Transcript, Episode 85: Returning to the Stage, What Comes Next, and Special Guest Tiler Peck

Margaret Fuhrer:
Hi, dance friends, and welcome to The Dance Edit Podcast. I’m Margaret Fuhrer.

Courtney Escoyne:
And I’m Courtney Escoyne.

Margaret Fuhrer:
We are editors at Dance Media, and in today’s episode, we will talk about what the very long and winding road back to live performance has looked like for some professional dancers. We will discuss the ways dance artists are contributing to the re-imagining of structures well beyond the dance world, as we all begin to think about a post-COVID future. And we’ll close things out this week by welcoming a special guest star, the ever-fabulous ballerina Tiler Peck, who’s going to talk about a new project she has launching this weekend—very exciting stuff.

Speaking of things launching this weekend: There’s actually a brand new episode of The Dance Edit Extra, which is our premium audio interview series, dropping on Saturday on Apple Podcasts. It’s the fourth installment in the series, and this time around, we have the brilliant b-girl and director and scholar Ephrat Asherie, whose company is about to perform in the Fall for Dance festival at New York City Center. It’s their New York City Center debut. And we had this really great conversation about the balance between competition and generosity in the breaking and underground dance scenes, and about how that beautiful “everyone is welcome” inclusivity of the club dance floor—that’s not just something to be celebrated, it’s also a call to action, it’s an ideal to aspire to elsewhere in the world. She’s so smart, she’s so thoughtful, and she’s fun, too. I hope you’ll subscribe to The Dance Edit Extra on Apple Podcasts. It should pop right up when you search for it there. Or you can visit thedanceedit.com/podcast for a little bit more info and the direct link.

All right, now it’s time for our weekly dance headline rundown. Let’s go.

Courtney Escoyne:
All right, so Dance Data Project released its latest report, this time taking a look at contemporary and modern dance companies. As there usually is with DDP’s findings, there’s a lot to unpack and a lot that’s frankly unsurprising. But a few key points: of the top 50 companies in terms of expenses, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alone accounts for 30% of expenditures. The difference in expenses between top budget ballet companies and contemporary and modern companies is around $500 million. Meaning modern and contemporary companies are operating with far less funding. And on a slightly cheerier note, the artistic leadership at the modern and contemporary company surveyed is equally split between men and women. Hello, gender equity? Hello?

Margaret Fuhrer:
What? For real? [laughter]

Yeah, I know the funding gap in particular between ballet and modern and contemporary companies is very much not a surprise, but it is super useful to have real, hard data about that discrepancy—that’s ammo in the fight to eliminate it. So thanks to Dance Data Project for doing that in the trenches work. We can link to the whole study in the show notes.

Here is some happy news out of New York City Ballet: The company promoted three dancers this week. Unity Phelan and Indiana Woodward are both now principals, and Roman Mejia is now a soloist. And these are, believe it or not, the first promotions under new artistic directors, Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan—I almost couldn’t wrap my head around that. But they’re coming at this time of transition for the company, as a whole slate of senior principal dancers is retiring.

There’s been a little bit of internet chatter about dancers who were not promoted and perhaps should have been considered. But I will say this: those three dancers could not be more deserving.

Courtney Escoyne:
Well, and I think those three are ones that we’ve kind of just been like, “All right, when’s it going to happen?” for a while now.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I had actually sort of forgotten Unity wasn’t already a principal. I was like, “Oh! Right.”

Courtney Escoyne:
She’s been getting all the things for so long. And I mean, Indiana is just so effervescent on stage—just been waiting for her to have her moment, and it was like, “Yes, finally.”

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. Oh, she’s looked so good this new season back too.

