Dancer Profile: Danielle Bausinger

Danielle Bausinger joined Kansas City Ballet at the start of the 2014-2015 season.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: My mom loved ballet but never danced professionally. So she helped at a local dance studio. My sister went into lessons and then I followed her lead once I turned 3.

Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A DANCER?

A: There is no feeling in the world like performing! Putting your emotions through your movement and to music is something magical in this world that can’t be replicated.

KCB Dancer Danielle Bausinger as evil fairy Carabosse in "The Sleeping Beauty." Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KCB Dancer Danielle Bausinger evil fairy Carabosse in “The Sleeping Beauty.” Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES OR SPECIAL INTERESTS?

A: I love to go to movies and I enjoy going to the driving range every now and then.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL MANTRA?

A: Work hard, even when it’s hard work.

Q: IF YOU FIND YOU HAVE AN UNEXPECTED HOUR FREE, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL WAY TO SPEND IT AND WHY?

A: I rest and recoup. I do better when my body has had some down time. If I keep going and running errands and such, I don’t have the stamina in my legs to push when I get too tired.

Dance Festival: Why Dancers are Excited

Kansas City Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Dance Festival kicks off Friday, April 6 and runs through April 15. Find out why our dancers are excited for these upcoming programs.

 

Angelina Sansone | Company Dancer Since 2005

“I am happy to be sharing my 13th and final season with Kansas City Ballet’s 60th anniversary.

As many dancers would agree, Working on Jiří Kylián movement has always been something I’ve wanted to do before I retire.  I’ve been inspired by Andrea Schermoly’s work for some time as well, but this entire program is jam packed with moments I’m excited for. I love mixed rep programs. It allows us to be in the studio working on so many different things, with multiple stagers and choreographers. We are constantly changing gears and pushing ourselves mentally and physically.

Over my career the KC audiences have watched me change and learn, trying on many styles and adapting to different characters. They’ve seen me with everything stripped away, vulnerable, joyful, scared, strong, passionate… a dancer and a human. I honestly just can’t wait to get out there on that stage, give my all, dance unabashedly, and go on that ride with my fellow dancers, the musicians, and the audiences. Happy 60th!!!!” Bio

 

Whitney Huell | Company Dancer Since 2014

The Man in Black is the ballet I’m most looking forward to performing. I’ve never done a ballet in boots before! It’s also rare to remain onstage for an entire ballet.  I’m thrilled to experience the connection between four dancers onstage creating movement to six cover songs by Johnny Cash. The rehearsal process has been eye opening for me and I’ve learned how to move my body in many new and fulfilling ways.” Bio

 

James Kirby Rogers | Company Dancer Since 2016

“Truthfully this 60th Anniversary Dance Festival has been a dream come true for me. I have wanted to dance Petite Mort since I was 14 years old. I remember watching the iconic video for the first time and being in rapture. The simplicity of the piece, the cohesiveness of the props, music and choreography blew me away. Each element intermingled to form something that even through a small computer screen was mesmerizing. Now I have the chance to make it my own which is an incredible gift. If that wasn’t enough I remember when I was a student in Houston Ballet Academy watching a video of Stanton Welch’s Play and thinking how it looked like pure fun. I am honored to get to perform the pas de deux in Play and dance to music that I personally love and listen to regularly.” Bio

 

Marisa Whiteman | KCB II, Kansas City Ballet Second Company

“I have been very excited about rehearsing Play because it brings me back to growing up in New York City, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life with everyone going about their daily routines. The work is set to music by Moby, and the music helps take you on a journey of feelings and emotions throughout the ballet. You are going to love it!” Bio

 

Georgia Fuller | First Year | Trainee, Kansas City Ballet Second Company

“What I am most excited about for the Anniversary Dance Festival is the diverse repertoire being presented. The varied and eclectic dance styles in the program really show off the many strengths of Kansas City Ballet’s company dancers. I especially love the contrast between the very intimate and contemporary Petite Mort verses the very classical and elegant Balanchine’s Diamonds. I look forward to seeing these beautiful pieces take the stage and leave the audience awestruck!”

 

It’s not too late to get tickets or learn more about the Diamonds (April 6-8) or The Man in Black (April 13-15).

 

Photography by Tom Styrkowicz of 53 Studio.

 

Dancer Profile: Kaleena Burks

Kaleena Burks has been a Kansas City Ballet dancer since the 2010-2011 season.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started ballet when I was 3 years old. My mother enrolled me in dance because she also danced as a child.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: I’m obsessed with all things vintage. I love going to the West Bottoms to antique shop!

Dancer Kaleena Burks in rehearsal of Diamonds for the Anniversary Dance Festival. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
Dancer Kaleena Burks in rehearsal of Diamonds for the Anniversary Dance Festival. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

Q: WHAT ARE MOST PEOPLE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A DANCER?

A: That we literally dance all day! We have an atypical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (in our case 6 p.m.) job, but we are up and moving for all of those hours.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL MANTRA?

A: I always tell myself when I’m having a rough day or feeling exhausted that I will be out of my funk—a sort of “This too shall pass” mentality.

Q: IF YOU FIND YOU HAVE AN UNEXPECTED HOUR FREE, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL WAY TO SPEND IT AND WHY?

A: When I do have the rare hour off, you can usually find me in a studio sewing pointe shoes. I like to watch my colleagues dance, and I always need more sewn shoes.

Dancer Profile: Sasha Chernjavsky

Originally from Rochester, NY, Sasha Chernjavsky joined the Kansas City Ballet as an apprentice this season.

Q: how did you become a dancer?

A: I was inspired by watching a friend dance.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?

A: Drawing.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT KC?

