Lourdes Lopez is the artistic director of the Miami City Ballet. She was formerly a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and a cultural arts reporter for NBC.
The best career advice I’ve ever received is to just be Lourdes in everything and anything I did. I was told that by the genius choreographer George Balanchine.
One thing I wish I had known when I began my career is to write down my experiences—where I went, what I danced and when, and to take more pictures. Time truly is fleeting.
The woman who changed my life continues to be my mother. While my mother was not highly educated, she could size up a person immediately and her advice, even when I did not want to hear it or believe it, was always spot on. She was strong-minded and strong-willed, with an extraordinary work ethic. She taught her three daughters that there are no short cuts to get what you want, because nothing comes easy or for free.
I tap into creativity and inspiration by taking time to be by myself. I don’t listen to music, or read; or do something active, I simply sit down, think and talk to myself, and thoughts start to take place.
The thing I’ve achieved that I am most proud of is my family. I have two fantastic daughters, each with their own personality and passions, who I am so proud of, and a husband who is a true partner in every sense of the word. My mother taught me that everything in life is fleeting, except for family. Family is always there and the most important thing.
A major challenge I’ve faced was being told I needed surgery that might end my career, just as my career was about to begin. I was devastated, but I decided to take my mother’s advice and turn the situation around to my advantage and do what I had never had the opportunity to do because of dance, which was to have a baby and go to college. I did both and then went back to dancing and continued my career. My daughter is now 28-years-old and I went to Fordham. I would not change those two things for anything in the world.
advice and turn the situation around to my advantage and do what I had never had the opportunity to do because of dance, which was to have a baby and go to college. I did both and then went back to dancing and continued my career. My daughter is now 28-years-old and I went to Fordham. I would not change those two things for anything in the world.
I maintain balance in my life by doing my yoga and little ballet barre exercises every day. These two things ground me and keep me sane. It’s as if my body remembers what made it happy and strong and then my mind reacts to that feeling and physical memory.
The one thing I would like to say to every woman in the world is you can have it all, but there is always a compromise!
Exposure to the arts is everything: Truth, beauty, knowledge, freedom, understanding, and community.
The biggest misconception about dance is that you need to know something about dance to get it. You don’t; you only need to have an open mind and soul and let it speak to you— and it will.