After attending summer courses at the School of American Ballet in 2001 and 2002, Brittany Pollack enrolled as a full-time student. In June 2006, she was asked to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet (NYCB) and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 2007. Six years later, she was promoted to Soloist.

In addition to her career at the NYCB, she has appeared on Broadway in the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Imperial Theatre in the role of Louise Bigelow, and in film, television and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (2001).

Stay Thirsty Magazine was thrilled to visit with Brittany Pollack at her home in New York for this Conversation about her rise to the heights of the ballet world and her upcoming appearance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer.

STAY THIRSTY: When did you first realize that you would have an important career in ballet? How has your career unfolded vs. your expectations?

Brittany Pollack - Apollo  (New York City Ballet)

BRITTANY POLLACK: The moment I was offered an apprenticeship with New York City Ballet (NYCB) was the moment when I knew I would have a significant and fulfilled career in ballet. To this day, I never imagined I would be given the opportunity to dance in some of the most genius ballets ever created, to work with the best choreographers in the business and have ballets created on me, and to dance alongside my role models on a daily basis. I also never expected my career to expand beyond the ballet company into other outlets, including musical theater or film.

STAY THIRSTY: In your early years in the corps at the New York City Ballet, how did you develop the discipline that lead to your position as a soloist?

BRITTANY POLLACK: I feel that becoming a Soloist took a combination of many things: passion for ballet and NYCB, hard work, discipline, willingness to accept feedback and apply corrections, and humility.

STAY THIRSTY: When you are dancing in a principal role, what thoughts and emotions run through your mind? Are they different if you are dancing in a Jerome Robbins or Justin Peck or Peter Martins or George Balanchine ballet?

BRITTANY POLLACK: When I am dancing in a principal role, I always trust that I am well-rehearsed and prepared. Therefore, I am positioned for success. I try to avoid doubt, fear, and a lack of confidence so that I can successfully execute the steps and enjoy my performance. I try to approach each performance the same, regardless of the choreographer. I take it one step at a time and enjoy each moment.

STAY THIRSTY: How to do you protect your body from overuse and injury so that you can stay at peak performance?

BRITTANY POLLACK: I always try to listen to my body. If something is bothering me, I will take a step back and allow it to rest. If I am feeling good, I push myself harder. For me, it is all about balance.

STAY THIRSTY: Who were the most important influences in your career so far?

BRITTANY POLLACK: There are too many to mention! One major standout would be Justin Peck. He trusts in my ability, creates genius works of art, and always pushes me out of my comfort zone to allow me to become a better artist.

Brittany Pollack - Rehearsal (Principia)

STAY THIRSTY: How do you maintain a life outside of the ballet? What centers you?

BRITTANY POLLACK: I love spending time with my husband and our dog, Duncan. I am also very close with my family (from New Jersey and Arizona), so I always find time to see them. School used to take up most of my time, but now that I have finished my Masters, I have time to enjoy being outdoors, take vacations, and relax.

STAY THIRSTY: You will be performing at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer. What attracts you about that venue and that audience?

BRITTANY POLLACK: I absolutely love Saratoga! This year will be my 13th consecutive summer. Performing at Saratoga Performing Arts Center feels like home. I love performing outdoors. Something about it feels more relaxed and family-oriented. It is the perfect summer stage.

STAY THIRSTY: In addition to your position at the New York City Ballet, you have also appeared as an actress on Broadway. What are the differences and challenges for you going from ballet to acting and back to ballet? Is acting something you might favor as your next career?

BRITTANY POLLACK: Yes, I made my Broadway debut as Louise in Carousel on Broadway last year. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot from the Broadway community that I brought back with me to the ballet. I have always loved acting and singing and I’m always open to new experiences. Next up, a Jet girl in Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story movie remake.

New York City Ballet       

All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.