Meet Cy: Professional Ballet Dancer  

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
 
A: I'm a professional ballet dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York City! I've lived here, in the city, for a couple years now and it has been amazing. I love ballet so much, but in my free time I love editing and creating videos. While being a dancer with ABT, I'm also working with many others creating various videos and content for social media. I'm very busy, but having so much fun!
Q: So much of our company is rooted in the re—inc founders' own quest to reimagine norms and barriers society has placed on us. What do you want to reimagine in the world?
 
A: When I reimagine the world, I imagine a place of acceptance. As a kid, I was extremely afraid to tell others that I did ballet. I kept it a secret from almost everybody. People have this idea that ballet isn't something for guys. I never understood that. Ballet is a beautiful art form that anyone can do regardless of gender. I want people to live life not worrying about why people love what they love, and instead support and accept others for who they are.
 
Q: What drew you to ballet?
 
A: I started ballet when I was 6 years old. My older sister started it before me. I remember seeing her perform in the Nutcracker one year, and I was completely in awe. I wanted to be on the stage too. Since I was always sitting around at the studio, my mom put me in some classes as well. I never wanted to do it as a profession. I always thought I would quit when I was in middle school. When I was 11, I moved to a very strict ballet school and fell in love. I then competed in major competitions that eventually led me to getting a scholarship to the HARID Conservatory in Florida. It is a boarding school solely focused on classical ballet. I moved out of my home in North Carolina to train at this school for 2 years before auditioning for ballet companies. It took me another two years to finally get into American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company.

"When I reimagine the world, I imagine a place of acceptance."

Q: What barriers did you have to overcome to make ballet your profession?
 
A: I think the biggest thing I had to overcome was negativity within myself. Growing up in a ballet studio in front of a mirror and constantly critiquing and judging yourself affects you. I began to develop pretty bad anxiety all revolving around ballet. I trained with some teachers who said some harsh things that stuck with me. All I could see and all I could hear was the negativity. As I've gotten older, I've been trying to see this art in a more positive and inspiring way. I'm still working on it, but I've come a long way since my time in school.
 
Q: Take us through a day in your life.
 
A: I wake up every morning around 6:30am. I try to give myself as much time as possible to eat breakfast and organize everything before heading out for the day. Each morning, before class I sit in either Madison Square Park or Union Square Park to try to relax myself before a long day of rehearsals. I have a technique class (standard ballet class) at around 10:30am every morning. After that, we have rehearsals until 7pm at the latest. During my free time throughout the day, I try to film my colleagues as much as possible, and edit as many videos as I can. Each day ends up being quite busy, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
 
Q: This collection was inspired by Fractals, a never ending pattern. They can represent both chaos and create calmness. What Fractals do you have in your life?
 
A: Ballet, in general, sort of fits under this definition of fractals. Rehearsing and working for hours on extremely difficult movements can sort of feel like chaos. However, when you're on stage dancing, every single worry in the world goes away. Everyone in the theatre feels calm and is enjoying pure art.
 
Q: This collection was inspired by Fractals, a never ending pattern. They can represent both chaos and create calmness. What Fractals do you have in your life?
 
A: My advice would be to follow what you love, and don't let anyone say you can't. Life is too short to worry about what others think.
 
Follow Cy's journey on instagram @cydoherty. How do you reimagine societal norms?