Laura Halzack, Paul Taylor Dance Company
What career would you choose if you could not be a dancer? LH: I would be an educator. Ideally a dance teacher, however if I could not teach dance, I would teach History which was my major in college. I have always admired teachers of all subjects and trades. In fact, my mother is a teacher. From watching her I know that it is not an easy job, but like dancing, it is a job that requires passion and commitment. I feel like the work of an educator is the foundation of society and that the responsibility of mentoring young minds would be a tremendous, yet exciting undertaking. What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)? LH: My worst fear professionally, like many other dancers, is that I will not reach my fullest potential as a performer; that I will leave some stone unturned, or path untaken and regret it. However, time and experience has also taught me that this art form is ephemeral. Rather than focus on my fears for the future, I have realized it is best to be in the present and treasure each fleeting moment. As far as personal fears go…I have an irrational fear of spiders! Haha! They creep me out! Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could? LH: Hmmmmmm….tough one! Just kidding! Paul Taylor! I have had the great privilege of being in the studio with Paul as a dancer and choreographic instrument, but I have always wondered what it would be like to dance with him. Did he like to lead? Did he like to follow? What was it like to share his energy in performance? He had such a powerful presence on stage that I am sure it was fun, but a challenge to live up to at the same time. Also, he was very tall and strong, and I think we could have come up with some really creative lifts! If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what would your advice be? LH: I would tell them to be brave.I would tell the child that the life of a dancer is a singular and beautiful adventure.I would say that this journey will be filled with highs and lows, but that every experience is a gift.Sometimes you have to be prepared to fall to rise, but the climb back up is what makes you.The climb is what tests your courage and commitment, and if passion and joy are what push you forward, then do not stop climbing. The sky is the limit. If you could be an animal, what would animal would you choose and why? LH: I am going to take a light approach on this one. A cat. I would like to think that I would be something fierce and grand like a lioness, but in actuality it might be fun to be a fat, lazy house feline like my cat Owen. Eat, sleep, play. What a life haha! What is your greatest indulgence? LH: My greatest indulgence is reality TV. I am a sucker for anything Bravo, especially the Real Housewives! I am sure I lose a few brain cells every time I watch. What 3 items do you always have in your bag with you? LH: I always have my iPhone, mascara, and lip balm. What career would your family have chosen for you? LH: I come from a family where my parents let us choose our own path. I think their biggest concern was simply that my sister and I were happy in whatever we pursued. I will forever be grateful for their encouragement and support as I followed my own unconventional, yet fulfilling path to a professional dancing career. What is your idea of perfect happiness? LH: I don’t know if I have one idea of perfect happiness… To me absolute contentment can exist in a lot of moments. Sometimes it happens when I am on stage absolutely lost in the music. Sometimes it happens when I see someone I love accomplish something that they thought was out of their reach. Sometimes it is sharing a moment of uncontrollable laughter with friends or family. Sometimes it happens on a quiet Sunday afternoon, on the couch, eating an order of Chinese food and watching movies with my husband. These moments are all priceless and full of what feels like perfect happiness to me. Who would you like most to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)? LH: I would LOVE to have a coffee with Anne Boleyn. As a history nerd and a lover of dramatic tales, I have always wanted to know her side of the story. Although, her story might require a glass of wine instead! What is your favorite city to tour to and why? LH: This is tough one! There are so many. Paris is definitely up there. It is such a stunning city. I love the architecture, the sprawling gardens, the little winding streets of the Marais, the café culture, and, of course, the food! I also have to say that Athens is up there as well. The moonlit performance we did under the Acropolis is still one of the most memorable of my career. What was your biggest mishap in a performance? LH: My biggest mishap in performance was falling out of a lift, and I should say this was no petite fall. Both my partner and I went down. As I recall, the stage was very small. We were traveling in a circle quite fast and boom! We were up and then we were down. Good thing it was a comedy! Is there a special meal you have before performances? LH: No, I am not a creature of habit in this realm. It’s hard to be consistent when you are touring a lot. I always have a protein bar or banana on hand, and will munch at whatever the theater has to offer. I suppose the one ritual I do have is a cup of coffee at two hour call and a little bite of chocolate!
Juliet Jane - Hair & Makeup
Costumes courtesy of the Paul Taylor Dance Company