Dear Katie: Why Am I Always Overlooked for Lead Roles?

July 28, 2020

In our “Dear Katie” series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email
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Dear Katie,

I’m always getting overlooked for lead roles. I think I’m one of the better technicians in my class, but it’s clear that my teachers don’t see me as a star performer. What can I do to increase my chances of getting cast in larger parts?


Dear Natalia,

The good news is that being a solid technician is the foundation for everything. You’re already halfway there!

It sounds like you might need to spend more time focusing on your artistry. Work on responding to the music. Play with the phrasing, so that your dancing doesn’t look too “even.” That’s the hallmark of an exciting performer.

Think about making your movements bigger and bolder, so they’re more legible and engaging from the audience. Can you reach more? Stretch your port de bras more? Focus up and out, projecting to the balcony rather than the first row.

Take every class as if you’re onstage: Don’t stare in the mirror too much; use your épaulement; and really perform the combinations. Soon, you’ll start to see and feel a shift in your dancing—it’ll become freer, more sweeping, more exciting. And hopefully your teachers will remember that when it comes time to make casting decisions!

For more of Katie’s helpful tips and advice, click