- Kate Luber
OKG: Tell Us a little bit about yourself and your year in review?
Amy Potter: I am from Roanoke Virginia and moved away from home at the age of 15 to pursue ballet. I continued my education online and trained at a conservatory called Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington Connecticut. From there, I went on to dance with Boston Ballet as a trainee, Houston Ballet ll, Ballet West, and currently with Oklahoma City Ballet. This is my seventh season with the company.
A dancer's work season is from September through May, with the summer months off. It was the weekend of March 13th, 2020 and we were scheduled to perform 5 shows that weekend. It was a new concept by Mr. Mills called Future Voices where a selected number of dancers got the opportunity to choreograph their own piece using their fellow dancers. We performed one show and the next day, the remainder of our season was canceled due to Covid-19.
A small group of us started rehearsing again in September for an outdoor performance at Scissortail Park on October 9th. Later that month, the entire company was able to return to work and start rehearsal for The Nutcracker - Short & Sweet. This was a reimagined production of The Nutcracker with the show skipping the party and battle scenes and starting with the snowflakes. There were no kids in the production and no intermission. We successfully performed 8 live shows at the Civic Center.
- First day back for OKCB 2020/2021 season
OKG: This year has brought a lot of change. How long of a hiatus was there for your company? Did you train during that time?
- Garage studio
Amy Potter: There was about a 6-month hiatus before we could start rehearsing again.
Even though we are accustomed to having consecutive months off during our “off-season”, it is very common for dancers to go into the studio to take a class to maintain their technique. In this case, because everything shut down, we were forced to maintain ourselves in our own living rooms.
If you’ve ever been to a performance or seen videos of ballet dancers rehearsing/training, you might notice that we are on a special type of flooring. We dance on a sprung floor covered with a vinyl material called Marley.
Not many dancers have that in their own homes so it was tough to train without the proper flooring and space.
I cleaned out and rearranged my garage to create a makeshift ballet studio. The ballet was generous enough to give us a small square of Marley so I had that but it was on the concrete.
- Amy Potter and Daniel
OKG: Who have you leaned on the most during this past year?
Amy Potter: I can’t imagine getting through this year without my boyfriend. He has been by my side supporting me and encouraging me during these crazy times.
OKG: What has 2020 taught you about yourself?
Amy Potter: It has taught me to be more patient and kind with myself and to not take things for granted.
OKG: Ballet Oklahoma has shifted how the season was executed. You recently just finished the Nutcracker. How did it feel to get back to the holiday tradition?
Amy Potter: It felt like a miracle to be able to perform The Nutcracker. Oklahoma City Ballet was one of very few companies around the world that was able to perform live shows and to be a part of that was very special, to say the least.
- Diana Bittle
- Sugar Plum Fairy
OKG: What are your plans for 2021?
Amy Potter: There are so many! Most importantly, I am going to live in the moment more and continue to be a better version of myself every day.
OKG: First thing you want to do when Covid is gone?
Amy Potter: Travel! Enjoying a good cocktail at a bar would be nice too.
- Sunrise at our campsite in Oregon
Top 5 movies or tv shows of 2020 that helped you get through the Year:
In no particular order:
The Queen’s Gambit
The Surgeon’s Cut
Top 5 Albums of the Year:
Hollywood’s Bleeding - Post Malone
Everyday Life - Coldplay
Changes - Justin Bieber
After Hours - The Weeknd
Starting Over - Chris Stapleton
Podcast: How I Built This with Guy Raz