Getting Personal: An Interview with Robin Sherertz-Morgan.   Leave a comment

Robin Sherertz-Morgan

Q: How did you get started dancing/choreographing, and how did it turn into a career?

A: I began taking ballet classes at the original San Diego Ballet at 8 (view my bio at the San Diego Ballet Website.) Began teaching and choreographing after returning to San Diego for local ballet schools and the SCPA, Chula Vista and then tired of driving all over the city to teach I decided to open a place near my home.

Q: This season is a celebration of the 20th season at San Diego Ballet.  How do you feel you have changed (if at all) as an artist after working as Artistic Director for this Company after all this time?

A: I began the school and company oblivious of the importance of the business aspect, thinking only of being a teacher and putting on quality performances.  After a few years and having a child I realized that I couldn’t do everything and that my co-director, Javier Velasco was extremely talented in choreography and I was better at managing the administration.  It still bothers me that I can’t be in the classroom more and it seems the paperwork is always overwhelming and never ending.  Wearing too many hats and not having the time to be focused or fully enjoy any one project is very stressful and I continue to hope that SD Ballet will someday have enough funding to hire employees to do the marketing, grantwriting, accounting and production preparations.

Q: San Diego Ballet’s mission statement is to “Excite, Enrich, and Entertain…..” how did you and Javier come to agree on this?  If you had to pick one “E” to be the most important, which would you choose?

A: The Board of Directors at that time felt strongly that we needed to come up with a mission statement that better described our SDB organization.  We spent quite a bit of time including a retreat to make it exactly right.  It would be hard to pick one of the Es as they are so blended.  I suppose Entertaining is our main purpose and encompasses the other two Es.

Q: It says in your Bio that you decided to decline to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.  What made you make this decision?

A: I had returned to SD, was in my late 20s and had just begun teaching and dating my husband to be.  Life was good and I didn’t want to leave to start over in a new place.

Q: Talk about one of your most exciting performance experiences.

A: I was dancing with NYCB in my first “Symphony in C” when Suzanne Farrell came back to dance in her first performance with NYCB after having been gone for many years. Another wonderful time was when Helgi Tomasson and Suki Schorer took a group of 6 dancers to perform in the Virgin Islands.

Q: How do you maintain energy and enthusiasm for your work?

A: I believe the energy comes from the knowledge that I’m responsible for everything and everyone within the school and company.  The enthusiasm comes and goes in spurts such as when I’m really proud of certain students and company performances.

Q: If you were not a dancer/choreographer what would you be?

A: At 10, I wanted to be an elevator operator as they were rare in SD and there was one downtown at the old Capezio’s where I’d buy my leotard and slippers and I thought he was so lucky to go up and down all day…….I’ve always loved to watch ice skating but didn’t take enough when I was young to become good, I also loved track & field and would have been happy to go that route too…..  After flying to Europe, I considered the idea of a pilot as a career but didn’t think they hired women at that time….in my next lives!

Q: What are you looking for when you audition new dancers for the company?  Has this changed at all over the years?

A: We are always looking for the best possible physical attributes for a dancer along with stage personality, willingness to work hard and seriously, and unfortunately too, someone who can manage to live on the salaries of a San Diego dancer.

Q: If you had an unlimited amount of resources (money, space, etc) what would be your dream piece to stage?  There are too many pieces to pick just one.

A: With unlimited resources the dream would be to have more dancers with better salaries, a home theater for people to associate with SDB (such as the Luce), and a larger repertoire of performance pieces to present every season.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share about the 2010/2011 season?  Any surprises? 

A: I’d love to see everyone attend our 20th Gala Celebration on October 22 as a way to show appreciation to those who were instrumental in SDB as well as just to enjoy the evening and make our current new dancers feel welcome.  I don’t think there will be any surprises this season but instead the comfort of knowing SDB is doing extremely well this year and plans to continue being San Diego’s leading presenter of classical and contemporary dance!


Posted September 7, 2010 by sdballet in Uncategorized

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