Starting today, each Tuesday will have a post featuring one or more of our company dancers. We are excited to have them involved in this process and we hope you enjoy learning more about them! Our first dancer post features Geoffrey Kropp, who has just started his 8th season with Kansas City Ballet.
Q: How did you spend your summer break?
A: The first month and a half I hung out in Kansas City and tried to unwind after the season. Then I went home and visited family. I was involved in a program called the National Choreographers Initiative in southern California. They hire up-and-coming choreographers and a handful of dancers. Nadia [Iozzo] and Molly [Wagner] were also there. For three weeks the choreographers can create whatever they want. At the end, there’s a little showing. They have dancers from all over the country. It’s cool getting to work with different people.
I also went up to Seattle and spent time with my family. The past five years, my brothers and my dad and I have gone on a camping trip. We went to North Cascades National Park, three hours north of Seattle. Small mountains…not big mountains…I don’t do that.
Q: Company dancers are on a contract. Could you explain how that works?
Our season is similar to a sports season, so we have the ‘on season’ and the ‘off season.’ We take class every morning at 9:30 a.m. and we work until 6 p.m. Our contracts run from August through May. We’re off in the summer.
Q: When did you start dancing and how did you get involved?
I started ballet when I was seven. My parents told me that I was always dancing and always wanted to dance. When I was in preschool, I apparently would put pennies in my socks and tap dance around the kitchen. My mom really likes to tell that story. I took tap for a year, and then we moved. They signed me up for ballet and that was it. I fell in love.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to become a professional dancer?
I started going to summer programs when I was 12. So, every summer I’d go to a different ballet school, San Francisco or Boston. That’s when I really got introduced to what full-time dance would be like, and I got to see other companies and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in this upcoming season?
We have 10 new dancers, so I’m excited to get to know and dance with 10 new people.
Q: What has been your proudest moment of your dance career?
Probably dancing the role of Albrecht in “Giselle” two seasons ago. Kimberly Cowen was my partner. It’s one of those ballets where you finish and you really feel like you did something. You feel like you traveled to this different place.
Q: What is one thing you do (besides dancing/practicing) to stay in shape?
I do go to the gym. I’ll run on the elliptical and do some weight training. I also try to get down to the Pilates gym.
Q: What advice would you give a young dancer with the aspiration of becoming a professional dancer?
It’s definitely something you have to really work hard at; always. You just have to be present and pay attention in class and try to work on things on your own.