The Social Media Dancer

It seems the path to a dance career is to be a ferocious social media maven.  Misty Copeland is tops at this game and even has a PR person handle it for her.

Another dancer who uses social media to great advantage is Joy Womack.  She is an interesting dancer if still a bit green. Most of the examples she posts show a dancer with promise but with rough edges.  Yet, due to her notoriety (former Bolshoi Ballet theater student) and scandal (left the Bolshoi ballet citing extortion as the reason) she has found a place in the Russian dance world as a Principal with a smaller company (Kremlin Ballet).  Womack has internet presence with a blog, a Youtube channel (that she uses to good effect), Facebook page and twitter account.  Mainly she posts very low key updates on her career and fills her airwaves with observations of life in Russia.

What I find so interesting is that she has made a career for herself in Russia.  Russian ballet fans are very discriminating, vocal and proud of their own artists.  I often wonder how Womack fits into this world.  But it has been a few years since the Bolshoi mix-up and Womack is cast regularly in nice roles with the Kremlin.  So, apparently, she doesn't hurt the box office.  It is hard to get a true reading of the situation because local Russian dance reviews are hard to locate.

Recently on her Youtube she posted a Russian update on her rehearsal of the Myrtha role in "Giselle".  It shows that the Russians have certainly not stinted Womack on coaching.  Nor have they tried to turn her into a Russian dancer.  Womack is without doubt American.  She moves like an American dancer but tempered with some Russian style.

I wish I had the money to fly to Russia to watch Womack with the Kremlin and see other Russian companies on their home soil.

But another interesting development has occurred.  Womack linked to an interview she gave with a French-Russian news site. I can only read a small amount of French and google translate garbled up the article.  It is unclear but it looks as if Benjamin Millepied invited Womack to audition for the Paris Opera Ballet or Womack decided on her own to apply to audition.

This seems to be a very big decision and possible huge change for her.  Especially since she will be auditioning for a transfer to their Corps.  But unlike many of her contemporaries, Womack doesn't seem to be playing the fame game.  She seems to see herself as an itinerant dance wanderer and student who is on a journey to explore dance history.  So maybe her possible move to France is not a whim at all.  If anything she will continue to be an interesting dancer to watch.

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