Love and Choice: An Interview with Ballerina Juliet Doherty

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“I could not put [ARROWS] down. I literally read the entire thing in a day! I was captivated by the story and could relate so well to the way you put it into words.” –Juliet Doherty, international award-winning ballerina

You can imagine my delight reading those words from a young woman who is exactly the kind of girl I imagined Karma (one of my main characters in ARROWS) aspiring to be.

A self-proclaimed plant-powered ballerina, Juliet Doherty is a Junior and Senior Women’s Division Gold Medalist (YAGP International Finals), competitor in Prix de Lausanne (Switzerland), played the role of “Clara” in San Francisco’s Nutcracker, performed with the Rockettes (Radio City Music Hall & USA tour), has been the cover story for Dance Spirit Magazine, and was recently featured in TeenVogue. She was an original cast member of the new musical, Little Dancer, which made its world premiere at the Kennedy Center.

In short, she is amazingly poised and talented, and I am so honored to share her words with you. Special thanks to my author friend Lygia Day Peñaflor for helping us connect.

What do you love about being a dancer? Have you found that it easily translates to the audience when you perform?

Juliet: Since a very young age I have been drawn to the stage and have always felt at home when I’m on stage. Something about performing in front of a live audience is so special. When people come to see live theater or dance they get to live in a story told through movement and expression. Our job as the artist is to make it look as effortless as possible and to make the audience feel as if they could do it. In my opinion, dance fully translates when you connect with the audience through your expression of the story that you are telling.

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What choices have you made in your life that shaped who you are as a dancer?

Juliet: I made the decision when I was fourteen to move to San Francisco to pursue my passion for ballet. I lived away from home and danced at the San Francisco Ballet School until I was seventeen. During this time I learned how to take care of myself and so much more about myself as an individual. My training and experiences in San Francisco pushed me out of my comfort zone, which gave me so much growth. It has helped shape me and develop into the dancer & person that I am today.

Envision your perfect dance or creative getaway. Can you tell us where you’d go?

Juliet: I imagine myself in a beautiful, remote cabin. I can see feet of snow surrounding the house, on top of the trees, and softly falling from the clouds. I can smell wood burning and the fresh scent of pine and evergreen. All I can hear is the gentle crackling of the fireplace and I can feel its warmth protecting me from the cold outside. In my hands is a big cup of hot chocolate, sweet and rich in taste, comforting me with each sip.

Love and choice lightning round:

Morning person or night owl?

Morning for sure! I love the morning light and first, quiet hours of the day.

Favorite show to binge-watch?

I have always been a fan of Law & Order: SVU but currently I’m really liking the Mindy Project.

Coffee or tea?

Tea! I have a super low tolerance for caffeine so I have never been a coffee drinker. My favs are chamomile, peppermint, and green tea.

Ocean or mountains?

If I had to choose, probably mountains. My home is in the east mountains of New Mexico and is one of the most beautiful places I know. The smell of the forest, the views, and taking hikes are some of my favorite things about it.

And finally, favorite quote?

There are so many! Here are a couple of my favorites at the moment:

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
– Dita Von Teese

“Always remember the little girl within – the one who lived life without bounds… She is you – wiser, experienced, and equipped to lead.” – Tearra Vaughan

Follow Juliet on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch her dance here.

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ARROWS, my ballerina-inspired love story for teens, is currently on sale. Buy now:

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