We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Hansvick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cara, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
To choose Ballet as a career path has been beautiful, challenging, heartbreaking, but always rewarding. It has taught me so much and fully shaped me as a person. Perhaps the most important lesson that it taught me is the value of working hard and having trust . It takes so much dedication to dance ballet professionally. The work starts from the second we begin class and ends after 5 hours of rehearsals. Starting a new ballet always feels daunting, often impossible in the beginning. It completely knocks the humility back into you no matter how high you felt after the last performance. But through hard work and trust I’ve been able to dance more than I ever thought possible. I took little leaps of faith that led me to dance for this ballet company Ive fallen so in love with. I think combination of working hard and trusting the world is a really wonderful way to live life. I think that my love for dance always led me to the right places, and I am so grateful for that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Ballet is so special to me. I find it one of the few things left in entertainment that can be so beautiful, simple and pure. When I dance I hope to take people out of their worlds for a little bit. I try to become one with the music and the movement. I feel that if I love every second of it, the audience will too. I am so excited to get back to rehearsals and performing soon.
As a back story, I grew up in Evanston,IL. I spent three years at Indiana University in the Ballet Department, before joining Charlotte Ballet where I spent two seasons. After that I got a job in Los Angeles with American Contemporary Ballet where I have been for almost four years. I felt I was at an all time high in my career right when the pandemic hit. Everything halted, and I had my fair share of feeling defeated. With all performing on pause, I decided to take the year to really explore teaching. I managed to slip right into four studios, teaching a combination of Ballet, Pilates, GYROTONIC, and choreographing. All while continuing to give myself class every day, and performing with two new ballet companies doing virtual shows, La Grooves, and Ballet Project Orange County. It ended up being an amazing year that I’ll miss. I think it’s another perfect example of seemingly dead ends that lead me to amazing opportunities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in the South Bay so I’m very biased to that area. Some of our favorite restaurants are Jame Enoteca, Manhattan Beach Post, and Dia de Campo. I love biking the strand or do a beach day down from our apartment. My boyfriend loves to surf so sometimes we will do a day trip to Malibu or Laguna (where ever the surf is better). Other restaurants on my list are Gjelina, Rustic Canyon, Scopa, Elephante. Downtown arts district is also a great option, I used to work in dtla so I loved Manuela, angel city brewery, and perch to name a few.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first thing that comes to mind is the ballet program at Indiana University. It completely changed me as a dancer. I had amazing instructors that took huge investment and chances on me. I was given opportunities that I didn’t know if I was ready for, but really pushed me to grow and be ready for the professional world. It was an incredible time, I remember feeling like I could do anything by my senior year. More specifically I want to give credit to a teacher there, Violette Verdy. She passed away my senior year, but not without leaving a mark on me. She was kind, loving, wise, and most importantly I truly felt she believed in every one of us. It’s a rare combination from someone as distinguished as she was. But it’s stuck with me, and as I continue to grow the teaching side of my story, I want to keep her in my mind.
Facebook: Cara Hansvick
Oliver Endahl Drew Schwartz Dave Marano