Tiler Peck, Principal dancer, New York City Ballet
Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in dance? TP: I grew up in Bakersfield, California. I got interested in dance because my mother was a dancer and owns a dance studio there called Bakersfield Dance Company. I was babysat there, so basically as soon as I could walk, I was dancing. How did your background and your family's background; affect your passion for dance? TP: Because my mother was a former dancer and owns a studio, I was always surrounded by dance. Being constantly surrounded by music and movement definitely paved the way for me to have a dance career. What career would you have chosen if you could not have been a dancer? TP: I honestly can't think of a day without dancing, but I guess I would have to say a country singer. I know so random! What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started dancing professionally? TP: How to take care of my body. Dance is an extremely physically demanding career and it is really important to be good to your body because it is your instrument. Of all the roles you have performed, which role helped you grow the most as an artist? TP: There are many roles that I think have really helped me grow, but two come to mind. I guested in a production of Giselle and I really feel like that role changed my upper body immensely in a great way. It made me so much more aware of my port de bras. The other role was dancing Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel when I was a soloist with principal dancer Damian Woetzel. This pas de deux was the first real lyrical pas I was given in the company and it taught me how important moments of stillness are. If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what advice would you give them? TP: Dance is something so demanding that you have to love it. If you love it then there is nothing like it, but you have to make sure it is your passion because it is a hard road. How has social media changed a dancer’s status and what is required of them? TP: Social media is an outlet for the audience and dance lovers to get a more insider view of a dancer. It is a way for us to share our daily desires and makes us more approachable in a way. I sort of miss the elusiveness that used to go with being a ballerina. Do you have one moment in your career that you remember most fondly? Or one moment that you feel really defined your career or the trajectory of it? TP: I think I would have to say either getting promoted to Principal or getting cast to play the title role in the new musical Little Dancer. Who would you like most to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)? TP: I don't drink coffee, but I would love to meet Adam Levine. Who were some of the people who influenced you the most in your career? TP: I would definitely have to say Heather Watts and Damian Woetzel, Suki Schorer, Susie Hendl, and Susan Stroman. What do you most value in your friends? TP: loyalty. What is your idea of perfect happiness? TP: Being healthy and able to dance and with my husband, family, and doggies next to my side. If you could be an animal, what would animal would you choose and why? TP: A dog, I just love them. Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could? TP: Baryshnikov. What is your greatest indulgence? TP: High Heels. What was your biggest mishap in a performance? TP: I once took off a costume. Is there a special meal you have before performances? TP: I always have half of a turkey or ham sandwich with some chips and a Dr. Pepper. But I eat this at around 3 if I have the show at 8.