In June 2017, Ballet in the City (BIC) travelled to Washington, D.C. where New York City Ballet was in residence at the Kennedy Center. While there, BIC partnered with Lauren Lovette, Principal Dancer of NYCB for a meet and greet after the performance and master classes the following days at the Washington Ballet School. Many ballet-lovers attended the Friday night show with Ballet in the City staff. Among attendees, Annabelle Adams of the D.C. area, made such a wonderful impression on Founder and Executive Director Jessica Wallis that led to an amazing experience she will never forget.
Here’s what Annabelle Adams has to say about her photo shoot experience with Lauren Lovette and photographer Alexis Ziemski:
“Seeing your favorite dancers perform is one of the most inspiring things you can experience. Living in Washington, D.C. I am lucky enough to be able to see New York City Ballet each year when they visit. The New York City Ballet has been my favorite company since I started dancing so I will take any chance to do anything related to the company. This year I got the opportunity to attend a meet and greet as well as a master class with one of my favorite dancers Lauren Lovette. After the meet and greet I was invited to arrive to the location of the master class early to shoot with Alexis.
Once I arrived the next day Jessica and Alexis were so welcoming and excited. Shooting with Alexis was really unique because she had so many ideas. Alexis and I took photos for a while with just the two of us and about an hour before the master class Jessica came back to The Washington Ballet with Lauren Lovette. When she came upstairs to where we were shooting I was extremely nervous because being able to meet her was like a dream. After just a minute of talking to her and hearing her talk to Jessica and Alexis it was apparent to me that she was an extremely open-hearted person. We have all heard the stereotype of the ballerina diva, this is absolutely not Lauren Lovette. She is so kind and engaging, she was genuinely excited to be there and to have the opportunity to teach and this made the whole experience more thrilling from my perspective.
When she was working with Alexis she was so fluid and she looked so confident in her movements. After she shot for a little while Alexis asked me if I would like to get a couple photos with her and I am pretty sure I couldn’t even squeak out a yes but just nodded my head because I was so excited. Lauren pulled me over to the barre and just showed me the ideas that she had. She was so welcoming and inviting. Being able to talk to her was so inspiring because she was so encouraging.
I had attended SAB (School of American Ballet) Summer Intensive for three years but this year I got waitlisted and so after the class I decided to ask her about it and she was so encouraging, telling me not to give up and that she was surprised I was waitlisted. This gave me even more of a push to continue pursuing that dream.
Meeting Lauren was one of the most unique and special moments of my life so far. And while I absolutely adore her dancing and her work, it was her character and kindness that really left an impression on me. I think that people are often let down when they meet their icons but meeting Lauren Lovette and seeing just how gracious she is only enhanced my appreciation for her not only as a dancer but as a person.”