A: It’s a very quaint city and there seems to be a lot to do.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I played piano for about 10 years.

Dancer Profile: Javier Morales

Originally from Cuba, Company Dancer Javier Morales joined Kansas City Ballet this season.

Q: how did you become a dancer? WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: My mom was a French teacher at the ballet school. I went with her and was watching the ballet classes. I liked it from the beginning. I started taking ballet classes in 1992 or 1993.

Q: what do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: I enjoy dancing as if there was nothing more than the dance itself.

Q: do you have hobbies or special interests?

A: I am interested in the history of the world and the human conscience, massages and physical therapy.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I write stories.

Dancer Profile: Amanda DeVenuta

Company Dancer Amanda DeVenuta joined Kansas City Ballet at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: Once I was able to walk as a baby, I walked on my toes all the time. I wanted to do ballet from the start, and at 8 years old I knew this was what I needed to be doing.

Q: DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES OR SPECIAL INTERESTS?

A: I do. I have a ton! I think it’s important to be inspired by even the smallest of things, such as a jasmine bloom! I love writing poetry and I’m also really intrigued by the world of fragrance. I want to create my own perfume someday.

Q: AS A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE AS WELL AS ARTIST, WHAT MAKES UP YOUR NUTRITION AND FITNESS ROUTINE?

A: I’m pretty balanced with what I eat. I try and eat healthy main meals, but I definitely don’t deprive myself of doughnuts every once in a while! As far as extra fitness, yoga has strengthened my core while allowing me to focus on my breath getting to all of my muscles, especially fatigued ones. I also occasionally like to go to the gym or go on bike rides. Pilates is also a favorite.

New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves 2018 Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Q: WHAT ARE MOST PEOPLE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A DANCER?

A: They are surprised to learn that it never stops. Even when on a big layoff, for me, I never can take too much time off. I’m always trying to get stronger.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL MANTRA?

A: “Find the beauty in everything.” It is inspiring to be able to look at simple things/pleasures in life and appreciate them. Life is beautiful and when I get caught up in its chaos, it helps to remember the little things and to not overlook them.

Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT KC?

A: Its appreciation for the arts! I love how many people support the ballet, opera and symphony here in KC! I also love that there’s always something exotic to try. Whether it’s a creative new restaurant, or an intimate house concert, museums or coffee shops. It truly is a hidden gem.

Dancer Profile: Lilliana Hagerman

Company Dancer Lilliana Hagerman began dancing with Kansas City Ballet’s KCB II in 2014. In 2015 she was promoted to a company apprentice, and she’s been a member of the company ever since.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I was born in Italy and grew up in lots of places. My parents put me in dance classes when I was 6 after returning to the USA. They said I would dance everywhere I went, so they decided to enroll me into dance classes.

KCB Dancers Lilliana Hagerman, James Kirby Rogers, and Amanda DeVenuta in The Sleeping Beauty. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KCB Dancers Lilliana Hagerman, James Kirby Rogers, and Amanda DeVenuta in The Sleeping Beauty. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: I am a pescatarian. I eat meat every now and then. But I take vitamins every day. I also try not to eat unhealthy food, but every now and then it happens.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I had two hip surgeries when I was only 21.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: When I dance there is no room for outside problems. So for the few minutes I’m dancing, I am completely blissful.

 

 

 

Dancer Profile: Goldie Walberg

In 2015 Goldie Walberg came to KC to be a member of KCB II. She was promoted this season to a Kansas City Ballet company apprentice. Goldie is a California native with dancing in her blood.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started dancing when I was 5 years old because my mom was a a dancer and my grandma owned her own dance studio.

Dancers: Goldie Walberg and Cameron Thomas. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios
Dancers: Goldie Walberg and Cameron Thomas. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: It is extremely important to cross-train. I love working with a personal trainer at the gym.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: Something most people wouldn’t know about me is that I could eat a cheeseburger for every meal for the rest of my life.

Q: If you find you have an unexpected hour free, what would be your ideal way to spend it?

A: It depends on the day… but I love a good nap!

 

 

 

Dancer Profile: Sarah Joan Smith

Company Dancer Sarah Joan Smith is dancing her second season with Kansas City Ballet.

Q: how did you become a dancer? WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I grew up in Eastern Europe and ballet was a class you took in school. My teacher told me I should pursue it. I did and love it.

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Sarah Joan Smith and James Kirby Rogers. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Sarah Joan Smith and James Kirby Rogers. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

Q: what do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: I enjoy hearing from an audience member that I conveyed a feeling or emotion to them just through the expression of dance.

Q: do you have hobbies or special interests?

A: Traveling. I love experiencing different cultures and people.

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: I usually try to consume as much food as possible to maintain the energy I need—a lot of fruits, veggies and peanut butter! I do Pilates and yoga once a week as well as swimming, biking and strength training multiple times a week in addition to daily company ballet class and rehearsals.

Q: do you have a personal mantra or affirmation? if so, what is it?

A: I always say “In with faith and out with His peace” and take a deep breath before I enter the stage.

 

Dancer Profile: Lamin Pereira dos Santos

Company Dancer Lamin Pereira dos Santos has been dancing with Kansas City Ballet since 2014.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started dancing at age 10 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dancers Tempe Ostergren and Lamin Pereira dos Santos. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: what are your hobbies or special interests?

A: Photography and working out.

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: I hit the gym at 6:00 a.m. at Onelife Fitness before ballet class Tuesday-Saturday at 9:15 a.m. I eat a high protein diet, low carbs, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I am from Brazil where we speak Portuguese, not Spanish. However, I can also speak Spanish. And, I am pretty crazy about my diets because I’ve really had to work hard to get where I am.