DANCE ‣ Dancer of the Month, January - Olivia Boisson
Updated: Mar 24, 2022
As the new year arrives, we return back to our Dancer of the Month series.
This month we have the honor of featuring Olivia Boisson of New York City Ballet. Olivia dances with the company’s corps de ballet and has since 2013.
Olivia is currently busy rehearsing as the company plans to open their winter season on January 27, 2022 after being shut down in December due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant. This shutdown meant several productions of The Nutcracker were canceled. The pandemic has been very difficult on everyone, but there has been a particular pressure on artists during this time.
Olivia speaks of how difficult the lockdowns were as she was forced to take classes from her living room. When speaking of this time Olivia said, “It was hard to stay motivated when our entire artform seemed to cease to exist. There weren’t any performances to look forward to. Though when things started opening up again, we were able to take class in an actual studio with a limited number of people but we were very happy to dance with other people even if it was just a few. Gradually, we were able to get back to full rehearsals and back to performing. My first performance back was so incredible…When we first closed down because of the pandemic I was already dealing with an injury and I was debating on whether to have surgery. Though when it was clear that quarantine was going to last a lot longer than anyone anticipated, I decided that getting surgery then would be the best time. I had ample time to recover and retrain to get back to work. I think getting back to performing after all that time made me so appreciative to do what I do. There was a lot less stress on myself about my technique or placement or execution but a lot more joy in being able to dance at all. And although it seems like we are still not out of the woods with new variants surfacing, I think we are all in it together and we are all doing the best we can but there is a new vibration in the company that is just the joy of being in a room and dancing together…I was fortunate to have people around me and I don’t know we all just took it day by day, checking in with each other…When we started back to rehearsals it was still an adjustment of many hours standing and dancing. I couldn’t believe that, that's what I used to do on a regular basis. Though I kept pushing through, cross training helped with stamina. Of course, it was all worth it when I finally got to perform. It felt unreal and the audience was spectacular.” There is something so special that occurred as performers returned to the stage. The energy existing in the theater was unparalleled across the world.
As her advice to other dancers, Olivia said, “It was a difficult time for everyone but I think that we all came out of it with new perspectives on our lives and what was most important to us. My advice is to continue to make time to check-in with yourself about what it is you really want and what is most important to you.”
Even during these trying times, Olivia found ways to make do with what she had and make the best of the situation. For cross training she said, “I always cross train and so during quarantine since I didn’t have much space or equipment, I found workouts that were easy to do at home. I found an on-demand fitness company called The Limit. It was founded by a former Rockette/Broadway star and I fell in love with her workouts.” She also had a unique opportunity to collaborate with the New York City Ballet Orchestra to create a dance film.
Be sure to check out Olivia Boisson in NYCB’s upcoming winter season! She will be performing in Moves, Serenade, and the Four Temperaments and follow her on Instagram for updates on how she's doing @toughinatutu !