Courtney Escoyne:
And the New York Dance and Performance Awards, better known as The Bessies, had its virtual ceremony earlier this week. In addition to honoring George Faison with a lifetime achievement award, DanceAfrica with the outstanding service to the field of award, and Charmaine Warren with the Bessies’ angel award, recipients in the competitive categories were announced, including best production nods for Ayodele Casel, Indigenous Enterprise, Israel Galvan, and the team behind The Motherboard Suite at New York Live Arts. Outstanding revival went to Molissa Fenley’s State of Darkness and outstanding performer awards to Annique Roberts, LaTasha Barnes, Jasmine Hern, and d. Sabela grimes. Oh, and a “breakout” choreographer award to Hope Boykin.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yay! I know, such a great group of winners coming out of this totally bizarre performance year.

Courtney Escoyne:
Yeah and the Bessies are always just such a lovely celebration and community moment and also a great reminder that no matter how closely you follow the New York City dance scene, there’s always more going on that you don’t even know about. It’s totally wonderful in that way.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yes! You’ve always missed something.

So, choreographer Laurieann Gibson is partnering with the streaming company Cinedigm to launch BOP Network, a new platform that is devoted to dance. That’s B-O-P, which stands for Born Out of Passion, a very Laurieann Gibson acronym. The streaming service will offer licensed movies and series and musicals and documentaries, some scripted and non-scripted original shows, and then also dance tutorials led by Gibson and by other big players in the industry. Definitely very intriguing.

Courtney Escoyne:
Curious to see where that goes.

Brooklyn Academy of Music announced its first season since the start of the pandemic commencing in November with the premiere of Annie-B Parson’s The Mood Room. Other dance offerings include Reggie Wilson’s POWER, the New York premiere of Kyle Abraham’s An Untitled Love, which I’m personally very excited about…

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yes!

Courtney Escoyne:
…Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets, and of course the return of Mark Morris Dance Group. Lot to look forward to in my home borough.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I know I’m especially curious about Annie-B’s premiere, because it says it’s a mix of dance, theater, and spoken opera…about Reaganism?

Courtney Escoyne:
About Reaganism.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I genuinely have no idea what that will look like, but I know she’ll make it brilliant.

Courtney Escoyne:
Very curious.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Okay. In JoJo Siwa news—because that should be a regular segment now in our headline rundown: the “Dance Moms” alum and “Dancing With The Stars” contestant has announced her next reality TV project, called “Siwas Dance Pop Revolution.” The show is premiering November 8th on the Peacock streaming platform, and it’s going to follow JoJo and her mom, Jess, as they search for talented tweenage singer-dancers to form a new pop group. JoJo’s going to serve as choreographer and mentor to the group and Jess will be the manager and determine the final lineup. It’s very “Making the Band”—and note that I say that approvingly, for the record. [laughter]

Courtney Escoyne:
Well, and then JoJo also broke the internet being Prince Charming this week, so…

Margaret Fuhrer:
I am so glad you brought that in here! Yes, let us pay our respects to JoJo’s Prince Charming. That was everything that we hoped for when we first heard she was going to be on the show, basically.

Courtney Escoyne:
Black No More, a new musical inspired by George S. Schuyler’s Afrofuturist novel set in the Harlem Renaissance, finally has a premier date. Pershing Square Signature Center plans to present the new group’s musical January 11th to February 27th, which will be led by former Aaron Burr—sir—Brandon Victor Dixon, and feature choreography by none other than Bill T. Jones. I know it’s 2021 and I’m still impulsively making Hamilton puns, I need to be stopped.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I mean I’m not going to be the one to stop you. That’s such a rockstar creative team, but yeah, I really can’t wait to see what Bill T. in particular has cooked up for that one.

Courtney Escoyne:
Always. And I’m very curious, because looking at those dates, it’s like, “Are you all aiming to beat the Tony nomination deadline to open on Broadway, if you can make it work? It seems like that’s what you’re doing.”

Margaret Fuhrer:
Squeaking in there, maybe? We’ll see. Yeah.

So here’s some offstage Broadway news. A new Broadway-themed hotel is about to open in New York City’s theater district. The Civilian Hotel will feature more than 250 pieces of theater centric art, sketches, still photos, costumes, a whole range of memorabilia. The building was designed by the architect and Tony winning scenic designer David Rockwell—who, for the record, won his Tony in 2016 for She Loves Me, but he’s also designed what feels like everything, from Kinky Boots to Legally Blonde, he’s been all over the place. Oh, and partial proceeds from The Civilian will be donated to the American Theater Wing, which is nice. So, no official opening date has been announced yet, but for now they’re saying later in the fall, so soon in theory.

