We are starting off "Meet Black Swan Ballet Company Mondays" with Gabriel Casey. She is a beautiful nineteen-year-old dancer who has taken dance and choreography seriously since she was a small dancer in the studio, performing as "The Cat" in a children's production of Honk Jr, and dancing and singing alongside people twice her age in Phantom of the Opera. This bright young dancer, actor, singer, and choreographer is still training and auditioning regularly as well as acting, singing, and dancing in musicals, plays, and gatherings around the Susquehanna Valley and beyond. When she is not working on her own craft, she is choreographing for musicals and mentoring high school students as the newest choreographer of the musicals at West York High School as well as for productions elsewhere.
What is your name?
My name is Gabriel, but I go by "Gabe."
What are your professional goals?
To be on Broadway as a professional choreographer. To make musical theatre something I can live off of.
What is your favorite ballet/variation to dance and why?
Kinky Boots choreography. It was taught to me by Chris Kane (the dance captain for the touring company of Kinky Boots).
What is your favorite ballet/variation to watch and why?
The Royal Opera House's Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar Scene.
What is your proudest dancer moment?
Being a backup dancer for Zoe LaBelle
How long have you been dancing?
Seriously, about ten years. Before that, all my life for fun. I started choreographing about 7 years ago. When I choreograph, it is ALWAYS serious.
What is your most embarrassing dancer moment?
There are so many! Having a cut on my foot and putting toilet paper on it under my tights only to hear an audience member say "she has toilet paper on her foot." Wearing black tights I thought were okay, but hearing an audience member say "look at her butt!" Being sick while I was on stage as a grandmother and yelling "my cookies are burning" as I ran off stage to be sick.
What is in your dance bag right now?
Now? ballet flats, dental floss sewing kit, wrappers of fruit roll-ups and fruit by the foot. I brought them to dance when I knew I should not have. A phone charger.
What dancers do you look up to and why?
There are lots. James Whiteside. He is a principal dancer at ABT who was one of the people to challenge the stereotype of what is considered "gender normal" in ballet (men CAN wear pointe shoes, dances and movements can be beautiful on men AND women). Bob Fosse. He was an awful person, but a great choreographer. He challenged the ideas of right and wrong in dance.
Where do you dance?
Right now? My living room. No, seriously, Susquehanna Dance Center in Mountville, PA.
What dance shoes do you wear?
I like the look of character shoes, but I can't dance in them for the life of me. I don't have a brand loyalty, whatever fits my feet really. I am a huge advocate of dancing without shoes...bare feet. If I have a choice when I dance I always say NO SHOES!.
What is your favorite quote and why?
"What I have I give, what I keep is lost forever."
Why are you a part of BSBC?
Because my mother runs the company and she knows where I sleep. Just kidding. I like the message and what it stands for. The ballet world has become so toxic and we need to shed light on it and make some changes.