Through a three year battle to stand on stage again, it's hard to describe how it feels. Before was another life; more greedy, different emotions all together. Now; its more vital, real, deeply honest, and internally meaningful. It was taken away from me and to experience it given back I'll never take a moment like a bow at the end of an evening for granted. It will never be just the end of an evening. But deep thanks for the privilege of allowing me to dance once more on any stage. Captured by @patrickfrenette
Hello show day. 👋🏻
I've been listening to Nureyev interviews between him and Elizabeth Kaye conducted in 1992. Candid. Opinionated. Compelling. About performing: "You have to astonish yourself. You have to become something else. You have to become IT." About Fonteyn: "Fonteyn brought light on stage. She was carnivorous." About the end of a variation: "I don't think 'I did it'. But 'I am'." About perfection in dance: "Perfection is sterile, unattainable. You have to match your own ideal. My ideal isnt everyones perfection." Legend.
Always Be True. Happy Pride from me and @nike. #betrue
@dancemagazine June cover. Photographer: @henryleutwyler Link in bio.
@dancemagazine June cover. Link in bio. Thank you @clthomps (writer and friend from childhood!) @henryleutwyler (great photographer & collaborator) and Jennifer Stahl and all the @dancemagazine team.
Nike ACG campaign teaser 2 @nikenyc @outofordermag
Couldn't be more thrilled to share my new Nike @nikenyc collaboration with @outofordermag More exciting things to come...
...and all that was left do was clasp my hands together and thank the universe.
On Saturday night I revisit a role that I never thought I would have the opportunity to dance again. Albrecht, in Giselle, takes on a completely different meaning at this moment in my life. I have past experiences to rely on and I can say it's because of those immense struggles that the role takes on such personal depth and profound significance. I can't wait to experience it anew and share it with my partner @gillianemurphy, @abtofficial and the audience tomorrow evening. Photo: @patrickfrenette
I am thrilled to share the announcement of my book "A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back" to be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster on November 7, 2017. For the past several years, I have been writing about my career and experience performing on some of the most amazing stages in the world, but the true impetus for the book came when I suffered my injury three years ago. It was then that I decided to open up and write about what I was going through during that struggle to return to my art form. This book is about what it is like to lose everything I thought I had control of and rebuild my life from the ground up again. And In essence, the will it took to let go of ego and everything I thought I knew; only to be re-birthed a completely different artist. Link in my profile for more details on the book and how to order!
Oh Jesus. Thank you @stellaabreradetsky and @gillianemurphy 🎥. Thank you NYC audiences. And THANK YOU @ausballet (every one of you there) The journey has lead me here. I bowed tonight thinking I never thought I'd be here again. But three years later, there I stood; in front of that curtain. 🙏🏽
Tonight I return to the Metropolitan Opera House stage after a three year absence. I can't tell you how it feels personally; comfortable, exhilarating, new, honest. I can honestly say that this new chapter is so much deeper and intimate for me. I've weathered the most massive of storms and to enter the stage with that now behind me is something I never thought I'd live through but also something I now wouldn't have lived without... Because I really fought to be where I will be tonight; sharing the stage with @abtofficial and dancing in the Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.
This week in @nymag an honest piece by Rebecca Milzoff on where I was and where I am now - full article link in bio. Photo by Ruven Afanador Styling by @rushkabergman
This was the most time-consuming but important exercise I was given. I arrived with insertional Achilles tendonopathy; extreme pain when I tried to run, jump, or push off the foot. The team, with years of research on tendons behind them, began loading it on a quarter demi-pointe with a weight belt and weighted backpack. I held it for 45 seconds, rested for 2 minutes, and repeated 5 times; twice a day. Every couple weeks I added weight and capped off finally at 40kgs. I still do this twice a day religiously. If I cut it out my tendon pain returns. Tendons don't like rest, they like to be loaded the same every day; no surprises! When I arrived I couldn't run without pain, now I can execute Albrecht's 32 six's and sprint across the stage thanks to incremental loading.
These were my feet in Nov 2015, when I first arrived in Melbourne. The right - proper skin tone, no inflammation. The left - red, swollen, angry. It felt like a brick attached to end of my leg and it didn’t move up or down, side to side. I couldn't even walk without some sort of pain. The first thing the @ausballet conditioning specialist Paula Baird-Colt did was draw on my feet. She emphasized proper alignment, in the most minute way, as the base of every exercise I would do from then on. I’d joke that I should get these lines tattooed on me, she drew on them so many times. But that was the most important first lesson I learned; proper alignment and execution of exercises. If I was going to commit the time, I was going to have to do it properly.
November 2015 - This is me, just having arrived to Melbourne on a one-way ticket with a freshly shaved head. I heard that the Rehabilitation Team @ausballet were one of the most comprehensive teams in the dance world and @davidmcallisterausballet, Artistic Director of the company and Sue Mayes, the Principal Physio Therapist, agreed to help me figure out if I could ever get back on stage again, which was a big unknown at that point. The team got straight to work on my foot, which was swollen, red, and stiff. What you see in this picture was one of the first exercises I learned to begin the complete overhaul of my instrument: the “soft ball reach and press," activating the small metatarsals in the tiniest parts of the foot. This was the space where I would spend 5 hours a day on exercises in the first three months; I didn’t even see the inside of a ballet studio. The team (who I will introduce later on) brought me in as one of their own, and everyone in the building, from Admin to dancers, welcomed me unconditionally. This became my home, my refuge, my hiding place and the people inside became my family and friends. They gave me my career back.