Courtney Escoyne:
In theory. I also am surprised that something like this doesn’t already exist. This seems like absolute catnip for every high school theater group that does their New York City tourism trip to go see Broadway shows.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Totally. Oh God, I would’ve been so… I mean, I’m still kind of into it, but I would’ve been so into that as a 16 year old musical theater nerd. Yep.

Courtney Escoyne:
And continuing the musical theater news: the Olney Theatre Center’s upcoming holiday production of Beauty and the Beast has announced a cast that I can only describe as dreamy. Helen Hayes award nominee Jade Jones will play Belle opposite Evan Ruggiero as the Beast. Dance Magazine readers might recognize him from the January 2019 cover when he was a “25 to Watch” pick for his phenomenal tap and theater chops. I just need someone to tell me if we’re getting a tap dancing Beast in this musical.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Will the beast tap dance? That is the question. I mean, a tapping beast? Yes, let’s do it.

Courtney Escoyne:
I’m here for it. He’s so just deeply charming and brilliant and wonderful. I’m so curious.

Margaret Fuhrer:
All right. So for our first discussion segment today, we wanted to talk about a New York Times story from this past week that I think we’re resonated with a lot of dance artists who have been sort of groping their way toward the stage again, in the wake of COVID shutdowns. The feature followed three New York City Ballet dancers—principal Megan Fairchild, soloist Jovani Furlan, and corps member India Bradley—over the course of several months on their very difficult and very different paths back to live performance. And all three of them were extremely candid. They all shared their moments of frustration and ambivalence and even some full-on despair—but they all made it to, and past, opening night last month. We’ve heard a lot of stories during COVID about the grit and resilience of dancers, and those are qualities that these three certainly have in abundance, but it was really refreshing and moving to hear them talk openly about just how close they came to giving up, too.

Courtney Escoyne:
Yeah. Well, and so I’m a huge Jovani fan. I actually wrote his cover story for a Dance Magazine last year. And when I spoke to him then, he had already had to, very last minute, move back home to Brazil because of visa issues. And so hearing him talk in the story, over a period of months, about, “still haven’t heard anything about resolving this issue, still haven’t heard anything about resolving this issue.” Meanwhile, his boyfriend is back in New York, knowing that City Ballet is getting back to work, and he’s just trying to keep himself in shape, not knowing if he’s going to be able to make it back to the States. It was definitely a perspective that I don’t think is one we’ve necessarily heard a lot of, but one that felt really valuable.

And I think he also just comes across in the story much like he does when you actually are in conversation with him, which is that just like, even when there’s hard stuff being discussed, he has this inner light that comes out, which is also true of him as a performer. It’s why I adore him as a performer. So it was really heartening to read him going through this journey, knowing that, yes, indeed, he did make it back. He’s back performing with City Ballet, back in the city, but also very moving, and a different journey than a lot of his colleagues have had.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah, definitely a story that is not told enough, because so many dancers experience these kinds of visa issues all the time, not just during COVID. I mean, that moment in the story when the company is saying, “Hey, we need you for Saratoga, come dance with us at Saratoga.” And he’s like, “Well, I just had my… For the seventh time, I was just denied an appointment with the Brazilian embassy. What do I do?”

Courtney Escoyne:
And also Jovani’s an example of an artist who has a major, major well-funded company backing him up, which can make such a huge difference with visa stuff. A lot of artists who are piecing together a lot of different gig work don’t have that backing them up whenever they go into those appointments.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. I have to admit that my first reaction to this story when I first opened it up was, “Hey, Gia, you’ve got to take your New York City Ballet blinders off for a minute.” Like, story after story she’s talked to these same dancers. And I think some perspective beyond this one company, or I mean, just beyond ballet period, would have been good for this kind of story.

