Our Monthly “Meet the Artist” Series- VERONICA HART

Name: Veronica Fay Hart
Age: 25
Astrological Sign: Pisces
Hometown: Originally Merrick, NY…but I’m a Charlottesville local
Role in C’ville Ballet: Company dancer
Food: Cheeseburgers. Honeycrisp apples. French and Indian cuisine. Pasta. All cheese. Sushi. Fish Tacos.
Color: Green
Book: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Everything by Shel Silverstein.
Movie: The Point and Baraka…it’s truly transcendent– check out the trailer below:

Quotation: “If you’re on a path that’s beaten, it’s not your path.”
Spot in C’ville: As a local, I have a lot…the Rotunda, Locust Ave, the Downtown Mall (particularly Market St. and McGuffey Hill), and Sugar Hollow
Business/Store in C’ville: Bodo’s Bagels! Sidetracks…I love record stores. I also enjoy rummaging for hidden treasures at Circa.
Musician/Band: The Beatles, all reggae, Vivaldi, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, The Grateful Dead, Phillip Glass.
Tell us about your dance background and training:
My parents put me in ballet classes when I was 6 because I was exceptionally clumsy, and I was very pigeon toed. My mother, who was a dancer for The Joffrey Ballet, decided to open a ballet school shortly after and began teaching my sister and I. I attended both the Joffrey Ballet New York and Midwest summer programs for 5 years. I attended Virginia School of the Arts my last two years of high school, and that really took my training to the next level and opened my eyes to the dance world. I began my professional career at 18 at Charleston Ballet Theatre as an apprentice, and also danced for San Diego Ballet and The Garage Contemporary Ballet.
What genres of dance do you enjoy?
I enjoy all genres of dance…but I really love contemporary ballet. There’s so much more freedom for interpretation and personal style in the movement. I love getting to be a part of the artistic experience of creating a new contemporary work. I also love Fosse jazz, hip hop, salsa, Afro-Caribbean…and Soul Train!
What kind of pointe shoe do you wear?
Usually Grishko 2007. I’m currently trying Freed Studio’s.
Do you have a favorite ballet:
I love Complexion’s “Rise”– Dwight Rhoden’s choreography to U2 is amazing. I also love Momix’s “Lunar Sea”…it’s so psychedelic:

Harald Lander’s “Etudes” is one of my all time favorites because it shows the progression of ballet class. I also love Balanchine’s repertoire, especially “Apollo” and “Stars and Stripes”…and ABT’s “Swan Lake”- it’s so mysterious and magical.

Favorite Dancers:
I LOVE Alessandra Ferri…she’s sublime.

Darci Kistler was my childhood idol, and Vladimir Malakhov is my favorite male danseur.

What’s your favorite ballet/dance step:
Développés, balancés, and all allegro…I love to jump!
Tell us, why do you dance?
I’m going to be very cliche. To not dance would be like being denied air. I love to move, I love to express, and I love to push myself to my physical limits. I just want to fill open spaces with movement. Performing is such a gift– there’s nothing else like it. I have to admit, I love getting to be a ham! I also really enjoy daily ballet class, the repetition and progression are so familiar and comfortable.
What other jobs/activities/academic pursuits are you involved in? My family has a ballet school in Crozet, Albemarle Ballet Theatre, where I wear many hats. I teach ballet and jazz, I choreograph, run rehearsals, and do bookkeeping and scheduling. It’s the perfect job for me…I love to teach and choreograph, and I love multitasking. I would love to open a contemporary dance company with my sister one day. I love doing freelance work as a dancer…this summer I’ll be performing in Ashlawn Opera’s “The King & I” . I have been working as a chef for the past 6 years. I work for an amazing backstage catering company in the summer and get to cook for rock stars…it’s my “other” life! I also work as a captain for a really great local catering company, Harvest Moon, and I moonlight as a bartender at South St. Brewery.
What other talents or passions do you have? I love to cook…the kitchen is like my lab, it’s where I get to experiment. I love music…listening to, watching, and playing it. I am a concert addict…I can’t get enough live music. I played classical piano for 11 years, and though I’m terribly out of practice, I love getting to sit down with Beethoven or Mozart. I love to surf, I miss living on the coast! Travel…I have a huge thirst to see the world and experience everyday life as locals do in other cultures…particularly Southeast Asia and Italy and Greece. I also make jewelry, I’m really into feathers and primary colors right now. I enjoy everything about the English language…I love words and etymology. I love my job as a dance teacher. I feel like I get to make a difference in the future generation of dancers.
Anything else you’d like to express: I’m so blessed to get to do what I love, and it has been such a pleasure dancing for Charlottesville Ballet this season. I love the repertoire. I’ve also grown so much technically and as an artist, and I’ve made some really great friends. It’s such a healthy, nurturing, and open environment to work in, and I feel equally challenged and completely at home here. “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”

Veronica’s full professional bio can be found online at www.CharlottesvilleBallet.org.
Thanks for enjoying our “Meet the Artist” segment–
and look for a new Charlottesville Ballet artist profile next month!

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