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: 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.

 

Dancer Profile: Whitney Huell

Now in her fourth season with Kansas City Ballet, Company Dancer Whitney Huell, opens up about her interests.

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

A: My mother took me to my older sister’s dance recital. During the show she asked me if I wanted dance, too. I eagerly nodded my head “yes” and I took my first ballet class the next year at 5 years old.

KCB Dancer Whitney Huell. Photography by Kenny Johnson.
KCB Dancer Whitney Huell. Photography by Kenny Johnson.

Q: Do you have hobbies or special Interests?

A: I love yoga. I practice at least once a week and I enjoy the sense of relaxation I get from it. It stretches me and is a stress reliever.

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

A: I most enjoy being active all day. I love the constant movement of a dance and expressing myself with my body. I was very shy growing up and loved the fact that ballet didn’t require me to talk aloud.

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

A: I go by my middle name.