Nov 21, 2022
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Jeffrey Cirio, an internationally recognized ballet dancer who is currently dancing as Principal at Boston Ballet. Jeffrey also is co-founder and Artistic Director of his own company, Cirio Collective. Jeffrey has danced for American Ballet Theatre and the English National Ballet as Principal and Lead Principal, respectively. Jeffrey holds medals from competitions held across three different continents. His list of accolades is truly remarkable.
Jeffrey’s run as a professional dancer began at Boston Ballet. By his own account, he was living a dream and could have stayed with Boston forever. However, Jeffrey, who is a firm believer in expanding your horizons, decided to venture first to New York City then to Europe, picking up awards along the way. Now, he’s back in Boston, having come full circle, and claims that his world travels and new experiences built his character and made him a better dancer and human. On the podcast, Cirio recaps his incredible journey and speaks to the importance of venturing beyond your comfort zone.
"Try every day to go 100 percent at what you do. And aspire to do new things — to step out of the boundaries of your comfort zone. Be willing to be in the discomfort for a little bit because discomfort creates character and endurance."
"The amount of exposure that I had to different companies — especially European companies and contemporary companies — was impactful for me... It's hard to say that I haven't been impacted by all of my travels."
"With any profession, you often have a love-hate relationship. There's always a love for what you do. There are always things you hate about it. And that's normal. And you'd be lying if you said you don't have a love-hate relationship with any work you do. There always have to be the pros and cons of anything."
"My parents always told me that, if I wanted to do something, I could do it. But I'd have to do it at 100 percent every day."
"Mentorship is a two-way street; it's a conversation between two people... It's a community, which means having people help each other through the good and the bad."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
3:35: Jeffrey discusses his company, Cirio Collective, including how it began and where he’d like to see the company move.
7:52: Jeffrey explains how his dance career started at Boston Ballet, took him around the world, and brought him back to Boston, full circle.
12:51: Cirio shares some takeaways from his world travels that have shaped him most into who he is now.
16:25: Cirio retells the story of how he came to be in dance and when he knew that ballet was going to be his livelihood.
19:58: Jeffrey discusses the thought process behind going directly from high school into a dance profession and how he convinced his parents to let him pursue this career.
21:55: Jeffrey explains how he managed time while apprenticing for a dance company during the day and finishing high school at night.
24:49: Cirio digs deep into the impact that mentors have had on his life and how he’s been strategic in choosing which mentors to take.
30:11: Jeffrey gets practical and shares some traveling tips for performers on the road.
32:44: Cirio, who has an affinity for ice baths, discusses their benefits and why he’s incorporated this practice into his normal routine.
35:14: Jeffrey discusses what’s next for him as a performer, artistic director, and entrepreneur.
Bullet List of Resources –