I’m in my third week of ‘Western ballerina life’ with Ballet Montana – a professional summer ballet company directed by Sallyann Mulcahy – and I’m starting to understand why dancers come back to Helena year after year. Montana is a majestic state, with big, open skies and stunning views of mountainous landscapes, stretching into the vast horizon. It’s serene, allowing my multi-tasking mind to settle and focus on the moment. Normally, I’m an A-Type personality, planner extraordinaire. Yet, here, I find myself uninterested in making too many plans, taking deep breaths in an attempt to ingest as much smog-free air as possible, and feeling rather pensive.
My time in the dance studio leaves me aching, sore, tired, . . . and incredibly inspired! Equally as special, is my time outside of class and rehearsal, . . . when I get to know my fellow Ballet Montana partners in crime. Sallyann is a gem in the dance world and makes me want to work so hard that I find myself almost in tears after every rehearsal. But, the other dancers also push me, both as a dancer and person. As I’ve been getting to know each of them over the past few weeks a tiny light bulb went off in my head; suddenly, I felt the urge to share their stories, hobbies, interests, and unique personalities with the rest of the world . . . or at least, with the rest of MY world. My original intention was to share my summer journey, but now I want to share all 10 of our journeys, as we navigate this rough terrain of the ballet world together. I’ll be profiling each dancer throughout my remaining time in Helena – sharing their dance training, backgrounds, and the things in life, beyond the stage, that interest them.
Artists, dancers, comrades, DIY-ers, . . . I present to you the ‘Movers and Shakers’ of Ballet Montana
All photography by Ballet Montana dancer Robert Greer