New Writer Welcome: Emmie Strickland

Please join the COA family in welcoming our newest writer, Emmie Strickland! Emmie’s bio will be available shortly on our About page. Subscribe to COA so you don’t miss her upcoming debut piece ‘The Thoughtful Ballerina.

What’s a common misnomer about ballerinas that you wish to dispel today?

When I say I’m a ballet dancer, a lot of people ask me if my life is like the movie “Black Swan” and it is not at all! Most dancers within the ballet world are all incredibly supportive of one another. Of course, just like any other career, there is competition that abounds, but it is nothing like that movie.

Name a guilty pleasure song, that perhaps has nothing to do with ballet or the fine arts generally, but that you’d listen to over anything from Swan Lake.

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole or “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega.

How long can one dance professionally, and what does one do when one’s dancing days are through?

A dancer’s career usually lasts about the same as a professional athlete, so most retire in their later thirties. However, there are some ballet legends who have danced into their fifties. After dancing is over, many go into teaching positions at professional ballet schools or take on artistic staff roles in ballet companies. Some also go into choreography. A lot of dancers totally step away from the studio when they’re through and go back to school, start families, or jump into completely new professions. Former professional dancers make awesome employees because of their superb work ethic and creativity.

Your first piece is on the conflict between your career and your desire to give back for the greater good. How can writing help ease this conflict?

I think the first step to easing this conflict is voicing it in some way, communicating outside myself that [the conflict] does exist. Writing is a medium of expression that comes naturally to me, so using it to convey this paradox was pretty instinctual. I hope the articulation of my ideas regarding the issue allows me, and other artists experiencing similar inner struggles, to view the whole thing with increased clarity and then eventually find the perfect solution that feeds both desires.

Emmie Strickland, The Thoughtful Ballerina at Cult of Americana

Emmie Strickland, ‘The Thoughtful Ballerina.’ Photo by Jake Cundiff.


Remember, we’re always seeking new writers, photographers, whatever-ers for the COA artist family. If you’d like to get paid for your craft have it promoted on our dime, please drop us a line through the Contact Us form.


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