All that said, I honestly share her New York City Ballet obsession. I really do think there’s some of the most compelling dance artists around, and she definitely picked the right three dancers from the company. Like Jovani’s story, as you just said, incredibly important and compelling. Megan’s story, I mean, coming back from having twins, that’s obviously an incredible hill to climb physically…

Courtney Escoyne:
In April.

Margaret Fuhrer:
In April! Yeah. I do not… As someone who gave birth to two babies at different times, I do not know how she did that. I have no idea.

Courtney Escoyne:
And also having three children under the age of three at home right now. It’s a lot.

Margaret Fuhrer:
It sounds absolutely impossible. Yeah.

But I also thought both Jovani’s story and then India Bradley’s story, they both had so much at stake. I mean, Jovani’s for the reasons you just explained, and then India, because she’s one of only four Black women in the company. So she was coping with the trauma of the pandemic, and then also with this sort of outsize role she was expected in some ways to play in the company’s examination of its racism and representation issues. That’s exhausting.

Courtney Escoyne:
Well, and she also spoke really frankly about wondering what casting was going to be like when she got back. Was it going to be, “Okay, I’m getting handed opportunities and either I do well with them and the company says, “Okay, cool, look, we’re giving Black dancers opportunities'”…

Margaret Fuhrer:
Checked that box.

Courtney Escoyne:
…or maybe she doesn’t do as well with them because it’s been a long time since any of them have performed. And what is that going to mean for her career? Is it going to be some of the very few other Black dancers at the company who are going through that? And she was also very frank about saying, I don’t know that dancing in the “Diamonds” corps is going to keep pushing me as a dancer in the way that I need need it to.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. I mean, she even said that she sort of figured out during the pandemic that she can’t rely on this company to make her happy, and that she might not be there in five years. In fact, I think she said that job is no longer even her primary source of income, her modeling jobs are now where the lion’s share is coming from.

Courtney Escoyne:
I remember being so surprised and delighted getting an email from Victoria’s Secret over the summer that had “India Bradley” in the subject line. And I blinked a couple of times thinking my brain had just conflated two emails that were next to each other. And then it was like, “Oh no. Okay. You go India Bradley. You get that modeling money.”

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah, I know. Yeah. I’m glad that it’s becoming a little bit less rare for ballet dancers to say these kinds of things in papers of record, but it’s still rare, and they all need to be said, so it’s an important story.

I also—in closing, bless India Bradley for dropping a 10 Things I Hate About You reference in there. That quote about, “I don’t want to say it’s been overwhelming returning to the studio, but definitely whelming“? That was perfection.

Courtney Escoyne:
“I know you can be overwhelmed. I know you can be underwhelmed. But can you ever just be whelmed? I think you can in Europe.” Okay. I love that movie with my whole heart and I didn’t quite process that that’s what that reference was, but oh my God.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I mean, maybe it wasn’t, maybe I’m fully projecting and she’s too young to even know what that quote is, but I believe in my heart of hearts that, yes, that was her intention. I’m going to run with it. [laughter]

Alrighty. So next up this week, we want to talk about…what’s up next, now that we are beginning to return live performance. In a recent Dance Magazine piece, Sydney Skybetter and Madeline Greenberg talked to a whole range of dance experts about, first of all, how they’ve improvised their way through what scholar Kate Elswit dubbed the “coronasphere.” And then also how the ramifications of COVID are affecting the ways that they have been thinking about and rebuilding their field, and also the wider world, as we move forward. And what Sydney and Madeline discovered is that, partly because dance people are so good at considering how we share space with each other, that members of this community will be especially important voices in the reimagining of both cultural and civic structures as we emerge from the pandemic.

Courtney Escoyne:
Yeah. So, they were doing this research project actually through the Guild of Future Architects. Which if you are not familiar with, please go check out their website. It is a lovely rabbit hole to disappear into at any given time—as are, honestly, most things that I learn about through Sydney Skybetter.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Truth!

