Next Avenue: If this story isn’t, ultimately, about dance, what is it about?
Lauren Kessler: We’re often told it’s never too late to … fill in the blank. Sometimes that’s true but not always, like going back to medical school at age 55, for example. But I wanted to explore whether that was true for me. And for me it wasn’t so much dancing The Nutcracker as thumbing my nose in the face of André Eglevsky.
Why was it important for you to challenge yourself this way?
Comfort zones are, obviously, comfortable, but if we want to continue to grow, we have to stand way outside of our comfort zones. A lot of us have spent a lot of time in discomfort on the path to getting someplace comfortable. It kind of feels like in midlife or in retirement that you should just exhale and settle in. I’m not saying that’s not OK for some people; I’m saying it wasn’t working for me. It’s not the way I find joy. So I wanted to test myself and see what I was capable of.