If you follow me on social media, you may have read my interview with Oregon Ballet Theatre dancer Gavin Hounslow already. I wanted to send it out via my newsletter for those who haven't, but also to explain a little more about why I pursued what was my second, much more in-depth, interview with Gavin (and yes, I was tickled to get to know another dancer-Gavin!).
The first interview we had was supposed to be a simple profile for OBT's Playbill. And indeed it was relatively typical-- until he got to the part about having realized, at age 19 or 20 and just hired into the prestigious Houston Ballet 2, that something was amiss. He had the remarkable presence of mind, for someone so young, to put the brakes on a swiftly advancing and very promising ballet career.
Gavin felt that the expected rhythms, routines and practices of a pre-professional and early pro ballet life were not syncing well with him. He wasn't sure what was wrong, but needed to figure out what it was or risk years of bitterness, discontent, and likely injury.
So he quit. And became a farmer. And then, after ten months of farming, meditating, studying Chinese medicine and spirituality, and dissecting the physics of a single pirouette from fifth position, he rediscovered why he'd started dancing in the first place and why, and how, he wanted it in his life again.
Read on for my second conversation with Gavin, recently published in The Ballet Herald, in which I asked the burning questions in my ballet-nerd brain and got so much more than I anticipated in return.