James Whiteside, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
What career would you choose if you could not be a dancer? JW: I'd be a musician or another form or creator. However, when I was in school, I was obsessed with astronauts and dinosaurs. Go figure. What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)? JW: My worst fear is losing the people I love. Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could? JW: Janet Jackson, circa 1989 If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what would your advice be? JW: Go for it! Go for everything! If you could be an animal, what animal would your choose and why? JW: I'd like to be an eagle. They are beautiful and the idea of being able to fly is incredible. What is your greatest indulgence? JW: My whole life! What a fairy tale! What 3 items do you always have in your bag with you? JW: My kindle (I love to read), my iPhone (music is my passion), and deodorant (boys are smelly). What career would your family have chosen for you? JW: Circus clown. Ha, I don't know. I never gave them a chance to try to persuade me. What is your idea of perfect happiness? JW: A house on the ocean with lots of coffee and all my friends. Who would you most like to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)? JW: Roger the alien from American Dad. I feel like we would be the best of friends. What is your favorite city to tour to and why? JW: Tokyo. The food and culture suit me just fine! What was your biggest mishap in a performance? JW: Years ago, I did Lysander in Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and my sword got caught in the front cloth in the lovers scene. I had to stand there for a full minute untangling it. Hilarious! Is there a special meal you have before performances? JW: No, I don't really care what I have before a show. I'll eat anything!