Dance alumna Lilian Balch (B.F.A. '15, contemporary dance) has been a member of the Shen Wei Dance Arts company in New York City since graduating in 2015. Read about her journey as a professional dancer.
“I left [the Conservatory] with the discipline and hunger I needed to pursue a career in this field.”
When did you know you wanted to pursue dance professionally?
As long as I can remember. I started dancing at the age of three or four years old and have dreamt of becoming a professional dancer ever since.
How did you land your position with Shen Wei Dance Arts?
During my senior year at the Conservatory, I auditioned for Shen Wei Dance Arts at an open audition in New York City, spent six weeks apprenticing with the company, and joined the company shortly thereafter.
In what ways did your training at the Conservatory prepare you for your work at Shen Wei?
The variety of techniques and the teachers and choreographers I got to work with during my four years at the Conservatory broadened my knowledge of body and movement immensely. The training at the Conservatory also gave me tools far beyond technique; it gave me the opportunity to discover my individual voice as a dancer, build resilience in and out of the studio, and I left with the discipline and hunger I needed to pursue a career in this field.
What was most rewarding about your experience at the Conservatory?
Working alongside contemporary choreographers and performing their works on the Boston Conservatory Theater mainstage. I also had the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with my class in our junior year, which was definitely a highlight!
Who has been most influential in your life as a dancer?
Honestly, there is no one single person that stands out as the influence in my life as a dancer. The daily insights from the range of teachers I have in my life have shaped me into the person and dancer that I am today.
Describe the best advice you’ve ever received about your work.
Know your worth.
What advice do you have for Conservatory dance students embarking on a career?
Be yourself. And trust in the process. Understand that everybody’s path is insanely different and enjoy carving your own. Choose to be the "you-est" you every day and simply trust.