BWW Interviews: Dance Theatre of Tennessee's Lindsay Cregier, This Dancer's Life


A Chicago native who has called Nashville home for only a year now since she first joined Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Lindsay Cregier has firmly established herself as a vital member of the company, taking on significant roles during her first season. With the start of the 2011-2012 season looming head, Cregier took time from her summer schedule to consider our list of questions in order to give us a glimpse into "This Dancer's Life." Read and enjoy...

What was your first introduction to dance as an art form? My first introduction to dance as an art form was when I was two and a half years old. My parents enrolled me in the park district's tap and ballet classes because I wouldn't stop dancing around the house. My mom recently told me I would refuse to walk normally, and would instead walk around on my toes. I also remember putting on my shiny 'fancy shoes' with the little heels and pretend to tap in our kitchen.

What was your first real job as a dancer? The first professional company I danced for was the Chicago Ballet when I was 19 years old.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in dance? As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a dancer. Most kids change their mind constantly when asked, "What they want to be when they grow up," but ever since I was two years old I announced I'd be a dancer someday.

Who is your dancing idol? My current favorite dancer is Svetlana Zakharova. I am mesmerized whenever I watch her, and own numerous of her ballet DVDs.

Why do you pursue your art in Nashville? What are the best parts of working here? I moved to Nashville last August when I accepted a job with Dance Theatre of Tennessee. I love the company and the people I dance alongside every day. The more time I spend here I learn to love this city more and more. Coming from Chicago, it still has the city feel, but just a very different way of life.

What is your dream role as a dancer? If you could dance any role, what would it be and why? There are many roles I would love to perform as a dancer. I would love to dance Kitri from Don Quixote someday. I also dream of dancing Giselle. The Pharaoh's Daughter is my all-time favorite ballet.


What is the biggest spot on your resume? What role/work is your most favorite? The biggest spot on my resume would have to be the Chicago Ballet. I danced there for three years.

What's the biggest misconception people have about dancers? I feel that there are many misconceptions about dancers. The biggest one would have to be that we are snobby and stuck up. That could not be any farther from the truth. Dancers are the most generous, loving, albeit goofy, people I know.

Who would play you in the film version of your life story? I have no idea who would play me in a story about my life. This one definitely stumps me.

What's your favorite work created for dancers to perform?  I tend to gravitate towards the classics when it comes to dance.

If you could have dinner with ay three figures (living or dead, real or fictional) who are a part of the world of dance, who would you choose and why? I would choose to have dinner with Svetlana Zakharova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and George Balanchine.

Imagine a young person seeing you onstage or seeing a production in which you played a major role coming up to you and asking you for advice in pursuing their own dream... what would you say? I would tell a young person coming to me for advIce To work hard, and follow your dreams no matter what. There will be obstacles and people who don't believe in you, but never stop believing in yourself. But I feel like the most important thing is to never loose heart. Always remember why you love to dance.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.

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