Ballet Des Moines

Tom Mattingly

Q: How did you get started in your career?
A: I began my professional career at age 17 as an apprentice with Richmond Ballet. I was very lucky to have the guidance and support of more experienced dancers to help me transition from student to professional. Their kindness and generosity helped lay the foundation of my professional outlook.

Q: What do you love about your career?
A: I love having the opportunity to create work that is meaningful to both artist and audience. The physical expression of dance can be incredibly powerful, conveying emotions that are diffi cult to put into words. I am constantly falling in love with ballet and when I see dancers or audiences do the same, it feels incredible!

Q: What are some guiding principles you’ve used in your career?
A: As a queer artist, reliability, kindness and curiosity are my guiding principles.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
A: Taking your work seriously and taking yourself seriously are two different things. Maintain your sense of humor. Invest deeply in the work but don’t make it your only priority. It’s easy to tether your sense of self-worth to your success as a professional, but that can be dangerous when things don’t go your way.

121 S. 11th St, Suite 100 | West Des Moines, IA 50265 | balletdesmoines.org

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