“I love dancing roles that are equally challenging artistically as they are technically.”
Our “Meet a Dancer” Series introduces you to the newest company members of CBJ! In this first interview, get to know Company Dancer, Colton West. Colton is from Colorado Springs, Colorado where he received his formative ballet education. He has trained internationally across Singapore, France, and the United States and was most recently a company dancer with Eugene Ballet in Oregon. In this interview, Colton shares more about his dance background, career highlights, and reflections on joining CBJ.
What can you share about your dance background and training?
The majority of my training was with Colorado Ballet Society in Colorado Springs. I also took summer intensives with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Austin, ABT, and The Rock School for Dance Education. I am still very close with my teacher, Patricia Hoffman, and I often communicate with her when I need advice. I definitely would not be dancing professionally if it wasn’t for her. Along with my training in Colorado, I spent a year abroad dancing in Singapore. My dad’s job moved my family when I was in high school, and there just so happened to be a dance school across the street from our apartment in Singapore. I was very fortunate to travel to France during my time as an expat to participate in competitions, and I also had the opportunity to dance at the Paris Opera Ballet School for a summer. I am very grateful to all my teachers and coaches over the years.
What have been some highlights of your dance career so far?
I love dancing roles that are equally challenging artistically as they are technically. I am a huge movie fanatic, so I always revel in any acting opportunity I am given. During my last show with Eugene Ballet, I performed ‘The Hero’ (traditionally called Prince Ivan) in Suzanne Haag’s reimagined version of The Firebird. The process of creating this new ballet and performing it was absolutely sublime. I had never had a role created on me before, and it was also my first principal role, so it is something I will never forget.
“As someone who grew up in a smaller city with limited dance opportunities, I think it is important to bring dance to as many people as possible.”
What does it mean to you to be dancing with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen?
As a touring company, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen brings the performing arts to communities that might not otherwise get any exposure to ballet. As someone who grew up in a smaller city with limited dance opportunities, I think it is important to bring dance to as many people as possible. It just might inspire children in the audience to ask their parent to sign them up for a local dance class!
What are you looking forward to as you look ahead to this performance season?
I am really excited to be touring all over Canada. I love taking pictures and always have my camera with me. The fact that I get to simultaneously dance with a great company and travel around some of the most photogenic places in the world is definitely a win.
You can see Colton onstage in CBJ’s newest production, Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™. The show premieres September 28, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia with Symphony Nova Scotia and will tour Canada and the United States. Click here for a list of tour dates.
Written by Victoria Campbell Windle, CBJ Communications Contributor.
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