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!

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.

Dancer Profile: Cameron Thomas

Company Dancer Cameron Thomas is an apprentice with Kansas City Ballet this year after two years as a member of KCB II. Find out more about what makes Cameron tick.

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

A: I became a dancer after being forced into a ballet class around age 10 or 11 as part of my gymnastics class. Later that year I was part of a local production of The Nutcracker and switched to dancing full time. After that I was off!

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

A: I love sharing dance with others. That could be through live performance or through conversation. I think dance is very powerful, and I love demonstrating that.

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New Moves 2017. Cameron Thomas is pictured on the left. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

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

A: I love music. I play piano and trombone. I enjoy playing music because it enhances my dancing but also exists outside of it. It’s a hobby I can retreat to.

Q: What do you enjoy most about Kc? Why?

A: I love the food—I’m not used to this many sources of good barbecue.

 

KCB II Dancer Profile: Marisa Whiteman

Now in her second season with Kansas City Ballet’s second company, KCB II Dancer Marisa Whiteman, shares a little about herself and what she’s enjoyed about KC these last four years (the first two as a member of our Trainee Company).

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

A: I have a twin sister named Mikhaila. We started ballet classes at age 4. I have had the opportunity  to dance with her in Russia. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn to fly on the trapeze when I was younger.

Q: Do you have a personal mantra or affirmation that you swear by?

A: The mantra I live by is to be the best “Me” I can be. I believe everyone is unique in their own way and we should all embrace ourselves.

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

Q: Do you have hobbies or special Interests?

A: Some of my favorite hobbies are baking and traveling. I love trying out new recipes and when I have a free time I love to explore new places. Visiting new countries is interesting because of all the cultural differences and history. Occasionally, I still like to do a bit of drawing as well.

Q: What do you enjoy most about KC?

A: I found Kansas City to be a hidden gem in the center of the U.S. It has so much of what a big city offers with a small town feel. It has a great arts community, sports, restaurants and the friendliest people.