The word ballet conjures up images of pink tutus, those pointed slippers and, yeah, that Natalie Portman movie. World-renowned dancer Kristi Boone knows that for many people, ballet is all about stereotypes. Boone has been dancing ballet exclusively since age 13 and has performed at The Parthenon in Greece, the White House and throughout the world as a soloist for New York City's American Ballet Theatre (a position from which she recently retired). She'll make a stop in Salt Lake City for a one-day ballet intensive for young dancers on Saturday, June 27 at the University of Utah Marriot Center for Dance. For more information, visit AuditionWorkshopSLC.com.
Why devote your life to ballet?
You have to be very smart to do it, because you're jamming hours and hours and many different ballets into your head. We're real athletes—you have to have a lot of stamina beyond just trying to look pretty. You have to make the hardest step look easy and the easiest step look hard. And it's definitely not just a female thing. My husband also danced for ABT—that's how I met him.
Did the movie Black Swan ring true for you?
Actually, one of my fellow soloists was the body double for Natalie Portman. There are a lot of different personalities in ballet so, of course, you're going to have some crazy people. In the arts, we all have to be crazy on a certain level. But that kind of stuff? It's not going on every day. And I thought Natalie Portman did a good job, but did she become a ballerina? No. That was all my friend, Sara.
You've traveled the world performing ballet. What places have stood out?
One of the coolest experiences I had was going to Cuba in 2010. That was just an amazing experience, really eye-opening. I definitely felt very lucky to be American after visiting there and seeing the poverty. But the people, the culture—they're just full of life. It's crazy to see what they have to make due with.
How did you get into modeling for publications like Glamour?
People would contact American Ballet Theatre, my former company, or see me on my website and contact me to do different things. We're also very fortunate to get to wear certain designers for certain galas that we have throughout the year. And also, we get to work with amazing photographers in the New York City-area.
Dancing requires skill, precision and years of practice. Is modeling as difficult?
I don't think you can compare the two. Walking a runway and performing a full-length ballet definitely requires different skills. We'll just leave it at that.