OMAHA — June 22, 2018 — If you asked a young Amaris Sharratt what she wanted to be one day, she would have told you “I want to be a ballerina,” in the same way other children say they want to be a superhero, or a baker, or a firefighter.
By age 12, while training in Seattle at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s summer intensive, Amaris realized she had a good chance of making a career out of ballet. From that moment, her mind was set — this time on being a true professional ballet dancer.
Fast forward a few years and we’ll find Amaris preparing to begin her fifth season at American Midwest Ballet.
In the years since moving to Omaha to dance with the company, Amaris has made her home here, created lasting friendships, and even met and married her husband, Nick — all while living out her dance dreams.
What advice do you have for students training for a career as a ballet dancer?
My advice would be to never give up. If you truly love ballet, then it is all worth it. You’re not always going to be successful at everything and you’re going to have to learn how to deal with rejection. But stay persistent, develop your skills, and work your very hardest.
How have you grown and evolved as a dancer?
Since working at American Midwest Ballet (AMB), I’ve really been inspired to perform in the studio just as much as I do on stage. When you’re in the studio, it’s really easy to get distracted by how you’re doing technically and what needs to be improved. Sometimes you forget to give the performance quality just as much attention.
Being part of a company that consistently focuses on both technique and artistry has taught me how to make the choreography my own. I find myself practicing expressions full out in the studio. It helps me figure out what works — what gets the desired reactions from those watching.
What do you do on summer breaks to stay in shape?
Over the summer, I love swimming to stay in shape. And of course, I also try to take class as much as possible. My apartment complex has a full-size gym with an indoor lap pool and all the workout equipment you could ask for, so my routine is pretty much the same for all of our breaks.
What are you looking most forward to next season?
I always look forward to finding out what our rep for Momentum is going to include. But I am probably most excited to do The Wizard of Oz next spring. It’s a ballet that I have never done before. I have never even seen a version of The Wizard of Oz as a ballet before.
What is one thing you well outside of dance?
I really enjoy cooking. When I’m not dancing or teaching dance, I love going on Pinterest to find new unique recipes to try out or recreate in my own version.
Who are your besties at work? What do you guys like doing for fun?
We are all so close! It’s one of the things I love about this company. We are like a big family. [Fellow AMB dancer] Anna Swenson is definitely one of my closest friends at work. But I have so many great friends here. Our crew loves going to movies or getting together for game nights on the weekends.
More about Amaris::
Summer spotlight: Amaris Sharratt’s summer ushers in new beginnings