Lauren Lovette joined the New York City Ballet (NYCB) Corps de Ballet in 2010, was promoted to Soloist in 2013 and became Principal Dancer in 2015. Born in Thousand Oaks, California, she received the 2012 Clive Barnes Award for Dance and the 2012-2013 Janice Levin Award. She has danced featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Jerome Robbins and Christopher Wheeldon, to name only a few, and has choreographed two works for the NYCB.

Stay Thirsty Magazine was thrilled to visit with Lauren Lovette for this Conversation in Manhattan to talk about her career, her life and her art. She will be performing with the New York City Ballet in July, 2018, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Lauren Lovette in The Sleeping Beauty (credit: Paul Kolnik)

STAY THIRSTY: In 2015, you were promoted to Principal Dancer for the New York City Ballet. How does it feel for a California girl to be center stage in New York?

LAUREN LOVETTE: As a little girl growing up in California, I would run bare foot outside all day long, play with my imagination, and play street hockey with my brothers and friends. Once I started dancing, it became my dream to live and dance in New York City. It’s more refined and it takes a lot of work, but when I’m dancing a role I love, I feel like that same little girl running around with my twinkle toes in the grass.

STAY THIRSTY: Your rise from joining the NYC Ballet in the Corps de Ballet to Principal Dancer took just five years. What do you attribute your success to? What advice do you have for young dancers with big dreams?

LAUREN LOVETTE: I do my best not to take dancing for granted. It’s a really tough job, but even when I was in the Corps, I treated every rehearsal and show like it could be my last. When I take class I try to feel the music and let my emotions be free to flow with the steps, so that I can feel the meaning within each movement. I think my success came from the fact that dance was my outlet – expressing myself through movement is how I was able to show the world and myself who I truly am. 

Lauren Lovette in Duo Concertant (credit: Paul Kolnik)

STAY THIRSTY: How does your performance differ, if at all, depending on the venue? Is there a difference in how you prepare and how you perform if you are at Lincoln Center vs. the Saratoga Performing Arts Center? 

LAUREN LOVETTE: Sometimes the way I prepare my shoes is different depending on the floor of the venue we’re dancing at. But I try to treat each performance with the same amount of care and respect. Dancing outdoors has a very different feeling to it though, a sense of being connected to nature and the air in an invigorating way!

STAY THIRSTY: You have had featured roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Jerome Robbins and Christopher Wheeldon, to name just a few. Is there a type of choreography that suits you better than others? Which roles are closest to your heart?

LAUREN LOVETTE: My favorite role is The Cage by Jerome Robbins. I think dancing work by Robbins feels the most free and natural to my body.  But no matter who the choreographer is, I love to tell a story! Acting out a narrative is a way to experience a moment in a completely new way. Therefore, I love all of the choreographers that you mentioned. 

Lauren Lovette in The Cage (credit: Paul Kolnik)

STAY THIRSTY: You have choreographed two works for the New York City Ballet. Do you see yourself eventually shifting your focus to being a choreographer rather than a dancer?

LAUREN LOVETTE: This is a question I’m asking myself on a daily basis. Right now I’m grateful for the choreographic opportunities and I’m loving exploring that side of myself. I also know that I have stage time left in me and that the dancer in me has growing left to do! So I could absolutely see that as a possibility. But right now, as difficult as it is to juggle both, I feel as if my dancing and choreography are informing each other and I would like to keep exploring that for as long as possible.

STAY THIRSTY: How do you keep your body at peak performance? What exercise and nutritional regimens do you employ?

LAUREN LOVETTE: I have been living a vegan lifestyle for over a year now and it has completely changed my health and recovery. Along with dance classes, rehearsals, yoga, and weekly workouts, my diet has really been the cherry on top to keep me energized through the day, and feeling good the next morning.

Lauren Lovette between rehearsals

STAY THIRSTY: What ballets are on your “To Do” list for the future?

LAUREN LOVETTE: I would love to dance something choreographed by Crystal Pite, dance in Afternoon of a Fawn by Jerome Robbins and perform George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, as well as “Emeralds” from Jewels.    

STAY THIRSTY: During your downtime, what do you like to do?

LAUREN LOVETTE: In my down time I like to cook, bake, paint, draw, watch Netflix shows, and even clean! I spend time with my boyfriend and my cats as often as possible. I like to go to the movies and see shows around New York City to help get a sense of what else is going on in the art world. I go to museums and events. I get drinks with friends and I dream up projects for the future.

Lauren Lovette (credit: Paul Kolnik)


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