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Advice from a Pro: Movehealthier interviews PNB's Soloist, James Kirby Rogers.

Hello to all my lovely followers out there. I hope you are enjoying your day. Today, I bring to you an interview with a dear friend, an incredible dancer, and an even MORE magnificent & motivating person. His name is James Kirby Rogers and he just joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Soloist from Kansas City Ballet. I hope you find this interview inspirational and helpful on your own quest as a person with hopes & dreams.

Meet James Kirby Rogers:

Movehealthier: James, How long have you danced professionally?

James: 6 Years.

Movehealthier: Why do you dance? James: Dance is my way of understanding the world. It is thought made physical.

Movehealthier: Dance is so much about the process, from start to finish. At this point in your career, what has been the most fulfilling process for you (from start of rehearsal to your final bow)?

James: I think working on "In the Upper Room" was such an incredible experience. I remember in that rep we were also working on a Forsythe ballet and a new Parsons work. I was in all three! The evening finished with "In the Upper Room" and to have a full evening of iconic work capped off by such a beautiful and physically demanding ballet was surreal.

Movehealthier: When the going gets tough, what do you remind yourself of? James: That the world is a big place, we are all connected, and that I am in control of my experience.

Movehealthier: Covid-19 has changed every human's perspective in some way or another. How has Covid-19 changed your perspective as a professional ballet dancer?

James: It has changed my perspective on a lot of things. The past year has brought racial inequity to the forefront of discourse in America. To listen and educate myself more deeply on the history and present state of this country and it’s racial divide has been hugely eye opening. I think this time has also changed my perspective on space. For so much of my life, high quality dance facilities have always been available to me. During the lockdown of the pandemic, that wasn’t a reality. In order to keep dancing and pursuing the art form I had to reevaluate my relationship with space, how I could dance in confined spaces, and what those spaces did to contribute to my understanding.

Movehealthier: If you could tell your supportive fans, community and audience 1 thing right now, during Covid-19, what would it be?

James: Don’t give up on dance. We are back and are better than ever.

Movehealthier: One of Movehealthier's goals is to find out why dancers' feel it's important to crosstrain and move beyond the demands of dancing. What form of cross-training do you do and why do you feel it's important to invest that additional time for yourself (when you are already committed to such a physically demanding lifestyle)? James: I do Pilates, weight training, and yoga. Cross training has helped me stay injury free since 2014 and has also helped me hone my craft. As dancers our body is our instrument. Having the resources to expand my bodies capacity for movement is crucial to my improvement as a dancer.

Movehealthier: If you could give one piece of advice to young dancers what would it be? James: Give more than you think you have. Not only effort, but give yourself to this art form.

Movehealthier: What's your favorite power breakfast? James: Big fan of a plant based protein shake and some fruit.

Movehealthier: What is your favorite thing to do in life which relieves your stress and anxieties? James: I love cooking and playing chess. Honestly sometimes those can stress me out as well so I try and make sure I meditate.

Movehealthier: Reality has it that a ballet dancer’s performance career doesn’t last forever. What is one mindfulness practice you do in your everyday to enjoy the precious moments of your career? James: Meditation. It just helps so much.

That's a wrap! Please enjoy the video below of James from December, 2020. James came to Sacramento, to train & be coached by Sacramento Ballet's artistic/executive director, Anthony Krutzkamp. This video is from one of many rehearsal days during that time! Thanks James for your time with Movehealthier!

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