More than Dancers had an amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with professional ballet dancer, Sasha York. Originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Sasha began his classical ballet training at the Paavola School of Dance in Flint, Michigan. He later returned to Russia to train directly under master teacher Urey Urivich. After coming back to the United States, Sasha entered a pre-professional ballet program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. During his time in Pittsburgh, Sasha performed in company productions of Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. Sasha has worked with many well-known choreographers such as Harrison McEldowney, Viktor Plotnikov and Septime Webre. Sasha currently dances for Ballet Nebraska where he is a soloist.
Can you tell us about your dancing career?
SY: I started out in a small studio in Michigan, just for fun initially. But then I started to like it and went onto a pre-professional program. I spent three years training at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and then got a job in Omaha, Nebraska where I am now.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
SY: Hopefully I am still dancing but choreographing more. I’d like to go in that direction more. I’d like to try different kinds of dance that are maybe easier on the body. I like modern—I’ve always wanted to do modern more than ballet, but ballet really stuck around. I’d like to get certified in Pilates and yoga as well.
What is your fav role to dance?
SY: Anything that’s exciting. I like the Russian in The Nutcracker. It’s not very long, but it’s so exciting and brings so much energy to the theater. The audience really gets into and starts clapping when you are dancing. And Dracula. Something dark and deep.
What do you love most about dancing professionally?
SY: You get to get up in the morning and come to work and do what you love. It is different every day.
Do you have a pre-performance ritual?
SY: I like to have my hands shaken out. Someone grabs my hands and shakes them up and down and side-to-side because I get nervous, still even after so many years, I get nervous. Ballet Nebraska also has a song we sing together before we take the stage.
What gives you inspiration to dance
SY: The audience. To see and hear their reactions after the performance makes me want to go on and perform more.
Thank you, Sasha! If you have the chance, visit him at Ballet Nebraska!