Meet The Dancers // Rachel Meyer

Company Artist Rachel Meyer grew up in Collinsville, Illinois and has performed with a number of dance companies including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, and Michael Clark Company. Rachel shares her life as a dancer, what it’s like working with different choreographers and gives advice to aspiring dancers.

When did you know that you wanted to become a dancer and what inspired that moment?

Ever since I was young I always dreamed of becoming a dancer.  I don’t believe I realized I could make this a reality until I started high school.  My training intensified and I became aware of the commitment and dedication I needed to make dance my profession.  I have always been a performer, so that became the main goal…to make a living from the art I loved.

Did you have a teacher or mentor who personally inspired your career in dance?

Summer Lee Rhatigan, artistic director and teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, has been one of my greatest mentors throughout my training and career.  For me she opened up the door to contemporary dance.  She showed me how endless dance vocabulary can be and encouraged a more intellectual path in discovering my own artistry.

How many hours a day do you rehearse and what does it involve?

My day begins with an hour and a half ballet technique class…

after that I have six hours of rehearsal. Rehearsal can involve working on a new creation with a choreographer, learning a new piece, or working to continuously improve the execution of the current repertoire.  Such an intense schedule requires physical and mental stamina and complete awareness of one’s body in movement and in space.

You work with many different choreographers with various styles and ways of working.  How do you prepare yourself to work with a choreographer?

To begin a new process with a new choreographer I always try to enter the studio with an open mind and an eagerness to pick up the choreographer’s style.  I try to identify what makes that choreographer’s way of moving special so I can enter into his or her choreographic language.  I want the choreographer to feel comfortable in exploring new ideas by still keeping his or her unique qualities.

What does your audience mean to you?

For me, my audience is whom I share my passions, my joys, my sorrows, my longings, my hopes…and my self with.  They are who I communicate with in one of the best ways I know how.

Why do you love dance?

I love dance because I feel movement is the best form of expression.  It is a universal language that can be shared with everyone.  Through movement I can say things that one is not able to say with words.

What would you say to a young dancer today?

Be true to who you are and what makes you unique.  Try to find what being an artist means to you and strive to become as close to that as possible.   Also, never stop being excited about exploring.  Exploring leads to new discoveries and new growth.  As an artist we must never stop growing.

For more information on Rachel Meyer, read her full bio on our website.

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Photo Credit: Michael Slobodian