Editor's Note: Jump at the Chance

Published in the April/May 2012 issue.

Brandt models her JKO t-shirt with pride. Photo by Nathan Sayers.

Being an artist doesn’t only come from a disciplined approach to class and rehearsal. It also comes from taking chances. Risk and discovery are flip sides of the same coin, as many of the dancers in this year’s Training Issue have learned. Our cover story looks at the growing influence of American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and at several dancers, now ABT company members, who gambled on an unknown quantity when the school opened. Then, the extraordinary Wendy Whelan and Desmond Richardson, working together for the first time, delve into a new duet by Dwight Rhoden in our photo essay “When Stars Align.” And celebrated choreographers Aszure Barton and Larry Keigwin discuss the excitement of making work at ballet conservatories in “Students As Muses.” For the students, it’s an opportunity to find unexpected facets of their talent; for the choreographers, it’s a chance to scout future company members and to see the dance world afresh through their students’ eyes.

No one develops a thirst for exploring in a vacuum. Sometimes a teacher can help students discover a path. Sometimes a parent can be a pivotal guide. What happens when parent and teacher are one? In “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” we look at how several dancer mothers and daughters navigate their professional and personal relationships, inside and outside the ballet studio.

Remember, it requires nerve and focus to learn something new. It can be uncomfortable, and take patience. In the end, though, you have more to draw on than when you started. You are that much stronger.