KCB II Profile: Angelin Carrant

Angelin Carrant joined the Kansas City Ballet this season as a member of KCB II, part of Kansas City Ballet’s second company. He is originally from Paris, France.

Q: how did you become a dancer?

A: My mother brought me to my first ballet class at the age of 9. She wanted all of her children to take at least one ballet class.

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

A: I wouldn’t say people are too surprised when I tell them I’m a dancer. They think it’s cool.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?

A: I love playing the piano. I really enjoy finding pieces and being able to teach them to myself.

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

A: I enjoy being able to do something that I love every day and it being my profession. Dancing on a stage is a plus as well.

KCB II Profile: Austin Meiteen

Originally from Austin, Tex., Austin Meiteen joined the Kansas City Ballet family this season first a Trainee and then was promoted to KCB II.

Q: how did you become a dancer?

A: I started dancing when I was 5 because my sister started and it was just easier to put me in classes also. I didn’t get too serious about it until I was 13.

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

A: They’re surprised by how many hours we work and also how flexible I am as a guy.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT KC?

A: It reminds me a lot of my hometown, Austin. There’ s a certain vibe to it that’s very unique and home-y.

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

A: I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and an SAT score in the 95 percentile.

KCB II Profile: Divya Rea

Divya Rea joined Kansas City Ballet’s KCB II this season. She is originally from Wheaton, Ill.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I was three when my mom enrolled me in a ballet class. I loved dancing and continued to train and pursue my dream to one day dance professionally.

Q: what ARE PEOPLE MOST SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB AS a dancer?

A: People are usually surprised to learn how much time and effort goes into being a dancer. The days are long and the work never truly ends. There is always something to perfect, even after training for ten years. However, everything is worth it when I step on stage.

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

A: Cross training is important for me. In addition to dance, I do Pilates and run on an elliptical machine. I’m also always on the lookout for new workouts to try. This summer I enjoyed the workouts at Orange Theory Fitness. As far as nutrition goes, I make sure I fuel my body with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. My favorite dish to make is riced cauliflower with salmon and zucchini.

Q: DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES OR SPECIAL INTERESTS?

A: Outside of ballet, I enjoy playing the piano, learning about philosophy, and reading about new scientific discoveries. Piano has always given me a way to lose myself in music. Philosophy fascinates me because I enjoy pondering unanswerable questions, while reading about scientific breakthroughs offers evidence that some mysteries may someday be solved.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL MANTRA THAT YOU SWEAR BY?

A: One of my first ballet teachers would always tell me to “be a shepherd, not a sheep.” This has been my personal mantra since the age of 8. It reminds me to do what I believe is right, even if that means breaking from what is popular.

KCB II Profile: Miranda Dafoe

Miranda Dafoe came to Kansas City Ballet in 2015 as a Trainee. Now she is dancing in her second season with Kansas City Ballet’s KCB II.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started taking classes when I was 3 years old. I haven’t stopped since!

Q: what ARE PEOPLE MOST SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB AS a dancer?

A: They are surprised by how many shoes we go through! I’m lucky to make two pairs last a week and they cost about $80-100 a pair!

New Moves 2017. Miranda Dafoe is pictured in the front center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
New Moves 2017. Miranda Dafoe is pictured in the front center. 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 eat a lot of veggies and protein. My snack during rehearsal is always an RXBAR. And of course, I like to treat myself to dessert every once in a while! As far as fitness goes, I focus on cardio and core work at the gym.

Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT KC?

A: I love that coming from San Francisco, KC has that “big city feel” as a small city.

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

A: I’m half Russian!

Second Company Alumni Updates

Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

When Devon Carney arrived in Kansas City to become Kansas City Ballet’s Artistic Director he brought with him a desire to add a second company. In his first season (2013-14) he added five members to KCB II. In his second season (2014-15) he brought KCB II to six dancers and added eight? Trainees. Since then members of these groups have not only gone on to join other dance programs as well as other companies, but some of them have climbed the ranks right here at KCB to become company members. Growing and developing talent has been the goal and it is being achieved.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Looking back over the second company rosters since 2013-14, the majority of the dancers have continued to dance and work in this field. Below is what we’ve found:

