Ms. Namita Nayyar: Your dance training started at the age of four while studying at Dance Concepts in Sandy, Utah and at the Ballet West Conservatory in Salt Lake City. You reached your pinnacle of success in ballet dancing when you became the principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Tell us about your professional dance journey from your childhood to reaching ‘New York City Ballet’ ?
Ms. Megan Fairchild Veyette: I started out doing tap, jazz and ballet, but after watching the Nutcracker at age 8, and seeing little kids like me getting to dance onstage, I immediately was drawn to mostly ballet. I never put pressure on myself to make it into a big company like NYCB, but I knew from about the age of 12 that I wanted to someday dance professionally. I moved to NY to train at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, for my junior year of highschool because my options in Utah weren’t going to further my growth anymore. The next year I got picked to be in the company, and I have been there ever since!
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You had exceptional professional success as you became a leading ballet dancer and performed principal roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Dewdrop in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Pierrette in Balanchine’s Harlequinade, the Second Act Divertissement in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swanhilda in the George Balanchine/Alexandra Danilova production of Coppelia, Aurora and Princess Florine in Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty, and Florence in The Blue Necklace in Susan Stroman’s Double Feature. What factors do you consider were responsible that made you achieve that?
Ms. Megan Fairchild Veyette: I think I have always been relatively good at setting achievable goals. I never had the goal of getting to where I am today. It was the sum of many small little goals that ended me up here. Like achieving something in a ballet class, or making a certain audition. I kind of just always kept my head down, stayed focus, and didn’t get carried away with the big picture.
I also think I have the right personality for ballet, you have to be a bit of a perfectionist, and also able to push through pain at times, as well as have a thick skin. It is a tough business. It can feel like you work so hard for something, and at times it still feels like it is not enough. But as long as I enjoy the everyday process, it is worth it to me. And I truly do. I love all of the work behind the scenes that it takes to get out there onstage in front of 2500 people every night. And then the actual show is just icing on the cake.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you shall like to share?
Ms. Megan Fairchild Veyette: I do Pilates and Gyrotonics at least once a week. I love the way they make my body feel. Both feel very cleansing to me. As a dancer sometimes you keep working on one step over and over again, and both Pilates and Gyro even my body back out. If I am not performing for a while, I usually swim laps. But sometimes that makes my upper body feel too pumped. Kickboard is great for dancer legs though.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Do you take some special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?
Ms. Megan Fairchild Veyette: No. My mom is a dietitian and she always taught me “everything in moderation.” If I didn’t allow myself to eat something, I would probably just end up binging on it. So I have no diet rules. I try to count calories though, because I have a big appetite, and it helps me know when to say when. I eat lots of small meals throughout the day. First thing I do when I wake up is make some eggs. I can’t start my day without some eggs. I like to eat lots of vegetables, chicken, tofu, and salmon. I also have an incredible sweet tooth, and it helps to give into it on a regular basis. I treat myself everyday.
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