What better way to try-out our new Maite Super Stretch jeans than with some plies, pointe, and pirouettes? Professional ballerina Kayla Rowser Tazik puts our performance stretch denim to the test. We then sat down to hear more about her career as a dancer, the similarities between ballet and fashion, and where she hopes to see both industries heading in the future.
What does it mean to you to be a ballerina, and what do you love about it?
My mom put me in ballet classes when I was four years old. There was absolutely no way to know that my first class would be the first step towards a career as a professional ballet dancer. I love this art form, and the connection and life it can give to its audiences. There is simply no feeling like stepping out from the wings on to the stage to share a bit of your soul with an audience.
You mentioned that one of the aspects of being a ballerina is a constant drive towards an unreachable perfection. How do you strive for this, and yet maintain a healthy view of yourself and your dancing career? How do you think this relates to women in general?
It can be quite a challenge to balance giving yourself grace for your weaknesses, while still fine-tuning them. Also, learning to own your strengths even though there is always room for improvement. I've found that it is up to me to find the joy in the tension of aiming for that unreachable perfection while still embracing what makes me unique as a woman and as a dancer. The differences in each and every dancer, just as it is with each and every woman, should be celebrated. This is something I will always be striving for, both in and outside of ballet.
"The differences in each and every dancer, just as it is with each and every woman, should be celebrated."
Within both the dance industry, and the fashion industry there are many unhealthy “ideals” that are beginning to be deconstructed. How do you see this in your career field, and what do you hope to see in the future?
The ballet world has seen a lot of change in the past few years, but I believe we still have a long way to go. When you are tackling the norms of a very old and classical art form, there will be a lot of resistance to seeing something that is different than what has always been considered traditional. I'm really proud to be dancing during a time where the image of the "ideal woman" is being questioned and discussed both in ballet and the fashion industry. I have so much hope for what the ballet and fashion world could look like in 5 years -and beyond- if we continue this important dialogue.
"I'm really proud to be dancing during a time where the image of the 'ideal woman' is being questioned and discussed both in ballet and the fashion industry."
A professional ballerina since graduating high school, Kayla Rowser Tazik has been a member of the Nashville Ballet since 2007. Rowser has been named one of Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch" and has been featured in Pointe Magazine, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and the New York Times. Last year, she was honored as one of Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans.