Editor’s Letter: What Does it Mean to Be a Role Model?

(Photo by Nathan Sayers)
(Photo by Nathan Sayers)

I think most of us would agree that a mix of strength, integrity and grace make up a large part of the equation. A good one also understands the inspirational effect they have on younger generations. At our cover shoot, American Ballet Theatre principal Stella Abrera was nothing less than a class act. When our fitness model stopped by to get ready for her own shoot, Abrera made a special effort to start a conversation and take a picture with her wide-eyed young fan. Read more about this gracious star’s journey to the top in our cover story.

For many of my generation, Julie Kent was the epitome of what a ballerina should be. Now artistic director of The Washington Ballet, she continues to be a beacon of wisdom. Be sure to turn to her essay, “In Defense of Patience.” In today’s high-pressure world driven by instant gratification, it’s easy to lose perspective on the lengthy process necessary to become an artist. Kent offers invaluable food for thought, based on years of experience.

Whether you’re thinking about exploring an unfamiliar style or need some reassurance about summer intensive auditions, you’ll find inspiring advice throughout this issue. And, as always, our summer study guide is your best resource for information on hundreds of programs. As you plan ahead, look to those you admire for motivation. You’re on your way to becoming a role model yourself.

Recently we shared the good news about a change in ownership of DanceMedia. We thought you might like to hear from our new owner, Frederic M. Seegal, on why he bought Pointe magazine.

“I’m excited with the opportunity to help the DanceMedia team because this is an exciting time for dance. Never before has dance (and dancers) been in the public and media eye the way it is today and, as a result, the needs of both dancers and dance companies is changing dramatically. The need for a trusted voice is more important than ever. We plan to continue to be at the center of it all and over time to extend our extraordinary magazines into the same position in the digital world.

A little about me: Vice Chairman of Peter J. Solomon Company, I have made my career advising major media, telecom and internet clients. I have a passion for the performing arts and have committed my time accordingly. I have served as President of American Ballet Theatre’s Board of Trustees, and as trustee for New York City Center, San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera.

The one thing I’ve learned from my experience is that people come to dance because of the dancers. Our mission is to make sure dancers are recognized, educated and rewarded. Without you there would be no dance.”

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