Artists Activated: Ellenore Scott On Advocating The #zerowastechallenge
A Renaissance Woman in every sense of the word, Ellenore Scott and The Dance Enthusiast go way back—Ellenore starred at our Broadway Dance Stage and Screen event on April 12, 2016, chatted with us about Breaking Glass: The Emerging Female Choreographers Project in 2013, and has appeared on our website more than once. Given the dance enthusiast's propensity for balancing multiple projects, however, we decided it was about time to check in on her!
On the #zerowastechallenge
How are you these days, girl? Like what’s your head space like?
Hey! I’m doing very well. 2018 is the year “self-care” and I’m taking that to heart! I’m trying to create good habits, mediate more, eat delicious and healthy foods and overall just be consciously more positive. With all that said, I think it’s going very well!
You're one of our favorite people to follow on Instagram now, as we greatly enjoy your weekly tips on how to reduce waste. How do you advocate the #zerowastechallenge without sounding pushy? I know you shouldn’t care what others think, but some days I’m afraid of embodying the ‘Jehovah Witness at your door’ character.
What I try to do with the #zerowastechallenge is just to bring consciousness to the equation. Without trying to be too pushy, I want people to recognize how much waste they’re unconsciously creating. Life is easy to go through when you’re not having to think about your impact on the environment, but when you start to think of the little things that you can do each day to help PREVENT waste, your eyes will be opened to how much waste you produce as a person. I think that by having a weekly challenge to reduce waste, you start to notice all the other little things you can do like refusing a plastic straw or carrying your own grocery bag. I also hope that if someone accepts the challenge for a week they will continue to make it a weekly habit. I have had so many people write me that they only carry reusable bags now, and are telling their friends to do the same. That’s my main goal. Little steps from everyone is more impactful than one big step from myself alone.
Do you think there is such a thing as extremism in environmentalism?
I don’t think it’s ever possible to take environmentalism too far. When you think about it, the main reason why our planet is starting to fail is because of how we are treating it. It’s literally because we are unconscious about waste, pollution and depleting natural resources. But somehow we aren’t making enough changes to try to stop it or reverse it. As of right now, earth is the only planet that our race has. And we need to do everything in our power to sustain it.
The Belle of Broadway
Aren't you working on two musicals almost back-to-back? Tell us about Head Over Heels and King Kong the Musical!
Head Over Heels is in its final weeks of performances at the Curren in San Francisco and will have a brief hiatus before we start rehearsals back up for our New York performances in June. The San Francisco audiences has loved the show and we are super pumped to bring it to New York City and Broadway.
In regards to King Kong, I don’t start rehearsals until three days after we open for Head Over Heels, so not much on the news front there but still very excited for the show!
On Bringing Dance To Audiences
ELSCO Dance, your own company, bridges the barriers between concert and commercial dance; can you describe a recent instance where your company has exemplified this motto?
Bridging the gap between concert and commercial dance is very important to me. I came from a concert dance background and the one thing I always heard growing up was if I ever went to commercial dance I’d be 'selling out.' But the thing I love about commercial dance is the performance element and the broader audience I am able to connect with. What I do with ELSCO dance is to create pieces that are approachable to non-dance viewers, but which also fill my creative desires. Another way I bridge the commercial and concert dance worlds is by creating dance films. A lot of dance viewers don’t have access to live performances and I wanted ELSCO to be able to be enjoyed at home or on the go. Learn more about ELSCO Dance's mission in this previous interview.
Variety is the spice of life and you’re clearly proficient at multitasking, but if you had to drop everything and work on one thing only, what would that be?
I would definitely continue pursuing my choreographic career. After performing for many years I have realized that my love for choreography is much larger than the joy of performing on stage.
What gives you purpose in life?
I feel like I have two purposes in life: to be a continuous learner and a continuous teacher. I’ve always told my students that one's studies never end. You’re never perfect and you will never know all the right answers. So continue through life learning, exploring and discovering to become a better person. I love what I do and am so blessed to be able to share what I know.
I love dance. I love learning to dance. I love teaching dance. I love watching dance.
How have your priorities changed from 10 years ago?
A decade ago I was 18, and very excited but naïve. I had a lot of assumptions about what the dance world was like and thought it would be easy. Boy, was I wrong. My priorities then were to just dance whenever and however I could no matter what the consequences. At 18 I was told I needed to lose a lot of weight to perform professionally and because I was so young I assumed that that’s what I needed to do to be appreciated, even if it meant starving myself. Since then I’ve come to learn that my own self-value is more important than how others view me. That I would rather find my own path in dance and choreography than be put into a box just because “I wanted to dance.”
My priorities now are to fulfill myself artistically and to keep growing and learning more, where as my priorities back then were just to please everyone else in pursuit of the 'perfect dance job.'
She Got It From Her Momma
Co-founder of Breaking Glass Project Ellenore Scott and her Mother, Michelle Ramos-Burkhart, former ballerina and former president of Dance/NYC.
Your mom, Michele Ramos, is also an Activated Artist in her own way. In what ways are you like and unlike her?
I love my mother so much and we are very alike! Actually, most people think we’re the same person when we’re on the phone because our voices are so similar and when we are together people assume we are sisters! She is a very driven woman and always strives to learn more. I think we have that in common. She also loves to fight for equality, justice and a better world; I believe I have very similar perspectives. She is moving more towards the general arts since shifting to Alternative Roots whereas I am staying in the dance world, but we are definitely more alike than unalike.
- Happy Belated Birthday to Ellenore, who was born on April 22nd, making her a Taurus!
"I don’t follow my horoscopes too much, but I do enjoy some of the traits associated with the sign," said Ellenore. "Some of my best friends are born under the same sign and we share strong bonds!"
- In an alternate world, Ellenore might have pursued any of these other careers:
"I would either be a chef and own my own vegetarian restaurant; a casting director for Broadway musicals and shows; or an animal rescuer!"
The Dance Enthusiast Covers The Stories Behind Dance Performance, Speaking with Artists and Creating Conversation
For more Behind-the-Scenes Q+As, click on our The Dance Enthusiast Asks section.
Head Over Heels: A New Musical
Previews begin June 23, 2018
Hudson Theatre, 141 West 44th Street, New York, NY
King Kong A Musical
Previews begin October 5, 2018
Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York, NY