When Alicia (my wife) and I moved to NYC back in January, I had the opportunity to shoot social media content for a well-known performing company. I needed a group of dancers, but the job didn't pay enough for me to hire them (after paying for studio rental, we basically broke even). Phoebe was one of the dancers who helped us out--in exchange for a mini-shoot. Despite the small space we had to work with, we ended up with some great shots.
When we searched for dancers to help out with Dancers of New York, Phoebe helped us out as well. She braved the snow and the cold to meet us at the stop and share her experience as a dancer in New York.
Tell me about yourself.
I am classically trained. I went to a ballet focused program at Butler University. Super intense, I was in the best shape of my life! I decided to not follow the company track though. I switched over to a more commercialized world of dance and have been able to work professionally in that field for several years. At times I wonder if I made the right choice, but overall I’m happy that I’m still performing- that’s the ultimate goal.
Where are you from?
I’m from a suburb of Chicago, Crystal Lake.
When did you move to New York?
I moved to New York a couple years ago. It took me a while to get all the cards lined up to move here. The right time, moving in with the right people, having the right mind set. It’s funny, I finally signed a lease to move here and the next week I got offered a cruise ship contract. I had been auditioning for cruise ships for years and finally got it. So, I moved here and then left for the ship 2 months later.
How was the cruise ship life?
Working on a cruise ship is such an experience! It’s just another world. There are people from so many different countries all living and working together. That’s one of the best parts- meeting interesting people. I actually met my boyfriend on the ship and we’re still together. Also the bond I had with my cast was unlike any other. They really became my home away from home. Dancing on a rocking ship takes some getting used to! You learn to kind of counter balance the waves and hope when you jump the floor is where you think it will be when you land!
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been lucky so far, getting pretty consistent dancing jobs since I graduated college. But there’s always that gap in between where you’re just auditioning and working the survival job. That’s where I am now. Right now, I freelance doing brand promotions for different companies.
What's your dream job / show?
I’ve always wanted to be a part of a dance-focused Broadway show like Movin' Out. But honestly, if I can make a living out of dance and performing, they’re all dream shows.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was three. My first performance I was a tap dancing pirate
What's your favorite style of dance?
Ballet will always be my base and favorite. It's where I started. Recently I've really been into theatre dance.
Who is your inspiration?
Baryshnikov. He keeps reinventing himself. My dance teacher growing up, Judith Svalander. My peers who book shows.
What's your favorite part of living in New York?
I love that there is so much going on here! You can go to a broadway show, see so many different dance companies, and hear live music on any night of the week. There’s an energy here, there’s nowhere else in the world like it!
What's your least favorite part of living in New York?
Everyday things are harder here. Especially when it’s cold out! You walk with your laundry. You walk with your groceries. You walk in the freezing rain. Gotta be a little tough to live here.