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Summer Series 1: Candid Conversations with the pros ☀️ Get to know Miami City Ballet Corps de Ballet member Anna Grunewald

Robert Fulton - June 14, 2023, 5:09 p.m.

Anna grew up in Pittsburgh, where she trained at the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh until she graduated high school in 2015. She then joined Indiana University Ballet Theater, and after graduating in 2018, joined Ballet Arizona for one season. In 2019, she joined the corps de ballet at Miami City Ballet and is entering her 5th season with the company. Anna spends her summers teaching at Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh and recently began offering cross-training classes for dancers. 

What is something you learned in college that has directly translated to your professional dance career?

"During my time studying at Indiana University Ballet Theater, I learned that as an artist, it's important to show who YOU are - within the constraints of the choreography and the repetiteurs' directions. I was always reminded by my Professors, and by outside repetiteurs, to "just be Anna." This is hard when you want to be perfect, but ultimately, the person at the front of the room, whether that be a director or a coach, wants to see what YOU bring that's different from the rest."

Dealing with injuries can be taxing physically & mentally. What is one thing you have learned about yourself during your recovery time?

"Dealing with an injury is never easy - mentally or physically, but I've learned a lot about myself as I've had to handle the ups and downs. One thing I've learned about myself is that I like to do "more," but sometimes doing "less" is what I actually need. By this, I mean that I naturally want to do as much cross training, research, and self-care as possible, but sometimes what the body AND the mind need is rest and a distraction - whether that be reading a book, seeing friends, or treating myself to a nice dinner out."

Through teaching the next generation in ballet, pilates & personal training, what is something you reiterate in your practice that you want your students to resonate with?

"When I teach, whether it be ballet or cross-training, I put a lot of focus on technique, but what I really want students to take away from my classes more than anything else, is that if they believe they can, they will. It might not happen today, and it might not happen next year, but if they put in the work, and they trust that they can accomplish a goal, it will happen. I find that when I show the dancers that I trust them, suddenly amazing things start to happen, and so I want them to find this within themselves."

At The Ballet Scout, we want dancers of all backgrounds to pursue their dreams regardless of their age, level or physical ability. What is a piece of advice you would go back and give yourself when you first started auditioning (whether it be for companies, schools, or summer intensives)?

"If I could tell myself something prior to when I began auditioning for companies, I would tell myself not to get so caught up in fitting a perfect mold. Every director is looking for something different, and we often don't know what that is when we walk into an audition, so we might as well be ourselves and dance for ourselves."