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The Evolution

Brittany De Grofft on the power of speaking life into your dreams

At the age of 5, Brittany told her mom that she was going to be a ballerina. To prove it, her mom still has a home video of her laying around the house. Ballet has always been a tremendous part of Britany since she was young. She recalls watching dance videos with her grandma and knowing that she would be a ballet dancer someday. With lots of practice, challenges and discipline, Brittany De Grofft currently is a part of the American Ballet Theatre and enjoys living and breathing dance. 

Read more below on Brittany’s journey as a ballet dancer.

Looking back at your childhood, did you always know that you would become an amazing ballet dancer?

I have known from the time I was about four years old that I wanted to be a ballet dancer. My grandma and I would watch a video of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker and after seeing that, dance is all I've ever wanted to do. My mom even has a home video of me at age five telling her that I was going to be a ballerina when I grew up. 

I recently saw that you performed the Nutcracker, how did that experience come about and what advice do you have for other women who may be interested in doing the same thing?

Every major ballet company usually has a version of The Nutcracker that they perform every year. It's a huge staple of ballet repertoire. I dance with American Ballet Theatre, so every December we take Alexei Ratmansky's version of The Nutcracker on tour to either Orange County or Los Angeles. I have been dancing versions of this ballet from a very young age. Most likely every young dancer will perform some version of the ballet during their time in training or when they become professionals. Plus, it's always a fun way to ring in the holiday season! 

You have a beautiful tattoo on your side that says “Take no prisoners.” What does that tattoo represent?

The "Take No Prisoners" tattoo on my back is not real! I was the subject for the key advertising art for the Starz Network series "Flesh and Bone," which follows the career of a young dancer trying to make her way in the competitive professional world of ballet. The tattoo was painted on my back for this photo shoot. I have no real tattoos of my own. 

 

What do you enjoy doing outside of dance?

When I am not busy rehearsing and performing, I love to paint, sew, draw and do anything outdoors. Camping, hiking and gardening are all things I really love to do outside of ballet. Spending time with family, friends, my husband and my dog are also very important to me. 

As a dancer, how do you stay inspired? Where do you go to for inspiration?

To stay inspired, I love going to the theater and seeing different shows. I love Cirque du Soleil and I recently saw their show Kurios here in New York. It was so inspiring and I loved every minute of it. It's always great to see other kinds of performers take the stage. It really breathes new life into you that you can bring into your own art. 

It’s always great to see other kinds of performers take the stage. It really breathes new life into you that you can bring into your own art.

What are you some goals you want to accomplish in 2017? Where can we find your work?

This year, I'm looking forward to tackling new roles in our repertoire and returning to old ones while improving upon them. You can find me on Instagram @brittles1152 for updates on what I'm doing with ABT and you can also visit abt.org to see our performance calendar!