TPB Senior Profile: Devin Packard

TPB is proud to present Devin Packard, one of our seniors for the 2013/14 Curriculum Year!

Devin with Lauren Lane, 'Goldberg Variations,' photo by Blaine Covert

Devin with Lauren Lane, ‘Goldberg Variations,’ photo by Blaine Covert

Devin is one of those amazing success stories you hear about from time to time. He started ballet late and after only being with us for two years, lands principal roles in our holiday productions:  Prince Ivan in ‘Firebird’ and Cossack in ‘The Enchanted Toyshop.’ Devin has always had amazing stage presence. I picked him out of a large crowd of dancers in a performance of ‘West Side Story’ and other works at Dance West, the performing arm of his academic school, ACMA. In these two short years we have had Devin, his technique has soared and his partnering skills as well. Then to top that, he is tall and therefore a great partner for our taller ballerinas! I wish Devin much success as he follows his dreams after his graduation and know he will do well in life. Congratulations on a job well done!
- Nancy Davis, Artistic Director

Name, Age, Year in School?
Devin Packard, 17, senior.

When did you start dancing?
I had to take a term of dance my sixth grade year at ACMA (Arts & Communication Academy) and being a football player, I was totally against it. I ended signing up for the full year in 7th grade but didn’t really start taking it seriously until the end of my freshman year.

When did you start at TPB?
I took the TPB 2010 Summer Ballet Intensive, then started classes that fall. In 2012, I became a full company member.

How has being a dance student affected your school life? Social life?
Well…since I also dance at school, it takes up most of my free time including being able to do homework. It can be hard especially when I don’t get home until 9pm or 10pm at night. However, this is what I want to do and I make the necessary adjustments to make it work. Like not having a super active social life.

What are your other hobbies besides dance?
Outside of dance, I enjoy film making, music, and video games. I also like to travel; seeing new places is cool. If time allows, I also enjoy hiking, camping, and snowboarding.

Influential master classes? Or teachers?
My first three teachers: Terry Brock- Tap, Less Watanabe– Modern, & Jason Davis– Ballet. They are who inspired me to become a dancer.

Devin with Jason Davis, photo by Blaine Covert

Devin with Jason Davis, photo by Blaine Covert

Or SBI programs?
Although I have only done a handful, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Summer Ballet Intensive was fun. I was there this past summer and gained a better understanding of how to improve my technique. It also gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of people with interesting dance experiences.

Why do you dance?
It just makes me feel happy. Dance is what makes me enjoy the other things in life; it helps me express myself as I live through it.

Favorite role or ballet danced?
Espada from Don Quixote.

Devin in 'Don Quixote,' photo by Blaine Covert

Devin in ‘Don Quixote,’ photo by Blaine Covert

Favorite part of class? Barre? Center? Do you love to jump or turn or both? Adagio?
I enjoy everything in class- some days are better than others. And yes, going across the floor jumping and turning is always fun.

Favorite TPB moment?
Performing Don Quixote in TPB’s 2013 Spring Concert.

Do you have a favorite dancer- friend at TPB or professional dancer? Any favorite ballet companies?
One of my favorite dancers is Rolando Sarabia. His technique is what I strive for. My current favorite ballet company right now is definitely American Ballet Theatre as most of my favorite dancers are there.

Plans for after graduation?
My ideal outcome would be participating in either the American Ballet Theatre or Alvin Ailey in New York Professional Division.

Pursue dance professionally?
YES, dance is something… I can’t really explain why I do it, but it makes me feel whole and one with myself. The self expression and joy I get from it and can provide to others makes it the only thing I really care to do with my future.

Dream job- where would you like to see yourself in five, ten years?
Obviously dancing with American Ballet Theatre or Alvin Ailey in New York!

Any advice for young TPB dancers?
Do what you want to do! You might have other important responsibilities that you need to tend to in your life, but don’t give up the desire to follow your dreams. You can make them into a reality if you choose to believe it.

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Thanks so much Devin! Any questions for Devin? Comments? Well-wishes? Leave them here!