Dancer Garrett Smith, a Houston Ballet II graduate and company apprentice for the 09-10 season, sits down with Dance Advantage to discuss why he started dancing, how he balanced school and dance classes, and why he chose to study at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy.
At 20 years old, Garrett Smith is a recent graduate of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy and already an accomplished performer and choreographer. He has toured internationally to places like Budapest and Japan. In addition, Garrett has set four works on HB II, often doing double duty as dancer and dance-maker.
Even before being awarded a scholarship to the Academy in 2006, Garrett’s ambition and dedication won him numerous honors. Originally from Riverton, Utah, he has performed off-Broadway and in the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Summer Olympics. Garrett is a national title winner of the New York City Dance Alliance competition, awarded in the Junior category at age 13 and selected as Teen Male Outstanding Dancer at 16. And, as an NFAA youngARTS winner, he was one of 20 students selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2007. And those are just his dance achievements!
Clearly, on the fast-track to a bright future, Garrett took some time to talk with me about his early training as a young man in dance, his passion for choreography, and what lies ahead for him.
Dance Advantage: You began dancing at age 9 but you didn’t start with ballet. What prompted you to try dance in the first place and why did you decide later to give ballet a try?
Garrett Smith: Sports just weren’t doing it for me so I tried tap, jazz, and hip hop. I loved it. I was silly at age 9 wanting to be famous. I thought if you were a jazz dancer, it meant you were dancing on screen with the Utah Jazz [laughs]. I tried ballet because the studio I was attending was dying down and I switched to this great ballet school in Utah called Jacqueline’s School of Ballet. I changed so much there, as did my opinion of ballet. I guess I never knew what ballet really was until I was in a correct ballet academy.
Continue reading this interview on the Dance Advantage website…