Divya Rea is in her second season as a member of KCB II, part of Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company. Originally from Wheaton, Ill., Divya has enjoyed getting to know KC. When she’s not in the ballet studio, you might find her at the River Market shopping for produce or perusing art during First Fridays.
Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.
A: When I was three years old, my mom enrolled me in a beginner’s ballet class. I loved (and still love) the freedom of dancing. I am able to express emotions I otherwise couldn’t describe, and in the studio, I can escape my worries and focus solely on my craft.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT DANCING?
A: When I have free time, I enjoy playing the piano, writing, or watching TV—essentially anything relaxing after a day of rehearsals! On the weekends, I enjoy walking around Kansas City. I’ve happened upon multiple festivals and fairs by simply taking a walk.
Q: WHAT QUESTION DO YOU GET ASKED MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A DANCER?
A: I often get asked how I stand on my toes, and I always say practice. Every day I work on perfecting my technique and gaining strength. Ballet is not easy, but through repetition and rehearsal it becomes easier.
Q: HOW DO YOU STAY FIT AND HEALTHY OUTSIDE OF THE STUDIO?
A: Cross-training is important to me. Outside the studio, I alternate my workouts. Some days I elliptical or power walk, other days I lift weights. I incorporate Pilates to lengthen my muscles. I also cook often. I love trying new, healthy recipes.
Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
A: One of my first ballet teachers would always remind me that everything is “90% mental.” While that exact percentage may vary, this phrase has shaped my attitude in life. Before I approach a challenge, I must believe it is possible.
Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios