This week on “10 Questions With…” we welcome Tye Love from Oklahoma City Ballet…
1. How did you become involved with dance?
I went to a performance of The Nutcracker when I was four years old. I believe I just fell in love with the Prince and Mouse King fighting with swords, but I kept begging my Mom to let me do that! So she told me if I wanted to be in the performance I would have to take ballet, and I waited til that summer to start. She figured I would just forget about it, but when summer was about to start I asked her “Are you going to go sign me up for ballet?” I’ve been doing it ever since.
2. What are you currently doing in the field?
I currently am a Professional dancer with the Oklahoma City Ballet for the 2010-2011 season. This past season I freelanced across Texas and Missouri.
3. Can you share a moment from your career that is especially memorable?
I’ll never forget performing in Shanghai, China. I traveled to China with the University of Oklahoma dance department. We performed four shows in five days. I was dancing an opening heavy partnering pas de deux, into the full Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, into a heavy Gershwin piece, and closing as a soloist in Les Patineurs. Toughest performance of my life!
4. What’s the best advice about dancing that you have ever heard?
I really think the best advice I’ve had is from my mentor John Magnus. He has constantly told me to just relax and go for it in every step. Ballet can be so frustrating and so precise but if you don’t relax and just dance you will never get anywhere.
5. Do you have any advice specifically for men in dance?
I would think the two most important aspects for men in dance are elegance and partnering. Most men like to focus on jumps, turns and tricks, but if you cannot stand on stage with elegance and look beautiful doing absolutely nothing you aren’t a great dancer. As for partnering, it is a whole different technique in itself, and it requires so much focus and strength.
6. If you could share the stage with one dancer, who would it be and why?
I would love to partner Sarah Lane from ABT in Giselle. Her artistry is incredible and her dancing is so clean and spectacular.
7. How do you prepare for your roles on stage? Do you have a pre-performance routine?
I don’t have a whole lot of superstitions or pre-preformance routines that I repeat. I just simply need some coffee day of the performance, I also never do my hair and makeup before warm up class even if I am in the first piece. Class is time for my body to get ready to perform and I use the quick time while I am putting on my makeup to think about what role I am playing and get into character.
8. How does dance help you in your day-to-day life?
I think the focus in dance helps you in any other job you would work. The dedication and determination you put into ballet can transfer into any work field. I just feel that all dancers are more passionate people in general.
9. What is the most difficult thing about being a dancer?
The grind. Every sport has its down time its off season, but in dance we have no off season. If I take two weeks off I feel it, I feel as if I have lost something. A career in ballet is definitely a marathon, no stops.
10. What is next for you?
Next month I begin my career in a professional company with Oklahoma City Ballet. We have a great season planned with great choreography from Balanchine, Arpino and Jessica Lang. I can’t wait to get started!