People

Miriam Gittens

i. I work as an emerging artist with Ballet BC.

ii. I do this creative work because it is a part of who I am. I think art can heal oneself as well as healing others.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I find that there are good and bad things to being a perfectionist. I am well aware that perfection can’t be achieved, but the spirit to keep trying things really helps me with my work.

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Making sure I don’t take for granted what I get to do everyday. Because dance is something that I have been doing since before I can remember, it just doesn’t ever feel like “work” to me. I do have to step back and remind myself how fortunate I am to do what I love as a job.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
As a child I stayed busy with a lot of hobbies like gymnastics and soccer, but the one I wish I continued with is piano.

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
I’m inspired by all those who I get to create and collaborate with everyday. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many unique artists.

vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I grew up at a studio learning several different genres of dance such as tap, jazz, hip- hop, African, ballet and modern. This allowed me to become more comfortable with transitioning between styles. For my professional training, I attended the Juilliard School where my focus was placed more on refining Ballet and modern techniques. However, during my time at school it was very important to me that I didn’t lose sight of the significance of versatility. Since I was living in New York, I took advantage of taking as many different classes around the city as my school schedule would allow for.

viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career: is believing that there is a certain mold to fit as a dancer. We are all so unique, and I think we should be proud of our varying qualities and talents.

ix. Some proud career moments:
I think my favorite moment as a creator was collaborating on a duet with my father. He’s a talented musician whom I have always looked up to. This process opened our eyes to how similarly a jazz musician and a dancer can create material. We used a lot of improvisation to then establish more concrete ideas for what we wanted for our piece. Not everyone gets the opportunity to collaborate and perform with one of their biggest heroes; so for this, I am very grateful.

x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Be open to the fact that there is always room to grow. Even as a professional dancer, you never stop learning. I also think it’s important that dancers support one another to create a positive environment.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future: is to continue to collaborate with different artists. Musicians, actors, singers, visual artists all included! It’s magic when these different worlds collide.

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Ballet BC Instagram

www.creatorsvancouver.com

Photo Credits:
Header : @mandmphotograhpie
Photo 2 – Michael Slobodian 
Photo 3 – @specularsteve 

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