This month’s Dance Magazine includes an article on professional dancers who balance performing careers with academics. New York City Ballet soloist Teresa Reichlen is featured since she studies at Barnard College on the Upper West Side while performing with NYCB at Lincoln Center. Teresa mentions that she’s interested in biology and chemistry, and eventually wants to earn her degree so that when she’s no longer dancing (which hopefully won’t be any time soon), she “won’t have to start from scratch”. Interestingly, all of the other dancers featured in the article – students from Texas Christian University, Sarah Lawrence College, Howard University, and Ohio State University – discuss how the dance programs at their respective schools prepared them for the technical and artistic demands of dancing professionally, whereas Teresa focused on how her already-existing performing career has benefited from academics. She doesn’t take any dance technique at Barnard, but she notes that courses such as Dance Criticism and Performing the Political have allowed her to understand and analyze dance very differently from when she is performing or rehearsing in the studio. I’m certain that her classroom-based exploration of dance has enhanced her performances and the way she approaches a role.
Teresa is currently performing at the Vail International Dance Festival with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. Click here to read an essay that she wrote for the Morphoses blog, reflecting on her experience performing in Vail with Morphoses last summer.