Ballet San Jose has always been a diverse company. As of this season, Ballet SJ is now home to forty-one dancers from countries all around the world, each one with a different story to tell. As we prepare for an exciting preview of our 2013 season at the Inaugural Gala on November 3, we continue to get to know the newest members of our company and learn just what makes them tick in our Artist Spotlight blog series.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with dancer Cindy Huang to discuss her dance background, her friendship with So You Think You Can Dance‘s Daniel Baker, and her special words for Ballet San Jose supporters.
Tell me about your dance background before joining Ballet San Jose.
Well I started dancing when I was ten (which most people would consider to be really late) in my hometown of Riverside, California, and then I moved to New York City when I was fourteen to train at the School of American Ballet (SAB). After that, I danced professionally with the Miami City Ballet, and then I ended up here this year!
Before we announced the new hires within the company, Daniel Baker [from So You Think You Can Dance] tweeted us saying…
@balletsj Thanks for the RT. Can't wait for Cindy Huang to start this season. What a talent! Will have to make a trip to SJ.. Great company!—
Daniel Baker (@Dance9Daniel) August 21, 2012
That’s so sweet of him! Daniel and I have been good friends since we were about fourteen. We first met at SAB in New York and we also went on to dance together in Miami, so I was definitely one of his biggest fans on the show!
What inspired you to become a dancer?
It’s funny – it started out as a social activity for me! My best friend was dancing after school, so I thought it would be fun for me to join her! In the end, I just couldn’t let it go, so everything just kind of evolved from there.
Name one dancer who has inspired you in your career.
I don’t know if I can single out one dancer. I’m inspired by everyone I work with! Everyone comes from such different backgrounds that you really find something unique and appreciative in each dancer. In the end, I feed off of that.
Describe yourself in three words.
Hmm…that’s a tough one. I’d say that I’m a fun, laid back, positive person, but in the end I just don’t think it’s possible to describe myself in three words. I do, however, always live by the motto that everything happens for a reason.
What movies or events did you enjoy this summer?
I did quite a bit of traveling this summer! For one, I spent a lot of time in Montreal, so I got to work on my French (but by no means does that mean I can speak French)! And then I took a trip back to Taiwan to visit family. I was born there, but I don’t get the chance to go back very much, so I was happy to have the time to be able to do that this summer. I also went to a live taping of So You Think You Can Dance to see Daniel [Baker], and probably what I’m most proud of is that I got my Pilates certification this summer!
What non-dancing hobbies or activities do you pursue in your time off?
During the summers I love traveling – which might be obvious from the previous question – and finding good places to eat. I love food, contrary to what people may think! And I’m not sure you’d consider this a hobby, but I love just being able to take a day off to relax, sleep in, and watch movies all day.
What works from the new season are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the world premiere [by choreographer Jessica Lang]. It’s always fun having a new piece created on a company and being fortunate enough to be a part of the process. But really, I’m looking forward to it all! It’s different rep from what I’m used to, so I’m just excited for the challenge and the opportunity to work with all sorts of different people. I think it’s great because things are never static here, so there’s no time to be bored.
What do you want to say to Ballet San Jose fans and supporters?
I want to say thank you for coming out to see and support the company. Day in and day out, us dancers work so hard to give the audience what we hope will be a great show. We’re having so much fun doing this that we hope the audiences are having just as much fun watching us. I’m just really happy to be here and so far I’m loving every minute of it!
Ballet San Jose dancers will take the stage again on Saturday, November 3, for our upcoming Inaugural Gala, an unforgettable evening of electrifying dance and virtuoso music! The Gala will feature sneak previews of works from the upcoming season; a rarely performed, breathtaking male solo, set to Mozart’s hauntingly beautiful Lacrimosa; and the triumphant return of last season’s critical and audience favorite, Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. Proceeds from the event will help fund live music for Ballet SJ’s entire season of productions and benefit its arts education program for local schools, “Music and Motion.” Visit www.balletsj.org to download a ticket order form and purchase Gala dinner and performance tickets.
We hope you will join us on November 3 for this thrilling evening!