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!

2 thoughts on “KCB II Profile: Miranda Dafoe

  1. My daughter wants to be a professional contemporary dancer. She hasn’t decided between wanting to work for a company or going commercial. She dances at a small ballet studio in Colorado and takes 8 hours of ballet and 4 hours of other styles such as jazz, modern and pilates. Would you recommend a very serious ballet school such as KC Ballet as the best route for her to becoming a contemporary dancer? I know a strong core in ballet is crucial, but worry that she won’t get enough modern and contemporary training there.

    1. Hi Connie! Our Kansas City Ballet School Director Grace Holmes weighed in on your question. She says, “Training at a professional ballet school is an excellent way to work towards a career as a contemporary dancer. Which school a student chooses should depend on the student’s ultimate goal and the student’s age. As a young student, a school that focuses on ballet technique and offers other forms of dance in addition is a great way to start training. Once dancers reach middle- to high-school age, they should definitely make sure that they are getting a well-rounded dance education if they would like to go the contemporary route. Many students who are enrolled in professional ballet training programs, and are looking at the commercial world, augment their training with open classes in forms such as improvisation and hip hop. It is sometimes hard to fit these into the busy schedule of professional ballet programs. Kansas City Ballet School has increased its focus on modern technique (Horton/Graham/Dunham) instead of modern fusion classes. We also have added some improv classes and offer what we feel is a well-rounded curriculum for students aspiring to dance professionally or at the collegiate level. We also have opportunities for our more advanced students in our Kansas City Youth Ballet (our student company) and the works performed are split between classical ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary. We believe that solid ballet and modern technique is the cornerstone to a dance career, unless one is heading towards ethnic dance forms. Our highest level students in the Evening Program have each week: 10 hours of ballet classes, 3 hours of modern technique, 1 hour of jazz and 1 hour of character. Our Daytime students have an additional 10 hours of classes and add Improv and Contemporary. KCYB, adds 7-8 hours of rehearsal time to each week. We feel that our dancers could easily move into a contemporary ballet company, however they would need hip hop and more jazz to move towards commercial dance.

      There are other options. There are professional schools that are connected to contemporary ballet companies. If your student has a particular company in mind, I would suggest calling that company and asking if they have a school that leads into the company or if they have ties to a particular school. Summer is also a great way to experiment to see which companies ‘feel’ good. Find a summer intensive that is aligned with a contemporary company, and go from there. If commercial dance is the goal, then I would say take ballet and modern to keep up technique, but make sure that there is ample jazz and hip hop in the training.”

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