Indiana Warrior, 18, is a Level V ballet student from Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is her first year at Colburn.
This interview has been lightly edited for style, content, and clarity.
How did you choose Colburn?
It’s actually a funny story. About two years ago, we were visiting the Broad. We came across the street to Colburn, saw that it was a dance and music school, and immediately took an interest in it. So we went in and walked around. I was still at my old dance studio at the time, so I wasn’t really looking at change studios.
Then, I went to Boston Ballet this summer for their summer dance program and I got to see Abigail and Blake who are former Dance Academy students. And in that moment, seeing the abilities that they had and the progress they had made from being here, I knew that it was time to make a switch and I thought that this was the right time and place to do it.
How’s it going so far?
I’m so grateful to be here. And I really enjoy it. I feel that Colburn not only teaches artistry and technique, but they also teach you that it’s okay to mess up and then you have to progress on top of messing up. I don’t always feel that I’ve gotten that message. So it’s been really refreshing to have that this year.
The Winter Dance Performance is coming up on January 26. What are you working on for that?
We’re working on Napoli, which is a short 15-minute ballet. We all have different characters and parts to take on within the show and we’re all village dancers at one point. Then we have smaller group pieces and solos, so I’m part of all of that. And then, we have a finale where we all come together, which is very cool. The entire village comes together and gets to dance. It’s a very joyous and exciting ballet.
How has it been learning Napoli?
First of all, I’ve enjoyed all of it. It’s just getting to come to dance every day—when that’s your passion, you’re going to enjoy it. It would be hard to dance if you didn’t enjoy it.
I think a challenge of it is that it’s in the Bournonville style, not the Balanchine style. Things are more reserved and quiet throughout the dances, so you really have to be so precise and clean. Whereas Balanchine, sometimes the movements are bigger and you can be more expansive.
What is the environment like here at Colburn?
Within our level, everybody really works so hard. It’s really a great learning environment and we’re all pushing each other. I think Colburn has been the most professional environment that I’ve been in, in terms of people who want to actually pursue dance, because of how focused it is and the commitments that are required.
Like, you have these scheduled classes and you need to be there. It’s not that you come and you take your drop-in classes and then you leave and you can do what you want. You’re here to do your job and you’re here to get where you want to go.
But dance can also be great for people who don’t necessarily want to pursue that, just because of the qualities and skills that it teaches you in terms of focus and determination.
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve been formally dancing since the time I was about six, so that’s about 12 years now. I’ve just never wanted to stop, it’s always just been what I’ve enjoyed doing.
When did you realize that you wanted to dance professionally?
I’m not quite sure. When I was little, and I don’t remember it—I feel like everybody has like their inner spirit that kind of guides them and knows what they want to do. I guess mine came out, and I told my mom, one day you’re going to be in the audience and you’re gonna be crying, and you’re not going to be sad. You’re going to be happy watching me and I’m going to be in New York performing. I mean, I don’t remember that but I guess something inside of me knew that I want to dance and so I’ve never stopped loving it.
Why do you love it?
I love it because it’s something that provides a constant challenge, but the challenge of it is so interesting, getting to refine the dance movements. I think you get to know yourself better too along the way. You get to know your determination, how hard you can work. I think it teaches so many qualities outside of just pliés and tondues that you can take with you further on in life as well.
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