What My Teacher Taught Me: National Ballet of Canada's Jillian Vanstone

This week, The National Ballet of Canada premieres Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in New York City. NBC principal dancer Jillian Vanstone, who will dance the role of Alice on opening night, credits Jacquelin Barrett (Wheeldon's assistant) with expertly balancing tough coaching with humor.

"She's extremely generous with her knowledge but also allows you to laugh at yourself. A lot of dancers--and I know this about myself--can be so hard on themselves. She gives such excellent corrections, but in a way that I feel like she's really there rooting for me, and that's such a big deal. I know she's my coach, but she's also my friend. I think it takes a special teacher to find that balance."

NBC is performing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the David H. Koch Theater in NYC, now through September 14. Vanstone will dance the role of Alice on September 11 and 13.

Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

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