Unless you’re familiar with the Monday night CW reality television show “Breaking Pointe,” which follows members of Salt Lake City's Ballet West and Ballet West 2, chances are you don’t know Ian Tanzer.
One of story lines follows a 21-year-old Ian Tanzer as he competes with another dancer from Ballet West II, the training grounds for the Ballet West’s company, for one contract to join Ballet West’s company the following season. He’s a leading character in the second season, which premiered July 22. (Spoiler alert!) he didn’t get the Ballet West contract, but he is thrilled to be joining Sarasota Ballet’s corps de ballet for the upcoming season.
After driving exactly 2,999 miles on a seven-day journey from his hometown of Spokane, Wash, Tanzer arrived in Sarasota for the first time July 31. The only other time he was in Florida was when he was 12 years old on a trip to Disney World.
The first thing Tanzer did upon arriving to Sarasota? He sat down with the Observer for an interview about his reality-TV experience.
5 Things You Didn’t Know
1. Director of Sarasota Ballet Iain Webb has never seen “Breaking Pointe.”
2. Webb is working on the final details, but hopes to pick up two other Ballet West dancers to be apprentices for Sarasota Ballet. Webb thinks he and Ballet West’s artistic director, Adam Sklute, have similar approaches to their companies and repertoires. And Webb hopes to build a relationship with the company and potentially bringing the same productions to each company’s repertories to cut down the costs of bringing these ballets from England to the United States: “It’s in the very, very early stages, but it’s something that could be quite a good relationship between the organizations.”
3. Tanzer already knows a few of Sarasota Ballet’s dancers because he went to school with them.
4. “My parents taught me to be self-sufficient,” Tanzer says. “They taught me how to be a real person outside of this profession, and the day I stop having fun (with dance) is the day I’ll walk away.” So Tanzer and his younger brother Keaton have a concert promoting business on the side.
5. Tanzer saw a production of “The Nutcracker” at age five, and immediately following the performance told his mother, Marci Tanzer, that he was going to be a dancer, and she laughed. So he opened a phone book, called the first ballet studio and when they answered, handed the phone to his mom who signed him up for his first dance class.
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