Courtney Escoyne:
But Guild of Future Architects is basically, weirdly, exactly what it sounds like. It’s sort of a collaborative research effort, trying to imagine a better future instead of just carrying on and doing things the way it’s already been done—using cross-disciplinary research and ideas to imagine a world that is more inclusive and equitable and kinder.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. And kudos to the Guild for realizing that if you’re trying to assemble a group of experts with the goal of building a kind, just inclusive, prosperous future, you’re going to need a bunch of dance folks in the mix. Like, if you want to build a more beautiful world, involve people who understand the complexities of social choreography, of bodies sharing space and collaborating within that shared space.

Courtney Escoyne:
Which I will say, the folks who started it come from dance backgrounds…

Margaret Fuhrer:
Come from dance.

Courtney Escoyne:
…that is seeded in their understanding of the world.

There’s so much in here and it’s just a bunch of really good quotes, and we just want you to go read them. But I think one of the ideas that really resonated with me, and something that I feel like I have been thinking about and talking about a lot is how much more… Even when I’m now going into environments with people who aren’t necessarily dancer people, how much more collectively aware we are of the simple fact of sharing space with one another, when we get to do that. And how different that feels and how important and precious and special that feels. I believe there’s a phrase used in here, “the ritual of shared physical expression.” That it’s yummy.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. Ryat Yezbick, another member of the Guild of Future Architects, talks in the piece about how we’re all sort of newborn babies now. All of our senses are so heightened after this long period of deprivation. So, as you’re saying, we’ve never been more sensitive to the people around us. And that’s a form of empathy. That’s something that we should continue to cultivate as we try to build more inclusive spaces.

Courtney Escoyne:
Yeah. Which, we’ve been yelling about how good dance training is for building empathy for years and years and years and years and years. And hello, now we’ve all landed here together.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. As Courtney said, we’re doing our best to paraphrase, but we really… We really just do hope you’ll read this piece for yourself. We’ve included the link in the show notes. There’s all kinds of wisdom and food for thought in this one.

Alrighty. So now it’s time to welcome our special guest star for the episode. And that is the extraordinary ballerina Tiler Peck. Hi Tiler! Thank you so much for hopping on today.

Tiler Peck:
Thank you for having me.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I know this is not what we’re here to talk about right now, but I have to start by saying that I was in the audience for your first show back with City Ballet at Lincoln Center, doing Opus 19. And it was just…electric. All the dancers on stage were hungry, but you were the hungriest one. It was incredible. What was that like, that moment?

Tiler Peck:
Oh, it just… It felt like home. It’s strange because I was actually in the wings, and I said… Right before, I said, “I never get nervous, and I’m a little nervous.” And I think it was just not really having a real performance in over a year and a half, no matter how many projects or anything I did. It just wasn’t the same as having a live performance with an audience. And so I think I got over it within a minute, as soon as I got on stage, I was like, “Okay, I feel right at home.” And I was just so excited to be out there dancing. And I love Opus 19. There’s so much you can show in the role. So it was a fun ballet for that to be my first one back.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. Yeah, totally. Such a range of stuff going on that role. I hope you could feel the energy the audience was sending to you, because we were feeding off of yours and sending it back your way.

Tiler Peck:
Oh, thank you.

Margaret Fuhrer:
All right. So let’s talk about what we’re really here to discuss today, which is that you are about to kick off a virtual master class series with Dance Media Live, which is super exciting. So just for people who might not know about it yet, can you start by just sort of walking us through the basics of the series? What is it, what are you going to be teaching?

Tiler Peck:
Yeah, I’m going to be teaching some of my sort of favorite topics, and some of my most, I think, lessons and prized lessons I can teach, which is specifics on turning, specifics on musicality and speed. Walking through people on how to tell a story ballet, go through pantomimes. And I suffered a major injury, so I think it’s really important to share health and wellness. So we’re going to do a class on injury prevention. And I think that it’s just a way for me to sort of connect with my audience and get to really pass down anything that I know, and to be face to face with them over Zoom is what I’m really looking forward to.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah, because I was going to say obviously a ton of people tuned in for your Turnout with Tiler classes on Instagram, during shutdowns, they were their own phenomenon, but that’s not what these classes are. How are these classes different?

