DANCE ‣ Dancer of the Month - April 2022, Richard Marks
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Spring has sprung and so has our April Dance of the Month! This month we welcome Richard Marks as our newest Dancer of the Month! Richard began his dancing in Waukee, Iowa at Westside Dance Academy. At this early point, dance was more so just recreational for him. He later decided he would like to start taking his training to the next level and started training at The Pointe Academy. From here he then got even more serious as he made his way to Capitol City Dance Center to continue training in a pre professional manner. At age 18 Richard got an offer to join Milwaukee Ballet’s Second Company. He danced with Milwaukee for two years before getting a contract to join American Midwest Ballet where he has been for three years as of April 2022.
Richard was drawn to American Midwest Ballet not only because of their reputation and repertoire, but some familiar faces that were there and the idea of being closer to home. He says he is a “true midwesterner through and through,” so there is an aspect of home that is a big benefit of this company for him. At American Midwest Ballet, he has just finished Season 12 with their production of “Swing, Swing, Swing.”
His career has, however, not always been smooth sailing. He speaks of ample physical therapy sessions and injuries, one of the most intense being an ankle surgery just last year. While this was daunting to come back from, Richard has persevered and put self care and cross training at the forefront. His cross training was primarily strength related exercises for the injured ankle, which was a major aid in his comeback.
As tips for other dancers Richard offers these words:
“To really progress I feel it's really important to be kind to yourself and really physically take
take care of yourself. Those dance days can get LONG.”
“GET OTHER SKILLS! You aren't gonna be able to dance forever. It's important to be multifaceted not just in the dance world, but in everyday life as well.
Go into everything with an open mind. Too many preconceived expectations tends to end in disappointment.”
If you would like to support Richard, American Midwest Ballet’s 13th season will begin in the fall. They will be presenting “Momentum,” “The Nutcracker,” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Discover more information at their website: https://amballet.org
Photo Credits: Jim Williams