2019-20 Trainee Profile: Jessica Ousterhout - KC Ballet Logo Full tickets calendar ballet-shoes quotations play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter linkedin youtube search arrow-right slider-arrow-left slider-arrow-right playbutton phone location-pin fax email spinner shopping-cart
jessica ousterhout
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2019-20 Trainee Profile: Jessica Ousterhout

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCER?

A: I saw my first full-length ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, when I was 4 years old. The Kirov, now Mariinsky Ballet, was touring and my mom thought it would be fun to watch. Once the ballet began, I was completely mesmerized by the beautiful lines of the dancers, and I refused to leave my seat during intermissions because I did not want to miss a single part of the show. It was at that moment, I knew I wanted to be a dancer.

I started dance classes right after. I did tap, jazz, and acrobatics, but ultimately realized ballet was my true calling. I loved the beauty of ballet and how I could express emotion through movement. I have always felt most comfortable and alive on stage. And I have been dancing ever since.

Q: IS THERE SOMEONE SPECIFIC THAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND/OR CAREER?

A:  One of my former ballet teachers was always very perceptive about my moods and their impact on my movement, and she continues to be a mentor to me. She would tell me that I needed to look inward in order to be able to express myself fully. Her advice to me when I left to join Kansas City Ballet was: Be in the moment, focus on learning and growing, enjoy yourself, and never forget why you started dancing in the first place. I love the feeling of being in the moment — all the technical details are so critical, but sometimes you need to let go a little in order to really feel the movement.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE ON THE OFF SEASON?

A: More dancing! I don’t feel complete without dance, so I often continue training in the off season by taking classes in different forms of dance and movement. I also really like to travel. I think it’s important to keep your eyes open to the world, to explore other cultures, and meet people who have different life experiences. It’s also helpful for personal growth as a dancer to recognize other perspectives that people bring, particularly when they come to watch a ballet.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: I am an extremely competitive player when it comes to board games. I love to decipher complex rules, and then use them to my advantage. I’ll challenge anyone to a board game!

 

Top Photograph by Savanna Daniels.

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