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Summer Series 3: Get to know the hosts of the podcast Call It What It Is Juliana Godlewski & Rachel Schultz

Robert Fulton - July 8, 2023, 9:47 p.m.

Summer Series: Candid Conversations with the Pros 

Get to know the hosts of the podcast Call It What It Is
Juliana Godlewski & Rachel Schultz

Rachel Schultz began her ballet training at the age of 8 in Crystal Lake, IL, and continued her training at various ballet schools in the midwest. In high school she won 2nd place in the senior classical division at the YAGP Regionals, and received the premier young artist scholarship to attend IU. In 2020 she graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ballet & Arts Management. After graduation Rachel joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Graduate Program. Then danced for Ballet RI for two seasons. Outside of ballet Rachel loves podcasting with her co cost Juliana, playing golf, and spending time with her pet bunny Henry. 

Originally from San Clemente, CA, Juliana Godlewski received her early training from Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky and later from Maple Conservatory of Dance. At the age of 17, she moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend the Rock School for Dance. Juliana then made the decision to dance and earn her BFA at the University of Utah’s Ballet School. In addition to her studies and performances at the University, Juliana danced in New York City as a part of Michelle Wiles’s BalletNext. Following her recent graduation in 2020, Juliana was hired as an apprentice to California Ballet. Throughout the pandemic however, Juliana has danced extensively and choreographed for Ballet Project OC. After joining Ballet RI in 2021, she had the incredible opportunity to perform in the company’s productions, as well as choreograph on the company dancers.

You’ve created a successful dance podcast that is both entertaining & informative, congratulations! What is one of the biggest things you’ve learned since starting the podcast?

Rachel: "Since starting the podcast I have discovered how alike us dancers are all over the world. No matter how successful or qualified the individual is. We seem to all experience some of the same personal insecurities and frustrations with the industry.”

Juliana: "Thank you! I’ve had so much fun recording with Rachel and our lovely guests since we started the pod. The one thing I’ve learned is that dancers from all over the world are genuinely always looking out for one another. The feedback that Rachel and I have received from friends/family and fans of the pod has been completely supportive! The traditional stereotypes of diva ballerinas putting glass in each other’s pointe shoes is so far from the reality of the current ballet world. All of the comments, texts, and DM’s we’ve received from our listeners just goes to show how truly kind and wonderful the dance community is." 

You are both professional dancers. What is something a professional company has taught you that you didn’t expect?

Rachel: "Being in a professional company has taught me to be communicative. It is so important to communicate with both your coworkers as well as the staff. We are often taught from a young age as dancers to work hard and be silent, many of us carry this through our careers. I have learned that speaking up more about my desires and needs respectfully can be very helpful to get what you desire out of your career. No one can read your mind.” 

Juliana: "Professional company life has definitely taught me to become comfortable in chaos. Haha! Learning to keep a level head when the schedule changes last minute or when the choreographer wants to edit their piece seconds before the curtain goes up, will significantly enhance your experience as a professional dancer. It definitely took me a while to really adapt this mindset but learning to find peace in the storm has really helped me as a professional dancer."

You are both college graduates. How has having a degree helped your professional dance career?

Rachel: "Having a degree has taught me to be well rounded. I enjoy doing other things and learning about other things outside of dance. It only improves my dancing and my understanding of the industry, because I have other life experiences to reference. I also love making friends with people in other industries, which college helped me to do. Otherwise, I find just being connected to just one industry (such as the ballet) to be an echo chamber. It's helpful to have outside influence in life.”

Juliana: "My degree and time at university taught me so much and provided me many unique opportunities and connections, however I would say that it has helped most with my development of self-agency. In addition to having the time to mature as a dancer in an academic setting, my degree has helped me gain an understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes at a professional ballet company and how I can advocate for myself and others to enhance our work and experience as professional artists. Advocating for yourself as a dancer is a constant aspect of the occupation and is so important to your financial survival as well as you own emotional state."

EMAIL EXCLUSIVE: 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 attending Ballet Auditions (whether it be for companies, schools, or summer intensives)?

Rachel: "The advice I would give myself as an auditionee is to keep in mind that dance is a subjective art form. It can be so easy to take things personally especially when you have such respect for highly regarded schools or companies. When you are auditioning you are bound to get some "nos" and you must choose not to take them personally. It's kind of like ice cream (as silly as it sounds); some people like chocolate, some like vanilla, and then some love strawberry. While one school or company will love you or see lots of potential, some may not, and it's all about finding the place where you're the right flavor for them.”

Juliana: "Get all of your materials together early and reach out to all of the connections that you have! In addition to preparing all your photos and video content well ahead of the first audition submission deadline, make sure that you are happy with the materials and have your teachers take a look at everything as well. I also always encourage students and other auditioning dancers to reach out to anyone you know and trust who can help get your name to the top of the list. Keep track of the teachers, choreographers, and dancers that you have bonded with over the years of your training and reach out if they are able to help with your chances at the given school or company you are interested in."