We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Varnum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Practice. Practice. Practice. In the ballet world you have to make all the good habits part of your routine. Take class everyday. Rehearse everyday. And each time it gets better.
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.
I won a beauty pageant when I was six. With that came free jazz class lessons. I loved it so much I begged my mom to keep me in dance. I eventually started ballet, jazz, tap and clogging (I’m from the south). At twelve I left home for a boarding school in Washington, DC called the Kirov Academy of Ballet. Somehow I convinced my mom to let me go and from then on I knew I wanted to train to become a professional ballerina.
Russian training is no joke. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. You have to learn how to work smart. Your body is your instrument and you want to keep it healthy to be able to do what you put it through. I learned that early on with my five years at Kirov. You have to learn how to handle your first injuries… I had stress fractures at 13. My body was changing and I was figuring out how to handle stress and my mental health (and that was not talked about back then).
I overcame these challenges because I loved and believe in this Art form so much. I believe art saves the soul!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I am in the heart of Montrose so I am right around all my favorite things. Get a coffee from Blacksmith. We could have lunch in the Menil park and walk around the Menil after. Go to the vintage shops on Westheimer. Dinner at T. Rex (not in Montrose but it’s my fav!). Drinks at Anvil. And between all of that thrift thrift thrift!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family. My mom especially! Without them I would have never jumped into this career path!