Cupcakes & Conversation with Devon Teuscher, Corps de ballet, American Ballet Theatre
What motivates you at 8am on a Tuesday morning ?
On Tuesday mornings, I like to wake up a little early so I can catch up on my must-read favorite blogs, as well as contribute to my own personal blog detailing the things I love in life: my incredible job, friends and family, and my passion for fashion.
What are you looking forward to dancing in the new season ?
The hokey-pokey! Oh wait, you meant a ballet… Last year I began learning the challenging role Myrtha in Giselle and am hoping to get the opportunity to actually perform it sometime this coming year!
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I would love to dance the White Swan pas de deux with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ty Gurfien. We were able to perform this part together when we were both just starting out as students in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School a few years back. To see how we have grown and matured into professional dancers since then, would be such a thrill.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
I am fortunate enough to be able to dance on the breath-taking Metropolitan Opera House stage every year. As a budding dancer, that was always a dream of mine. I guess to me, it doesn’t get much better than that.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
The pointe shoes I wear are Bloch Alphas. I actually don’t put much preparation into getting my pointe shoes ready. I typically sew them, step on the box of each and spray both with water to soften them. I prefer my shoes really hard, so I tend to go through a lot of shoes.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Right now I am on vacation, visiting my sister and beautiful niece who live in Utah, so it’s nice to not have a set schedule. I get to sleep in and wake up to the giggles of a happy baby. I generally eat a light breakfast and then try to get a work out in, since I cannot take class here. When I am at home and working, it tends to be a little more structured.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
I would invite comedian Ricky Gervais (for his incredible sense of humour), author Suzanne Collins (to ask her about the creative process behind her series The Hunger Games), choreographer George Balanchine (to pick his brain), Alexander McQueen (to bring some impeccable style to the table), Rosa Parks (to gain some insight into being courageous) and last but not least, Johnny Depp (for eye candy over dessert).
What would surprise people about you ?
I can come off really shy and reserved sometimes, but I am honestly a huge goof.
Who inspired you to dance ?
Gina, my first ballet teacher when I was eight years old. My mom said that I used to try to mimic her every move and idolized her.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Always stay true to who you are as a person. Never lose yourself to gain anything.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
Being a little neurotic, I have a very particular routine. I start to get ready about 2 hours prior to a performance. After eating something I typically take about a half hour cat nap. Because I cannot put make-up on without taking a shower first, that follows the nap. Stage make-up and hair are followed by an extensive warm up then getting in my costume and I am ready to hit the stage.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
When I was in the Studio Company with ABT, I had the opportunity to dance the role of Caroline in Jardin Aux Lilas. I was so honoured to be able to dance such a complex and beautiful role at such a young age. It truly offered me the opportunity to stretch and grow tremendously as an artist.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
I would create a tutu that was flattering yet comfortable. Generally you get one or the other, but not both.
What do you look for in a dance partner ?
I look for confidence and an exceptional work ethic. It’s always so much easier to perform my best when I have someone with me who is confident in themselves and in turn helps to make me look great. I like to work really hard, and to have a partner that puts in equal effort keeps us on the same page.
What is your favourite quote ?
“Happiness is like peeing in your pants…Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth.” I read this quote on a greeting card that my mom sent me, and I have it framed in my room now!
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?
Turning has always come very naturally to me. I was doing fouettes before I even knew what they were?!
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
It is too hard to pick just one single moment. I am so blessed to have had so many amazing opportunities in my career so far. Every once in a while though, I remind myself of how lucky I am to be doing what I do in life on the incredible Met stage.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I really enjoy baking. Although I don’t get to do it often, I love how relaxing it is. I bake a mean blueberry-crumb bar!
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
Of course, who wouldn’t love to be a principal dancer with ABT within a year?! If not, I would still be incredibly happy to be performing and pushing myself in this beautiful and challenging art form.