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Nov 5, 2019

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra sits down with Casey Herd, a former principal dancer and now the founder and director of a documentary film series — Ballet Rising — about the rise in popularity of classical ballet around the world. Originally from Utah, Casey danced for a number of well-known ballet companies before becoming a principal dancer for the Dutch National Ballet. His exceptional performances captured the attention of dance publications such as Dance Europe, who once ranked Herd 19th of the top 100 international dancers who have made outstanding achievements.

Herd’s passion for ballet is unmatched and has pushed him to find ways to better unite the global ballet community, yet even he admits that there are things he could have done better early in his career. On the podcast, Casey outlines all of the ways he’s celebrating the art of ballet across the world, discusses the importance of how you react to successes and failures, and explains why today is a particularly exciting time for the international artform of ballet.


Moving Quotes:

“All of a sudden, people are saying, ‘Oh, ballet represents me too. It’s not something for white people in Europe anymore. There are black dancers, Indian dancers — there’s everybody now. It really represents everybody.’"

“Understand that not everything is going to go your way. You’ll have many moments when things don’t turn out the way you think — or don’t turn out at all. And it’s how you deal with those moments — how you conduct yourself as a professional and a person — that really are going to define you."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:24: Casey describes his current documentary film project — Ballet Rising — where he travels the world, finding love of ballet in the most unlikely of places.

5:48: Casey discusses some of the filmed locales for Ballet Rising and recounts inspirational stories from two of these locations.

14:20: Herd reflects on his professional dance career and how he ended up at the Dutch National Ballet after spending some of the best years of his life with Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet.

17:09: Casey discusses the incredible rise of male ballet dancers and how the demographic shifts happening within ballet are improving the art.

20:54: Herd shares some advice for young, aspiring dancers, including the importance of leaving a good impression through your behavior and actions, regardless of circumstance.

24:08: Casey discusses some of his ongoing projects and goals, all in an effort to bring the global ballet community closer together.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Casey Herd

Ballet Rising