Interview with Reagan Kilpatrick
For this post I did something a little different. I Decided to interview one of my good friends Reagan Kilpatrick who is a pre-professional ballerina at Colorado Ballet. I thought it would be cool for her to share what it’s like actively pursuing a career in a ballet world.
Reagan started taking dance classes when she was 8 years old. She was taking musical theater classes mostly, but it was recommended that she try some ballet classes. Like any young dancer, ballet wasn’t fun. She admitted, “I didn’t like it at first.” So she started taking ballet with a Russian teacher who taught a very difficult class and by the end of the year, she was the only one who stayed in the class. When she turned 11 she attended a her first ballet summer intensive at the Cuizon Ballet Center.
After a while, one of the ballet instructors talked to Reagan’s mom about her potential as a ballerina. When her mom asked if ballet was something she was interested in for a career she said, “It’s definitely something I’m interested in.” The next day, Reagan walked up the the ballet instructor and said, “Yes. Yes I want to be a ballet dancer.” After that, she decided to take as many classes as she could.
Reagan is a strong young woman who moved to Denver when she was 17 to begin her career as a ballerina. She decided to graduate early and start living on her own in order to work towards her dream. She elaborates, “It was really hard being away from family at first. My younger sister Lucy had just been born and I didn’t think I would see her enough for her to know who I am. It’s also really different dancing 6-8 hours a week with the same 30 girls. Not different in a bad way, just different. The classes have been rigorous and I’m always excited to take class! But the biggest difference is in me. I’ve definitely matured a lot. I hadn’t had a roommate before moving to Denver, and I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.”
Ballerinas face different battles depending on what age and level they are, but a common theme for all ages is comparison. Everyone compares themselves to everyone else, but ballerinas face an extra element of jealousy. These dancers are thrown into tights and leotards everyday, which makes it really easy to look in the mirror and pick apart what you see. “Someone will always tell you you need to lose weight. You can let that defeat you, or you can let that empower you.” Reagan has dealt with teachers and instructor telling her to lose weight more than once, but instead of deciding to starve herself to lose weight, she decided to change her diet. She started eating paleo so that she is putting nutritional food into her body and as a result, she lost weight in a healthy way.
Last but not least, I asked Reagan what she would say to young aspiring ballerinas. She responded with the best possible answer, “I would want them to know that they are on their own path. Other girls or boys might seem like they’re going faster, but there is always going to be a place for you among the many ballet companies.” Reagan also shared one of her favorite Bible verses, Philipians 4:8: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.