Q & A with Timothy June
April 6, 2016
Why do you dance?
I've been asked this question many times, and I think I give a different answer each time. The first part of the reason is rather selfish: I love movement and the way it makes me feel. I love the feeling of being on stage and making art. Live performance is temporary and I love the stress and pressure of knowing there are no do-overs or second chances. The second half of my answer is that I dance to communicate. I love when dance has an emotional effect on an audience. There is an unspoken dialogue from dancer to audience that inspires me. Dance can be used to entertain and wow audiences, but it can also be used to speak to their souls.
If you hadn't been a dancer, what would you be doing?
Oh man, if only it were as easy as choosing your career and getting it. However, I hope my career path would include non-traditional activities that would challenge me every day. Rather than sitting at a desk, I'm intrigued by abnormal working conditions of public safety workers like firefighters or police officers. When they show up at the office, they never know what is going to happen.
What other exercise/physical training do you spend time with besides dance classes? How does that help?
Dancers, like all athletes, have to do cross training. The majority of our dance-related pains are overuse injuries. We use the same very specific muscle groups all day long and often move our bodies in ways that most humans cannot. Let me tell you that it doesn't come without a cost - there is a lot of wear and tear on our bodies. I find that Pilates is a great exercise methodology to work the structural muscles of the body to find alignment and to get back to normal.
What type of costumes are the easiest to dance in? What is your favorite? What was the most challenging?
The most challenging costumes to dance in are the ones that don't fit correctly. Not only do you have restricted movement and can't move properly, but you feel like you look ridiculous too.
What is your favorite part of teaching dance? What's the biggest challenge? Where do you teach?
There are so many favorite parts of teaching dance. I love working with students and sharing my knowledge and all the things I've learned over the years. I love that I'm constantly figuring out different ways to approach movement and break it down. Being a dance teacher will make you a better dancer because it takes you back to the basics and reaffirms proper technique and why you practice the foundations first. The biggest challenge is to demonstrate a dance sequence full out on a Friday night when your body is sore and tired from your week of rehearsals. I'm not complaining. I find teaching greatly rewarding and I teach Pilates at Indianapolis School of Ballet.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure.
I try to live without guilt and I try to be aware of the consequesnces of my actions. If I eat cake (which I love), I have to work it off. If I want to go on a trip and explore the world (which I also love), I try to save up for it. If I want to do something, I do it, but I have to deal with the consequences and not punish myself with guilt.
What one piece of advice would you give a student who wants to dance professionally?
The most important thing for an aspiring dancer to do is to take as many dance classes as humanly possible and from as many teachers as you can. If you desire a career in ballet, you should also take classes in other dance styles. If you want to be a modern or hip hop dancer, you should also take ballet. The biggest and hardest advice is to be resilient. You will doubt yourself and it will be difficult, but stick with it.