Get to Know Zach!
Q: How did your interest in ballet begin? When did this lead you to CPYB?
Ballet is something that I have been surrounded by since day one. My mother was a principal dancer and has been teaching ever since I was born, so I was definitely inspired by the atmosphere that was created by being involved with her at work and watching her in the studios. I grew up spending every summer in Carlisle visiting my grandparents while my mother taught in the summer intensive at CPYB; and eventually when I was about nine, I started attending. By the end of my eighth grade year, my family moved to Carlisle so that my siblings and I may study full time at CPYB.
Q: Do you have a special memory about Marcia that you would like to share?
I have so many special memories about Marcia, but one of my fondest would have to be right after my debut as Cavalier in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.” It was my first real main role and I so distinctively remember her coming up and hugging me, tears welled up in her eyes. She said that it was so beautiful and that I made her very proud. Making Marcia proud is something that anyone past or present at CPYB all aspire to do day in and day out. I remember that this really gave me that extra push of confidence, which in turn helped me to progress as a dancer and an artist.
Q: So, where are you now? What does a day in your life look like today?
I am currently in my graduate year at the San Francisco Ballet School. A typical day at SFB consists of classes from 9:00-4:00, unless specific rehearsals/performances require us to stay later. When I am not dancing I like to devote my time to drawing and reading, as well as things like hiking and photography.
Q: What did you learn during your time at CPYB that you still use in your daily career/life?
CPYB instilled in me a strong foundation technically as well as giving me the experience to perform real-life repertory that is very similar to what a company season looks like- which is a rarity to find in a school! Also from a young age, CPYB taught me self- discipline and respect, and that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work.
Q: What words of wisdom would you share with current students?
I would just remind them that ballet is a field that requires a lot of critical thinking and that while it is necessary to be a perfectionist and not find your work good enough, you cannot be hypercritical. Positive energy and a positive outlook reflect your work and your presence. So respect the daily grind and don’t forget to be positive towards doing what you love and improving your craft as a technician and artist.