He’s a familiar smiling face behind the table at the World Dance Pageant, World Dance Championship and Starpower. We had the chance to catch up with J Ryan Carroll as he joins the National Tour of Legally Blonde as Elle’s Dad and Winthrop. Read J Ryan’s words of wisdom in this month’s interview, from a professional who has been a featured performer and company teacher for the National and International Tours of Fosse, and Carmen Ghia, performed next to pop sensation Debbie Gibson, and a Master Ballet Teacher in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Indonesia. For a full bio visit www.jryancarroll.com
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES? WHY?
My teachers are my heroes. They believed and invested in me when I needed the support and guidance as a young artist. They are collectively the driving force and voice behind my way of life. I am all the better for it.
WHAT QUOTE INSPIRES YOU?
‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Maya Angelou
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My students are my greatest accomplishments. They are now dancing in ABT, Martha Graham, and various companies all over. I am proud of each and every one of them.
I am also very excited to help organize a Yoga Narada® retreat with the intention to help the Dance Community in Puerto Rico following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, by bringing a mini retreat to San Juan taught by Hilary Cartwright.
The retreat will be offered as a donation to the dance community in Puerto Rico. And by renting space and inviting other Yoga Narada® participants from across the world to join, she hopes to help the economy of the Island as it still recovers.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU DO DAILY TO HELP REACH YOUR GOALS?
I start with Yoga Narada ® to awaken my mind and body. This opens me up to the possibilities of the day. 🙂
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I levitate in my sleep. JK!
WHAT IS ON YOUR DANCE BUCKET LIST?
I want to Zumba with Andrea Martin and Bernadette Peters! Ok people! Who has the connections?? Make it happen!! Lovingly, Your J Ry
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DANCE VIDEO?
My friends Noah and PJ – LOVE THEM
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Remember you are enough, and you can only be where you are today. My buddy Aaron Galligan-Stierle taught me that.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG DANCERS?
You must first learn about the instrument before you use it. In other words, if you want to be out of the box you must first know what the box looks like by studying anatomy, kinesiology, physics, music, art, and dance history. Know and learn from the great choreographers that have graced this earth by studying their bodies of work and life histories.
TAKE YOUR BALLET CLASS.
Not just one day a week, but 5-6 times a week, at least. Whether you want to be a ballet dancer or not, this is a technique that will be a teacher to you and your body. It will challenge you. But within those challenges are moments of discovery and growth.
Ask yourself, are you willing to shed the outer layers of who you think you are as a dancer to really get to know who you are as a dancer from within? This is a scary journey, but one worth taking. For in what may appear as an impossible technique is the doorway to freedom as a dancer. This will serve you all your dance life and beyond.
Take the journey one day at a time and remember that it is a gift to be a dancer, challenges included. Embrace that gift and all that it brings to you in your life. It’s a beautiful thing! Now go flourish and ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR DANCERS WHO ARE MAKING THE TRANSITION TO DANCE PROFESSIONALLY?
Be true to thine own self. Think about this BEFORE you transition to professional life. Ask yourself, what kind of dancer are you? What type of dance speaks to your heart and spirit? Learn it. Get to know it. Study it. Be it. Your inner teacher will lead you to it. Honor it and listen to it. You will not disappointed.
Now make a plan. Decide where you want to dance and seek out the opportunities to achieve this goal. Having a plan is very important. It will keep you focused and grounded during transitional moments.
WHAT’S A MUST SEE DANCE MOVIE?
The Turning Point
THREE ITEMS IN YOUR BAG YOU CAN NOT LEAVE WITHOUT?
Namaste Spray (Aveda Chakra Spray #3), hair brush, and a sensible scarf
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO SNACK FOR NOURISHMENT WHEN DANCING
Nuts and some form of protein
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT DANCING OR CHOREOGRAPHING?
I practice Yoga Narada and Gyrotonic. Yoga Narada is the most transformative work that I have ever done.
WHAT IS YOUR MUST HEAR SONG?
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries – Valarie Pettiford
WHAT IS YOUR HOT FASHION/STYLE ITEM FOR CLASS?
Any scarf from Paris will DEFINITELY do! BOOSH
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019?
“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.” – Barack Obama
I’m Looking forward to being part of the change.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO THANK – SOMEONE WHO HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY
It takes a village. And trust me when I say it did take a village to help me. LOL. Community is everything. It is a life line. I would like to thank my teachers and those closest to me in my life for their endless love and support. There are countless others that have taken a chance on me along the way. All it takes is one person to take that chance on you and to believe in you. It can change the course of your life forever. I am grateful for each and every one of you. You know who you are.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE STAR DANCE ALLIANCE MOMENT?
For me, coming to the Star Dance Alliance feels like a full circle moment. My mentor David Howard and Gary Pate used to travel the country teaching together. Now I am part of the Star Dance Alliance…I think that is so cool!
HOW HAS STAR DANCE ALLIANCE IMPACTED YOUR CAREER?
I’ve really enjoyed getting to watch the dancers grow over the years. You get to see this especially at World Dance Pageant. The teacher inside of me truly enjoys watching dancers flourish and live their best dance selves. This impacts those of us who are privileged to watch these special moments take place in a dancer’s life. It’s a beautiful thing!!