Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre
What career would you choose if you could not be a dancer? CR: I would love to do something that's still creative, but less physically demanding, like become a chef— I love to cook and bake. I also think being a member of a foundation that cultivates young artists, musicians, dancers would be exciting and inspiring. What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)? CR: Although one of my biggest goals is to be more fearless in everything I do, fear still exists. One of my biggest fears I'd say, is not being able to reach my fullest potential whether that be in my career, or in life. There are so many instances when I think of the idea of time, and how precious it is. These thoughts come especially when things are happening so fast around me, and before I know it, another year has gone by. I try sometimes to step back and reflect, or write about things that are going on, just to kind of keep things in perspective. Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with (if you could)? CR: I would've loved to be apart of anything Rudolf Nureyev did. Not only was he an incredible artist, but such a rebel and had a lot of important ideas about life and career that I find interesting. If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what would your advice be? CR: I would say to definitely go for it, and when times are difficult to always remember that feeling dancing brought you when you first wanted to dance. To be able to dance for a living is a pretty special gift. At the same time it’s is also very challenging and requires a lot of your time and energy, and can be competitive at times. There would be many sacrifices, but in the end it is definitely worth it.
If you could be an animal, what would animal would you choose and why? CR: I would be a bird. I've always wanted to know what it feels like to fly. What is your greatest indulgence? CR: Chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies from scratch with milk. It’s the best. What 3 items do you always have in your bag with you? CR: Phone. Wallet. Keys. The essentials. What career would your family have chosen for you? CR: I come from a military family, so probably something along those lines. As a kid, I was always writing scripts, playing music on my keyboard, so I'm not sure being in the military would've suited me too well... What is your idea of perfect happiness? CR: Nothing in this life is perfect. That's what makes the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve meet even more special. Happiness to me is a feeling. That moment when, after you've given your all in a performance, and you come to greet the public at the front of the stage and you see the joy on their faces of how proud they are of what you've presented.. Or when I step off the plane and can see my family waiving and I get to hug them and tell them how much I've missed them. To me, if happiness could be perfect, that would be it. Who would you like most to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)? CR: President Obama, the Dalai Lama, Nureyev. What is your favorite city to tour to and why? CR: I always enjoy my time in Tokyo. I've been lucky to have gone twice. I feel like it's a city that continues to surprise me each time I've gone. There are so many cool places to eat and shop. The fans of ballet are so generous and enthusiastic, you can feel their love for ballet. I remember one time after a show, we had to load the buses in a private loading dock, because the crowds were so wild. When we drove out, we could see so many people waving posters and taking photos of us. Some even had printed cutout faces of some of the dancers on sticks held up to their faces..was kind of funny and overwhelming. They're the best. What was your biggest mishap in a performance? CR: I can't think of one right off..but being that it's live theater, anything's prone to happen. Is there a special meal you have before performance? CR: If I'm anxious or depending on what role I'm performing, the level of adrenaline might be high, so it's hard to have a full stomach before a show. I always have a good breakfast. It varies, but I'll usually have eggs with toast some fresh fruit juice or oats. During the day leading up to the show, I usually eat pretty light too. A sandwich, some fruit, protein shake (that I make at home), things to keep me sustained but not full. After performance is a different story. I don't really have diet constraints, so I love a nice steak or good pasta. My close friends are from Latin America so I love my rice and beans too