  • Kate Anderson: Kate was a member of Kansas City Ballet School (KCBS) and Kansas City Youth Ballet (KCYB) before becoming a Trainee for the 2016-17 season. She is now a Trainee at Richmond Ballet.
  • Ivan Braatz: Ivan joined KCB II for the 2015-16 season and was promoted to a KCB Apprentice for the 2016-17 season. He is currently a dancer with Dayton Ballet in Ohio.
  • Rochelle Chang: Rochelle was a charter member of KCB II in the 2013-14 season and is now dancing her 4th season with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles.
  • Lark Commanday: Lark , also a charter member of KCB II in the 2013-14 season stayed on for 2014-15 as well. After dancing as a member of St. Louis Ballet for their 2015-16 season, he went on to teach at Peoria Ballet.
  • Aimee Cover: Amy was a KCBS Summer Intensive student who was invited to become a Trainee for the 2014-15 season. She then danced with St. Louis Ballet.
  • Elizabeth Dennen: Elizabeth danced as a KCB Trainee for the 2015-16 season before becoming a dancer with NWA Ballet Theatre in Northwest Arkansas.
  • Katya Duncan: Katya was a charter member of KCB II in the 2013-14 season. She went on to dance with Bay Pointe Ballet.
  • Nikolas Gaifullin: Nikolas was a member of KCB II for two seasons, 2015-16 and 2016-17, before joining Atlanta Ballet as a company member this season.
  • Shane Horan: Shane attended KCBS’s Summer Intensive and was invited to become a KCB Trainee for the 2014-15 season. He then joined Ballet Idaho as a company dancer.
  • Scout Inghilterra: Scout was a KCB Trainee during the 2016-17 season.  She is currently a Trainee at Richmond Ballet.
  • Kelly Korfhage: Kelly was a member of KCB II for two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) before joining Verb Ballets as a Company member in 2016.
  • Lukas Pringle: Lukas attended KCBS and was a member of KCYB before being invited to become a KCB Trainee for the 2016-17 season. He is now dancing with Richmond Ballet II.
  • Emily Ryall: Emily was a KCB Trainee for both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. In 2016 she was dancing with Quixotic and teaching dance at Trilogy Cultural Arts Centre in Olathe.
  • Morgan Sicklick: Morgan was a charter member of KCB II, dancing both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. In 2015 she joined wonderbound in Denver as a dancer.
  • Kristin Smith: Kristin attended KCBS and was a member of KCYB before being invited to become a KCB Trainee for both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. She continued as a Cincinnati Ballet Trainee.
  • Aaron Steinberg: Aaron danced with KCB II during the 2015-16 season. He now dances with Nashville Ballet as an apprentice.
  • Kara Troester: Kara attended the KCBS Summer Intensive and danced as a KCB Trainee for both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. She is now dancing with Oklahoma City Ballet’s Studio Company.

SEND UPDATES

If you are a former member of Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company, please let us know where you are now. Email info@kcballet.org. We’d love to keep up with your career.

 

Photo Credits:

Top–KCB II members Katya Duncan, Morgan Sicklick and Rochelle Chang from 2013-14. Photgraphy by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios. Middle–Second Company rehearsal from 2015-16. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling. Bottom–Kansas City Ballet Second Company Dancers Miranda Dafoe and Nikolas Gaifullin during a performance at the Leedy Volkos Art Center in 2016-17 season. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.

KCB II Profile: Gavin Abercrombie

Gavin Abercrombie is dancing his second year with Kansas City Ballet’s KCB II this year.

Q: HOW DID YOU BECOME A DANCER? AND WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started dancing at the age of 8, when after seeing my first performance of The Nutcracker, I asked my mom to enroll me in ballet classes.

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

A: I enjoy the athleticism and the ability to communicate through movement.

Kansas City Ballet Second Company dancers Marisa Whiteman and Gavin Abercrombie.

Q: Do you have hobbies or special interests? If so, what are they and what do you enjoy about them?

A: I love hiking. Getting the chance to be outside, especially for prolonged backpacking trips is something I grew up doing and always enjoy.

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

A: I have a twin brother.

‘Undead’ Takeover of the Mayor’s Office

This week we had an exciting adventure at City Hall with our KCB II dancers!

Dressed as the Undead from Dracula, they took over the office of Mayor Sly James! Thankfully, the Mayor was patient with our ‘Undead,’ as they rummaged through his office and even accidentally knocked a few things over….Check out photos and video below to see more of our takeover!

Don’t miss our Undead in Dracula, Feb. 21 – March 2 at the Kauffman Center! Select your own seats online or call the Ballet Box Office at 816.931.2232 to order your tickets today!

Getting to Know KCB II: Lark Commanday

This year marks the inaugural season for Kansas City Ballet’s second company, KCB II. Lark Commanday is one of five dancers in this new ensemble. At just 17 years old and from Peoria, Illinois, he’s the only male dancer in this group. Read below to learn more about Lark, his hobbies and what he enjoys most about being part of KCB II.

Lark_Commanday

Q: How did you become involved in dance?
A: I come from a very artistic family and was encouraged to take a few ballet classes to try it out. My appreciation for dance grew as I aged, (still it grows as I age) and here I am.

Q: What attracted you to Kansas City Ballet?
A: I gained interest in KCB when I heard Devon Carney would be taking up the position of Artistic Director, because I had long been aware of his successful career.

Q: How has KCB II affected your dance career so far?
A: KCB II has given me an outstanding opportunity to cultivate my talents in a program which allows me to learn not only from teachers and choreographers, but from my peers in KCB II and mentors in the company.

KCBII_Fall13_04 copy
2013-2014 KCB II Dancers

Q: What is your favorite thing about Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet?
A: My favorite thing about Kansas City is KCB. My favorite thing about KCB is that the men in the company are always ready and glad to help a rookie out.

Q: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
A: I know how to build a cedar-shake roof. Last year my father and I redid a section of our home’s roof which was leaking.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not dancing?
Reading, cooking, playing chess with my father, or splitting firewood.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?
Working and growing as a dancer alongside a world-class company that has greeted me warmly. I am also looking forward to being a part of KCB’s main-stage performances, since I have never been a part of such professional productions before.

On Location: KCB II Photo Shoot

This past weekend, KCB II stepped outside the Bolender Center for their first on location photo shoot! Brett from Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios spent Friday evening with our dancers creating beautiful images.

Below are some behind the scenes photos taken by KCB’s Stage Manager, Victoria Frank. You’ll get a small glimpse into the process of creating stunning dance photos, along with a look at the fun personalities of our dancers. Enjoy!