Cupcakes & Conversation with Lindsi Dec, Soloist, Pacific Northwest Ballet

December 15, 2010

Ballet, Cupcakes & Conversation


christmas snowman cupcakes

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Cupcakes & Conversation with Lindsi Dec, Soloist, Pacific Northwest Ballet What motivates you at 8am on a Monday Morning?

I love waking up in the morning thinking, what can I improve on today? One of my favorite things about being a dancer is there is always something to work on. I love the challenge and pushing my body to its potential.

Why ballet ?

At first, I hated ballet! I was a competition kid focusing on tap, jazz, lyrical, etc. However, when I was about 14, my mom took me to see Miami City Ballet perform Rubies at the Kennedy Center. And I turned to my mom once the ‘Tall Girl’ began dancing and said, “I want to do that part some day.” From that point, my passion soared and I was determined to become a professional ballet dancer.

What are you looking forward to dancing next year ?

I was thrilled to dance Jardi Tancat by Nacho Duato this year. Ten years ago, when I was an apprentice, I would sit in the wings with my friend, Kylee Kitchens, watching Jardi. We would get chills watching the dancers and we aspired to one day being able to dance that part. And ten years later, we were both cast to perform it.  It was an amazing  and emotional experience! I’m also looking forward to A Midsummer’s Night Dream as well as Giselle. It is the first time PNB has ever done Giselle. It will be a challenge for me to do something so classical, and I’m excited about that. 

ballet dancer in jete position in Nutcracker

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec as Peacock in PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker Photograph : Angela Sterling

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?

I absolutely love dancing with my husband, Karel Cruz, who is a Principal at PNB. We have been able to partner quite a bit over the years. Some of our favorites are Jardi Tancat and Petite Mort. I would love to be able to dance Kitri with him as Basilio. As well as Swan Lake.

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?

I would love to be able to dance ALL over the world. I don’t have a particular place in mind. Just being able to share our art form with other ballet audiences and being able to experience different cultures would be a dream for me.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?

My pointe shoes come with what we call a popsicle stick under the actual shank of the shoe. I cut that to where my arch is and then bend the shank to create a nice shape to my foot. I also use a lot of ‘Hot Stuff.’ It is very caustic glue that Boeing uses.  I apply the glue in the tips, between the popsicle stick and the shank, and on the bottom of my shoes lining either side of the shank as well as where I have bent the shank.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?

Right now, we are in the midst of Nutcracker performances. Usually I wake up at 7am, go to the gym to cross train and take class. We are also rehearsing for Kent Stowell’s Cinderella right now, so we will have some rehearsals for that. Once Thursday arrives, we are in show mode with two a day.

ballet dancer

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec in Kiyon Gaines’ M-Pulse. Photograph : Angela Sterling

What would surprise people about you ?

I love going to Dairy Queen to get a snickers and butterfinger ice cream blizzard. There was a week where I went every night. I have a huge sweet tooth!

What is your best piece of advice ?

My mom always tells me that all you can do is try your best. So I believe that if I give 200 percent to whatever role I am performing then there are no regrets. You will have a successful show no matter what because you know you’ve tried your best!

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

I like to take naps and usually my cats join me! I will shower, drink some yerba mate tea to wake me up, get to the theatre and perhaps get therapy or massage. I like to take my time with my make-up and hair. I try to relax as much as I can.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?

I would say that classical roles test me the most. I feel I am more of a neoclassical/Balanchine dancer; so a ballet like Sleeping Beauty where I danced Gold and Silver and definitely when we begin to rehearse Giselle certainly tests my comfort zone. I am in the studio rehearsing by myself twice as much as I would for other ballets.

What do you look for in a dance partner ?

I love dancing with partners who are very willing to work on things. I like to feel comfortable on stage so to get it just right is very important. And, of course, someone who likes to laugh and enjoy the process.

What is your favourite quote ?

“whatever is meant to happen will happen.”

two ballet dancers in a pas de deux

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec with principal dancer Karel Cruz in Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt. Photograph : Angela Sterling

Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?

Nothing particularly comes naturally to me !  But I love jumping. There is something about flying through the air that is a lot of fun!

What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?

I’ve had a lot of great on-stage moments, but one of my most favorite moments was when I came out to bow as the tall girl in Rubies. I couldn’t believe that dreams do come true.

In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?

In a year from now, I would just love to be dancing as much as I can.  Our diverse repertoire offers me various ways to push myself, which is very gratifying. And of course, I want to be a Principal here at PNB someday!

ballet dancer in portrait photograph

Lindsi Dec Photograph : Angela Sterling

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