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Day in the Life of Dance: Behind the Byline — Nicole Dekle Collins on Writing for The Dance Enthusiast

Day in the Life of Dance: Behind the Byline — Nicole Dekle Collins on Writing for The Dance Enthusiast

Published on June 11, 2019

TDE: How did you start working for The Dance Enthusiast?

Nicole Dekle Collins: My first article for The Dance Enthusiast was an interview with New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns in 2014. I discovered The Dance Enthusiast through Robert Johnson, a phenomenal dance writer who was Master Artist in Residence for The Dance Enthusiast during the 2014-2015 season. Robert and I had been Associate Editors at Dance Magazine in the 1990s. I loved the site, both the articles and the gorgeous production values. I also liked the fact that The Dance Enthusiast published interviews in addition to reviews. I had long wanted to interview Mearns, who is my favorite female dancer, and so I approached Christine Jowers at a The Dance Enthusiast Event about the possibility of my doing an interview for TDE. She was "dance enthusiastic" about the idea. I was a guest writer for that first piece and became a contributing writer the following year. 

TDE: What do like about writing for The Dance Enthusiast?

Nicole Dekle Collins: I like writing for The Dance Enthusiast for many reasons. The first is that Christine is a dream editor and publisher and an all-around wonderful woman. I also love the site's focus on "enthusiasm." I have freelanced  for many publications—The Village Voice, Ballet Review, and Pointemagazine, among them—and I am myself an editor at The Wall Street Journal. So I know from both sides of the desk how rare a really good, writer-friendly editor is. Also, because she herself danced professionally, Christine knows how hard it is to be a performer, and the tone of The Dance Enthusiast is very dancer- and choreographer-friendly. Christine wants honesty, but she doesn't want snark, and that approach to reviewing matches my own philosophy.

TDE: What are your favorite stories?

Nicole Dekle Collins: My favorite stories from among those I have written for The Dance Enthusiast are the Sara Mearns interview, as well as an interview with Marcelo Gomes, the former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Christine pushed me to do that even though I was nervous about it. I now have Marcelo's cellphone number (though I've never used it for anything but the interview). I have also loved the opportunity to review the works of George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham, two of my favorite choreographers.

Another highlight was the chance to review Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s production of Così fan tutte for the Paris Opera in 2017.

TDE: Please share a fun fact about yourself.

Nicole Dekle Collins: I have a twin sister, and in high school we were apprentices in the Savannah Ballet, a professional company under the direction of former ABT Principal Karena Brock. With twins heading up the lines, the corps de ballet looked quite uniform.

Read features by Nicole HERE.

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