Tiler Peck:
I think these classes are different because they’re on one specific topic. So it’s going to be 45 minutes really kind of honed in on one thing so we can really work on it. And also because on Instagram we don’t really get to see that back to back person. So for me to be able to correct in real time will be amazing, I think. Yeah, so this is just more a specific sort of thing for each class and topic that we go through, or it’ll be 45 minutes and then a Q&A afterwards, where I will have the opportunity to answer questions and have people in real time, not just on comment section in Instagram.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. Real face to face interaction.

Tiler Peck:
Exactly.

Margaret Fuhrer:
So, your first class is going to focus on turns, which… Going in big!

Tiler Peck:
[laughter] Yeah.

Margaret Fuhrer:
It’s interesting, because from the outside, at least, it looks like you’re a really natural turner. Is that actually the case? Is anybody actually a natural turner?

Tiler Peck:
Honestly, I would say that, yes. I was definitely lucky and given the gift to be a natural turner, but I feel like it’s something that people ask me quite often. How do you do it? What do you think about? And so it is something I’ve really had to think about, because I think I come at turning from a very different kind of point of view as other people do. So for me, it’s all about the music, and I find when I teach class and I correct a student and then I tell them about this, you can really see a difference immediately, because I think it’s maybe just changing their point of view or their mindset on how to turn.

I know lots of people are thinking about a million different things, like technique placement and the ribs and the arms and this and that. But I kind of think in a way that I teach about turns is, it takes your mind off of the number you’re going to do and it makes it more of a dance. And for me, that’s what I have found that really, really works. And I’m hoping that everybody who takes the class will find that it works too.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I know I was going to say, I don’t want to spoil your class! Sorry. But so then the next class that’s happening, Sunday, November 7th, that time around, you’re going to focus on a variation from Swan Lake. Which variation are you doing?

Tiler Peck:
You know what, I haven’t really decided. I thought maybe I might even do a little bit of both, because I find they’re so different. And that’s what the most important thing about the role, is showing the two different swans, Odette and Odile. So, I was actually just thinking about this last night and I was thinking, which one should I do? And I was like, “Maybe I should teach a little bit of both because we do have the time and it would be really nice to show the contrast.” So that is still to be determined, but…

Margaret Fuhrer:
Stay tuned, everybody. I think a lot of people may be looking at the other rep that you dance would sort of assume that Odile comes a bit more easily to you than Odette. But is that also… Is that actually the case?

Tiler Peck:
It’s funny because everybody always is like, “Oh yeah, it’s Black Swan.” And for me actually, when I’m doing the ballet, I really love when I’m in the White Swan. I love Odette, and maybe it isn’t as easy for me, but I just really love playing her character. And I love the music. So I really don’t know, because then I say that and then I get in the Black Swan costume, and then it’s like, I love it too. So I think that’s what makes the ballet so special, is that you get to be two different people in one ballet, there isn’t many ballets where you really get to do that. So it is a special one.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I won’t make you pick a favorite baby. That’s unfair. [laughter] So I mean Swan Lake, it feels like this Mount Everest of classical ballets in that every ballerina wants to conquer it. But I think, I remember you saying there was a point in your career when you really thought you might never get to dance it.

Tiler Peck:
Oh yeah, for sure. I had been in the company like 12 years before I was given the role. And typically at New York City Ballet, they just gave it to taller dancers. So I just kind of thought I would really like to do it, but I just didn’t think it was in my cards. And so when I was given the role, I mean, of course I was ecstatic, but I also was like, “This is going to mean so much more to me that I’m getting it now at this point in my career.” And honestly it came at the perfect time, because I felt like I could really understand both characters. Had I done it when I was younger, I think maybe I wouldn’t have understood Odette as well. So it was kind of like a little blessing in disguise, I think, that it came later in life. But oh, I like it so much more than Sleeping Beauty. I think that is the toughest story ballet around. It is a tough one.

