Dancing Her Way to the Top

Kingston Native Lauren Herfindahl performs in Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Dawn Atkins, Lauren Herfindahl, and Ekaterine Chubinidze in Boston Ballets The Nutcracker by Rosalie OConnor

Rosalie O'Connor

Dawn Atkins, Lauren Herfindahl, and Ekaterine Chubinidze in Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker by Rosalie O’Connor

Caroline Bradbury, Staff Writer

For most people art is a canvas on a wall, but for ballet dancer Lauren Herfindahl, art lives within movement. This Kingston native is taking the ballet world by storm through hard work and commitment to her art.

Herfindahl earned a spot in Boston Ballet’s apprentice company (Boston Ballet II) when she was just 15.  Now, at age 18 she is a member of the full company.  And, in addition to her talent, it must have taken a lot of inspiration and dedication to get there.

“I watched ‘Riverdance’ when I was about two or three, and knew I had to dance,” she explained during a recent interview.  “My mom then put me into ballet class, and I’ve loved it ever since.”  From there she went on to The Boston Ballet School from 2004-2011 until she was accepted into Boston Ballet II.

Its motivating to dance with the people I watched growing up.

— Lauren Herfindahl

“I’m pretty busy,” said Herfindahl as she spoke of her crazy schedule.  Sometimes, she has class from 9:00 AM until 2:30 PM, and then rehearsals and shows later in the evening.  That is hours of constant movement and precision that show how much she truly loves her craft.

These skills will all come in handy when she appears in “The Nutcracker,” November 29 – December 29 at the Boston Opera House. Her repertoire includes Clara as well as multiple other roles.

The Boston Ballet has recently revamped their version of the popular holiday ballet.  Mikko Nissinen is the artistic director of the company, and is widely credited for making this classical ballet into something even greater than it was.  “Mikko has made everything his own,” said Herfindahl.   She especially likes what he has done visually. “All of the new costumes and sets are beautiful,” said Herfindahl.

Lawrence Rines in Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker by Gene Schiavone
Lawrence Rines in Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker by Gene Schiavone

Herfindahl finds performing well known ballets inspirational.  She performed in parts of Marius Patipa’s classic, “La Bayadere” earlier this year, which was her first official performance with the company. She also danced in the first ever “Night of Stars on Boston Common” in September.   “Its motivating to dance with the people I watched growing up. And it’s satisfying how we all rely on each other throughout a performance.” She also finds a lot of inspiration through other dancers and music.  “I even watch dances on YouTube!” said Herfindahl.

She says the best part of being a dancer for Boston Ballet is “performing with the home company.”  Since she grew up in the Boston area she thinks it is a huge privilege to be dancing for her city. If Herfindahl could give advice to any aspiring dancer she would tell them to simply “love their art.”