This past fall, Mia Steedle joined Kansas City Ballet’s Company as an apprentice for the 2020-2021 Season. Mia is from Weston, Mass., and attended Boston Ballet School. Find out more about this talented young woman.
Q: HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED DANCING?
A: I started dancing when I was 3 years old after I saw The Nutcracker for the first time! I apparently told my Mom that I wanted to be up on the stage like the Sugar Plum Fairy, so she signed me up for ballet lessons.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TELL BALLET STUDENTS WHO ASPIRE TO DANCE WITH A COMPANY?
A: Every moment counts, every role is important, and hard work pays off! And also, watch as much dance as you can! Live performances, videos, many different styles… Soak it all up and then apply all of that information to your own dancing in order to better develop yourself as an artist.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
A: I have a cat named Twyla (inspired after the choreographer Twyla Tharp) that I rescued from the side of a railroad track during my third weekend in Kansas City! She loves to join me whenever I am dancing at home!
Outside of the ballet world, I love having small creative projects in the works. For example, I started sewing face masks earlier in the year for donation to some community groups, and also for my fellow dancers as we began returning to the studio. It kept me feeling productive during quarantine!
I’m also a big Elton John fan!
Q: WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2021?
A: I miss being able to see everyone’s smiles everyday! I also miss the special relationship that we as performers have with the audience. We miss performing live! I am hopeful that we will be able to return to the stage for live performances, and I am really excited to perform at the Kauffman Center for the first time! But, ultimately, I am looking forward to continuing to keep our art form alive and flourishing by any means possible in 2021—whether that be for a live audience, through the digital world, or a combination of both.
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING GOOD YOU’VE DISCOVERED BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC?
A: There is always an opportunity to be doing something as long as you are creative enough to find a way! I feel that the pandemic has truly revealed how imaginative dancers and artists can be to find solutions to the problems that they face.
Q: WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
A: I grew up watching many inspiring dancers, but one that really stands out to me is Lia Cirio. I admire her for her strength, quality of movement, and dynamics! Laura Young has also been a longtime inspiration and mentor. She was one of the first prima ballerinas of Boston Ballet, and was one of my first teachers!
I would also say that music inspires me to dance. In particular I love Prokofiev’s scores for both Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. I could just sit and listen with my eyes closed and picture the whole ballet in my head! The music is so emotional and raw—it truly inspires the movement.
Q: WHAT EXCITED YOU MOST ABOUT COMING TO KC AND TO KANSAS CITY BALLET?
A: It’s hard to pick just one thing! I had heard wonderful things about Devon Carney and the multitalented dancers of Kansas City Ballet. Devon danced with some of my mentors in Boston, so it was exciting to know that there is a connection there. I was also excited to dance in the incredible Todd Bolender Center and at the Kauffman Center (hopefully later this season). I had also heard about the vibrant arts community in Kansas City and the collaborative performances among different Kansas City arts organizations. All of this made me excited to move halfway across the country—even during a pandemic. So far, I love it here!