Margaret Fuhrer:
I don’t know how anybody survives Sleeping Beauty. Oh my gosh.

Tiler Peck:
Oh my goodness.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Even just from the first entrance through the Rose Adagio, it’s like, “How are they still standing up?” And then you have to do that variation…

Tiler Peck:
The variation! Exactly. Yes.

Margaret Fuhrer:
So, you started talking a little bit earlier in the interview about other topics that you might possibly address in these classes. Can you talk a little bit more about—I know you said health and wellness and injury prevention were on your list. What else is on there?

Tiler Peck:
Yeah, I think I definitely wanted injury prevention and health and wellness to be a part of my series because it’s been such a part of my career. I’ve been very lucky, injury wise. I really haven’t gotten injured much, but the two that I have were very serious.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Huge, yeah.

Tiler Peck:
And the last one was almost—they told me I would never dance again. So it was really, really a hard thing to overcome. And I just feel like if I can share anything in that experience that might help another dancer, I want to make sure and do that. Because I felt so alone, because nobody really had my injury. And also I was being told so many things by doctors that I didn’t feel inside that that was the right thing for me. So I just think it’s a conversation that needs to be had. And it’s so important to the whole physical wellbeing. It’s not just keeping yourself physically happy and healthy, but it’s also a mental thing, and they go hand in hand. And so, I really just think it’s an important topic and I’m going to have our head PT Marika Molnar, who’s been by my side…

Margaret Fuhrer:
Superstar. Yeah.

Tiler Peck:
Yes. Come and be a special guest, so that they can really see the work that we do, and ask her questions. So, I’m really looking forward to that.

Margaret Fuhrer:
That’s awesome. Yeah. And I like that you are explicitly recognizing that so much of the injury journey is a mental health journey too. It’s not just healing your body. It’s coping with the mental side of that equation as well.

Tiler Peck:
Absolutely.

Margaret Fuhrer:
So of course, nothing is going to replace the immediacy of in person dance training, but as a teacher, what do you actually like about the Zoom format? What advantages do you think it has?

Tiler Peck:
I actually like it because I think it’s, in a way, more concentrated. Because you don’t have the ability to—yes, it’s the fun part of class, is being able to watch each other and talk to one another. But because you’re in your own place or studio, I feel like it’s a little bit more focused. So, I, as the teacher, am able to really look and focus on that one person in that box, instead of sometimes, maybe in a class, if somebody’s in the back, maybe you missed them. I don’t know, I’ve really found that I get to everybody on these Zooms. And so that is one thing that I really, really loved about it because you’re just looking at a screen and you don’t have so many distractions in a way.

Of course, I think in person is so important and you get so much, but you are getting to watch the others. When I say, let’s do group one or group two, everybody else is at the computer staring at the screen. So, they, in a way are still getting to learn from their peers and watch that way. So yeah. That’s, I think, the biggest positive, I would say for me when I’m teaching over Zoom.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Yeah. I was just talking to Joe Lanteri recently, who I know you know, and he was saying, “I like Zoom because there’s no back row on Zoom.”

Tiler Peck:
It’s true. Yes.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Nobody gets lost. Yeah.

Tiler Peck:
It’s so true. I taught something for him and it was 300 students or something on Zoom.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Oh my gosh.

Tiler Peck:
And I still felt like I got to everybody, you know what I mean? Because it was everybody had their own little square. So I was able to really see every single person

Margaret Fuhrer:
Box by box. Yep.

Tiler Peck:
Yeah.

Margaret Fuhrer:
Well, listeners, be sure to check the show notes for the sign up link for Tiler’s Dance Media Live master class series. And Tiler, thank you so much for stopping by, because I know your schedule is bananas.

Tiler Peck:
Oh, I always love talking with you. So thanks for having me.

Margaret Fuhrer:
All right. That’s it for this week. Thanks everyone for joining us. We will be back next week for more discussion of the news that’s moving the dance world. Keep learning, keep advocating and keep dancing.

Courtney Escoyne:
Mind how you go, friends.