Nov 17, 2022
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Kristin Draucker, a veteran dancer and choreographer who is currently performing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. As a long-time New York City resident, she has danced with a variety of well-known companies in the area. Draucker began creating original works in 2014 and has shown her choreography both nationally and internationally at various companies and festivals. In 2017, she joined Paul Taylor Dance Company, where she currently performs.
Kristin’s story is a compelling tale of obstacles and perseverance. From the start, Kristin’s road into the dance world was nontraditional; she took her first dance lessons at age 15. As if this late start didn’t hold its own challenges, Kristin’s journey to eventually joining her dream company — Paul Taylor Dance Company — was a process that took ten long years, with three rejections and one final success. Kristin’s grit and drive is an inspiration, and, on the podcast, Kristin shares some rich perspective on the nature of rejection, the value of perseverance, and the love of dance.
"There was never another option [than dance]. It was the only thing I wanted to do. It's pure pleasure — even when it hurts, it's pure pleasure. It was all worth it. And it still is, every day. There's nothing else I'm interested in doing.”
"If you open yourself up to many different forms of art, your worldview and artistry widens."
"All teachers aren't the same. All teachers can be wonderful, but they may not speak to you the way that you need something given... Being particular about who guides you is important as a young dancer."
"Rejection is rough. But sometimes I think you just know within yourself that you have a story to tell."
"One of the most important things you can do as a dancer is to find people that you trust. Teachers you trust. Choreographers you trust. They're going to be the people who are going to shape you."
"I was good at school, but I was so bored at school. Sitting at a desk is not a thing I want to do. Being at a computer is not a thing I want to do. Being in the theater was something I actually wanted to be a part of."
"Rejection is not a rejection of you as not being a good artist. It's a rejection, in that you were not the right person at that moment. And that doesn't mean you won't be the right person in the future."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
2:58: Kristin explains why and how the dance company she’s with — Paul Taylor Dance Company — doesn’t have rankings within the company.
4:51: Kristin walks through her journey of choosing Paul Taylor Dance Company, which involved fair amounts of rejection and perseverance.
7:41: Draucker shares some rich perspective on handling rejection in dance.
10:54: Draucker shares some practical tips for dancers on dealing with the physical toll of touring.
14:11: Kristin discusses her original choreography work and why she’s decided to put that work temporarily on hold.
18:29: Kristin walks through her dance journey and highlights inflection points where she knew dance was going to be her life’s chosen path.
24:33: Draucker explains how she overcame her many obstacles on her journey to professional dance.
31:10: Kristin discusses her joy at being able to perform live again, post-pandemic.
34:07: In closing, Kristin shares two pieces of advice for any dancers looking to broaden their skillset.
Bullet List of Resources –
Paul Taylor Dance Company