30 May 2019
A Day in the Life of Company Dancer Ethan Price
Since starting dance classes at the age of 9, Ballet Arizona has always been a part of Ethan Price’s life. He trained at The School of Ballet Arizona for 8 years and went on to join our studio company and then our professional company in 2016. He has since performed lead roles in Ib Andersen’s Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Firebird, along with new works like Rigged Games by fellow company dancer and choreographer Nayon Iovino. With his third season with Ballet Arizona coming to a close this weekend, we took a look at a day in his life as a professional dancer!
- 7 am – I wake up and water the plants, feed the dog and get the day started.
- 8 am – Eat some breakfast, I don’t typically like to cook in the morning so I will usually eat leftovers from the night before. This morning was potato soup. I also don’t believe in delineating what you can and can’t eat by the time of day, so yes really I did eat potato soup.
- 9 am – Go back to sleep! The best part of Desert Botanical Garden shows is having a later work day, so you can spend the morning in a relaxed way if you want.
- 10 am – Wake back up and take a shower. Now I can start the day for real this time.
- 10:30 am – Get any chores done that need to be done like dishes, taking out the trash, and going to the bank, pretty much all the boring stuff that you tell yourself you definitely don’t have time for even though you have the whole morning…
- 11:15 am – Do my maintenance exercises. Personally, I don’t like to do heavy workouts on days that that we have shows, especially for longer running shows like Eroica. Though I do have things that I will do everyday for my core and upper body strength. I also roll out tight muscles and stretch. Despite the show itself not being too demanding on the body, the three weeks of shows will wear you down over time so it’s important to stay on top of your physical health.
- 12 pm – Leave the house to go to the studio for technique class. Also I guess eating happens in here somewhere. I tend to eat a lot of light things throughout the day, like peanut butter on various carrying vessels (bread, crackers, a spoon perhaps), bananas, pistachios, protein bars, hummus, you get the idea.
- 1 pm – Take class at the Ballet Arizona’s studios.
- 2:30 pm – Artistic staff gives us notes on the previous nights show and we work on anything that needs to be improved.
- 4 pm – Break time. Our warm up class at the garden doesn’t start until 7 pm, so I have some time to relax, read the news, eat some food to tide me over till after the show and do my hair and makeup.
- 6 pm – Drive over to Desert Botanical Garden and start prepping for our warm up class by stretching, rolling out tight muscles, and feel the ground a little bit.
- 7 pm – Take warm up class taught by one of the artistic staff.
- 7:45 pm – Get into costume and do any last minute things before going to the side of the stage to wait for the show to start.
- 8:15 pm – The show begins!
- 9:15 pm – Honestly at this point I’m pretty tired and don’t know what time the show ends ever. I get changed hop in the car and drive home because bed time awaits.
- 9:45 pm – Arrive back home and close up the day. Taking a shower is first on the list, getting into something comfortable and getting some dinner ready follows. Tonight is some roast chicken and salad, which is also leftover from the previous day. Leftovers and meal prep is great for show weeks.
- 11:00 pm – After wasting time online it’s time for bed, so we can start all over again in the morning.
What inspired you to pursue ballet as a career and what has been your favorite thing about being a dancer?
My mother was a dancer throughout her young adult life and thought I might have an interest in it. She put me in classes when I was young and I’ve stuck with it ever since. Even though there’s a lot of stress that comes with being a professional dancer and it’s easy to psych yourself out at times, my favorite thing is the fact that I get to go to work everyday and do exactly what I want to be doing.
With ballet being to demanding on the body, how do you take care of your body especially during show weeks?
During show weeks I like to do lighter workouts to keep my body moving, but make sure I’m not adding additional stress onto my body. I like to focus a lot on keeping my legs loose and limber. I tend to get very tight in my lower legs, and excess tension can lead to additional problems elsewhere, so it’s best to stop the problem before it starts.
Have you had any injuries?
I have dislocated my shoulder twice now – it happened a couple of nights ago during Eroica. It can be scary after the fact, but it just makes you be more conscious of how you’re working with your partner for the safety of both of you.
Who is your ballet inspiration?
There’s not one specifically – I like it all. There’s so many beautiful dancers out there and so many unique stories to be told. That’s on of the incredible things about ballet. It’s such a personal art form that two people really can’t ever replicate the same performance. It has to be true to yourself, or else no one will be able to connect with it.
What has been your most rewarding experience on stage?
I’ve been very fortunate with the works that I’ve been able to perform over the past couple of years. I think that whatever I’m working on has to be the most rewarding. If it’s not, if I’m looking to the past as a time that was better than the present, then I will be resigning myself to the idea that I’ve “made it” somewhere. I’m still way too young and have way too much to work on before I can get sentimental.
What do you like to do outside of dance?
I like to draw. I’ve only started last season, but it’s a lot of fun to see the progress you can make in something over time. Specially something with such visible sings of improvement.
Any plans for the summer?
This summer I’m going to be a chaperone at The Washington Ballet summer intensive where I will be able to say in shape and take classes. Ballet never really stops once you’re this far in.
Any advice for aspiring dancers?
You get out what you put in. Your’e going to have to make sacrifices, you’re going to be tired and get hurt, and you might often wonder whether or not you really want to pursue such an unforgiving career. But if you put in the work everyday you’ll come out on the other side.