Skylar Brandt © Nisian

Skylar Brandt: Adding my own voice

Honesty is one of the attributes she values most: the Principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre is not only a virtuoso technicienne, but also a down-to-earth artist who loves making space for artistic interpretation and appreciates unselfish stage partners. Here she shares her thoughts on becoming a good turner, on preparing new roles and on the actress she would like to play her in a movie too.

Skylar Brandt © Nisian

Fresh from her triumphant New York debut as Giselle, Skylar Brandt in one of the American ballerinas about whom we will probably keep hearing for a while.

Born in Purchase, New York, she began her ballet training at the age of six and over the years she studied among others with former Principal dancers Susan Jaffe, Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky. In 2004 and in 2008 she participated in the Youth America Grand Prix – she was a silver medalist both times. After joining the ABT corps de ballet in June 2011, she was promoted to Soloist in August 2015 and to Principal in September 2020.

From my experience as a journalist, Skylar is a pleasure to work with – she is quick in response and nice.

Skylar Brandt in ‘Le Corsaire’ with Aran Bell © Paulo Garcia – Danzatlan 2021
Skylar Brandt in ‘Giselle’ © Joao Menegussi – ABT

First of all, how are you in these difficult times?

I’m very happy to be performing again. I stayed positive and motivated throughout the entire pandemic, but at this point, it feels extra inspiring to be back onstage.

How were you able to stay in shape during the lockdown times?

With seemingly nothing to do during the lockdown, I really relished in taking my morning ballet class and fooling around on my little strip of Marley floor. Eventually, I started teaching virtual lessons which exploded into a full-time job. Merely demonstrating the combinations for so many hours of the day kept me incredibly strong and in shape…

Skylar Brandt in ‘Le Corsaire’ © Paulo Garcia – Danzatlan