout Australia, motivating students to be their best. He expands upon his onstage artistic creativity by also working as a freelance professional make-up artist. Born in Melbourne in 1982, Ben Davis used to tag along to his sister's jazz ballet classes and copy the routines from the back of the studio before he started attending his own classes at age seven. In May of 2010, he good humoredly admits,I didn't really like ballet at first: I just saw a bunch of girls standing around, not doing much and listening to some kind of clunky music. I liked musical theatre, but I found out I couldn't sing, so that got shot out of the way. Ben trained with Leeanne Rutherford of Ballet Theatre Australia. He was 18

  • 08- Claire Kretzschmar - New York City Ballet Corps de Ballet

    10/12/2013 Duración: 30min

    Claire Kretzschmar is a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet. Claire began her dance training at the Academy of Dance Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She later studied at the Wake Forest Community Ballet and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Kretzschmar began studying at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, during the summers of 2006 through 2009, and enrolled as a full time student in 2009. In November 2010 she became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2011. Since joining NYCB Claire has danced featured roles in George Balanchine's Nutcracker as well as originated featured roles in Peter Martins: Mes Oiseaux and Justin Peck: Paz de la Jolla.

  • 07- Rainesford Alexandra - Dressing Room Writers

    09/12/2013 Duración: 37min

    Rainesford Alexandra is a writer, college student, and former classically trained ballet dancer. On the path to pursuing professional ballet, Rainesford suffered a career-ending injury at the age of sixteen. Still in love with the art she lends another talent, her writing, to keeping ballet vibrant and alive. Purposeful and articulate, Rainesford projects an intelligence beyond her years. As an active contributor to The Huffington Post Arts section and author of her own blog Dressing Room Writers, Rainesford is passionate and determined to bring ballet to a higher awareness and larger audience. Dressing Room Writers is an alternative dance media website which seeks to publicize dancers doing innovative things in the ballet world. Through Dressing Room Writers, Rainesford has had the opportunity to talk to some of the most prestigious professionals and up-and-coming young dancers. After writing an article about New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns video blog for The Huffington Post, Rainesford was invite

  • 06 - Tiit Helimets, Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet

    06/12/2013 Duración: 40min

    Tiit Helimets is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and Artistic Director of Tiit Helimets and Co. Tall, blond, and good looking, Tiit has a sweet, quiet manner. Onstage, he has been described as an elegant classical dancer and a superb partner. Tiit was born in Estonia and trained at the Tallinn Ballet school. He began his career as a soloist with the Estonian National Ballet and was promoted to principal only 6 months later, making Estonian dance history when he danced the role of Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake at the age of 18. In 1999 he joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in London moving up the ranks with this company. In 2005 he joined SFB where he is still dancing today as a principal.

  • 05 - Megan Fairchild, Principal Dancer - New York City Ballet (NYCB)

    05/12/2013 Duración: 01h07min

    Megan Fairchild is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. She seemingly catapulted through the ranks into the role of Principal with one of the most prestigious companies in the world in just a few short years. Despite her star appeal, Megan is humble and appreciative of her life and those who have helped her along the way. She began her dance training at the age of four, and then studied ballet at the Ballet West Conservatory in Salt Lake City. While at the Ballet West Conservatory, Ms. Fairchild was also a Ballet West trainee. At the age of 16, Ms. Fairchild moved to NYC to study at the School of American Ballet (SAB) in the fall of 2000. Her rise to principal dancer has been notably fast. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in November of 2001. In October 2002, she joined the NYCB company as a member of the corps de ballet. Two years later, Ms. Fairchild was promoted to the rank of soloist in February 2004, and in January 2005, at the age of 20 she was promoted to principal dancer. Me

  • 04 - Henry St. Clair, Artistic Director Crystal Ballet

    04/12/2013 Duración: 45min

    Henry St. Clair is the Artistic Director of Crystal Ballet, a digitally minded ballet company in London creating new works developed specifically for downloadable film. A former classical ballet dancer with years of live stage performance, it seems somehow contrary that Henry has joined forces with Managing Director, Mark Handford to use a modern medium for the company's premier that appeals to a new and digitally minded audience. Yet, his gregarious enthusiasm, and artistic determination for his company and for the art, leave no one doubting that Crystal Ballet will soon be appearing regularly on portable devices and television screens across the globe. Standing on the frontline of the digital dance revolution, Henry's story is sure to inspire us.

  • 03 - Erica Gionfriddo Executive/Associate Artistic Director ARCOS Dance

    03/12/2013 Duración: 40min

    Once upon a time in the southwest, there was a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary company named ARCOS Dance.  Born in Santa Fe and living in Austin, this small but vibrant touring company plays with cutting-edge choreography, evocative sound design, interactive video, and theatrical elements to create a wholly unique contemporary performance.  Executive and Associate Artistic Director, choreographer, and dancer, Erica Gionfriddo tells us of her journey of formal training that began at age sixteen, of obtaining a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Winchester Conservatory, and of touring and performing internationally.  Erica inspires us with her stories of the creative process of choreographing in collaboration with interactive media to engage today’s modern audience.  

  • 02-Dylan Gutierrez The Joffrey Ballet

    02/12/2013 Duración: 54min

    Dylan Gutierrez tells us his personal story of his journey into the world of professional ballet,from beginning his training with his mother Andrea Paris-Gutierrez at the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, until joining his current company The Joffrey Ballet in 2009. Dylan tells us of his experience competing in the Youth American Grand Prix finals in New York, attending the The Royal Ballet School in London, and making his professional debut at age 18 as one of two apprentices with the San Francisco Ballet in 2008. Dylan offers advice to young dancers when he answers a question from an aspiring professional from our audience.

  • 01-Balancing Pointe- Host Kimberly Falker introduces the Podcast

    01/12/2013 Duración: 05min

    In this first episode of Balancing Pointe the Podcast host Kimberly Falker shares what the subscriber can expect from the podcast, information about the producers, and the inspiration behind creating this podcast. Kimberly shares the mission of the podcast to educate, motivate, inspire and ultimately provide tips on how to succeed not only in dance, but also in life. Hear about the enlightening interviews to come that will provide the listener with perspectives from different viewpoints along the journey. From aspiring ballet apprentices to principals, choreographers, writers, film makers and photographers, these personal stories of these amazingly hard working professionals reflect how perseverance coupled with passion can be applied to everyone to create success in life.

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