Breanna Crockett is dancing her dream in Duluth

DD A&E ARTIST PROFILE - Breanna Crockett lives the dancing dream

Breanna Crockett is doing what many little girls only dream of—dancing the role of Snow White in a fully staged ballet. As a dancer for six years with the Minnesota Ballet, Crockett is getting ready to take center stage to bring the enchantment of this iconic fairy tale character to life.

Breanna Crockett. Photo submitted.

“I was around three years old when I began dancing, and I’ve been told I was a very serious student., Breanna said, “The first, yet still vague, memory I have of performing, is of a hip-hop dance in which I wore a cute, brown (somewhat itchy) teddy bear costume.”

She noted, “I think I may have become hooked on dance because of the performance aspect; the thrill of getting up on stage and performing in front of people and the rush of adrenaline was, and is, exhilarating.”

Years of Training

Born in Denver CO, Breanna grew up in a rural town about an hour southeast of Denver called Kiowa. During her junior and senior years of high school, while she was taking online classes, she attended Ellison Ballet’s Professional Training Program in New York City and stayed for an additional year after high school.

“I graduated from this program and started dancing professionally right away with the Colorado Ballet’s studio company. I was able to perform in their productions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Dracula, and Romeo and Juliet,” she stated.

Dance partner Isaac Sharratt and Brianna Crockett perform in the Sugar Plum pas de deux from The Nutcracker: A Duluth Tale. Photo by Vicki George Surges

After two seasons in Colorado, she auditioned for numerous companies and received an offer from Minnesota Ballet, joining the company in 2018. With Minnesota Ballet, she has performed soloist and principal roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Sleepy Hollow, and Rite of Spring, among others.

“I liked that the Minnesota Ballet company was smaller, so I would have closer friendships with the other dancers and a greater chance to perform soloist and principal roles,” she explained.

For the Minnesota Ballet, Breanna has danced in POE (Queen in The Purloined Letter); Sleeping Beauty (Aurora); Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Nights Dream (Helena); Sleepy Hollow (Katrina);The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum, Clara, Dew Drop, Ice Fairy, Snow Queen); Coppelia (Swanhilda’s Friend); Mendelssohns Piano Trio No. 1 by Allen Fields (Pas de Deux, Corps); Rite of Spring (Chosen One); and Carnival of the Animals by Robert Gardner.

Dance partner Isaac Sharratt and Brianna Crockett in the 3rd act wedding pas de deus from Sleeping Beauty. Photo submitted

Sharing Her Love of Dance

Breanna has been teaching ballet and pointe at Madill Performing Arts Center in Duluth since 2021. Though ballet is not the main focus of the studio, the students train in several styles of dance for competition, and ballet is beneficial for strength, coordination, and musicality.

She teaches three levels: 8 to 11, 12 to 14, and 15 to 18. “I choreographed a piece for the first time for Madill’s recital last year to the “Garland Waltz” music from Sleeping Beauty, and it was a new, fulfilling experience for me,” she noted.

“I love seeing the students grow over time, not just as dancers, but as people,” she said. “I also feel I have been able to instill an enjoyment and/or appreciation of ballet in some of the students, which is very rewarding.”

Her advice to young dancers considering pursuing ballet as a career is, “I would say to always remember why you love this art form and to persevere in the face of challenges and doubt. It has crossed my mind a number of times that I should follow a different path, but I always go back to the feelings I had while rehearsing and performing as a young dancer: absolute joy and excitement.”

Brianna Crockett, Taylor Phillips, and Pip attend Minnesota’s Renaissance Festival. Photo submitted.

Bringing Snow White to Life

Brianna Crockett and Issac Sharratt rehearse for Snow White. Photo by Katie Kampfhenkel

“My main goal with Snow White is exploring how I can expand and deepen the character while staying true to her essence given in the original story,” she explained.

“The most challenging part of this show for me is that it is a completely new full-length ballet, which means a lot of new choreography in a relatively short period of time,” Breanna said. “It is a challenge to remember all the choreography, corrections, musicality, and spacing, in addition to perfecting the steps and exploring the artistry.”

Life Outside the Studio

Breanna feels lucky that her boyfriend, Taylor Phillips, is also a member of the Minnesota Ballet Company and that they performed together for the first time this past November in The Nutcracker.

“I have a sweet, beautiful little dog named Pip, short for Piperel. She is a Coton de Tulear. She can come to the studio and hardly ever disrupts rehearsal; she just naps in her carrier and gets daily pets from the other dancers in the company,” Brianna shared.

Aside from dancing, she regularly practices yoga, completed Full Circle Yoga’s teacher training program last year, and occasionally guides yoga classes.

She also enjoys reading, puzzles, bike riding with her dad, and hiking around Duluth. Since she has discovered a love of the water and loves being out on the water, she enjoys kayaking.

Duluth Becomes Home

“Duluth has something to offer the nature-lover in me--stunning trails in wooded areas with beautiful rock formations and waterfalls that are only a short walk or drive away--and the city-goer in me—access to great food, drinks, events, shows, music, and local art. Of course, I absolutely adore Lake Superior.”

“I love the relationships I have built within the arts community and within my yoga community; getting to meet people from all walks of life is a blessing,” she said.

Gratitude for Opportunities and Her Family

“I just want to express how grateful I am to be a professional ballet dancer and to have the physical capability to keep up with the demands of the profession,” Crockett said. “Though it is my job, I hardly ever call it work. Each day, I try not to take it for granted.”

She concluded, “I thank my parents for their undying support in pursuing something I love, despite the long drives to ballet class and the financial hardships. I would be a very different person today if it was not for their love and encouragement.”

Brianna and her father biking along the Arkansas River this past summer. Photo submitted.

Information About Snow White Minnesota Ballet

Minnesota Ballet presents the classic fairy tale Snow White. Families and children of all ages will love following the beautiful princess and her seven pint-sized rescuers as they outwit the scheming Evil Queen.

The ballet is composed of talented student dancers from Minnesota Ballet Academy in this professional company production of Snow White.

The performances are on March 29 at 7 p.m. and March 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The DECC in Symphony Hall.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or by reserving seats at the Minnesota Ballet box office at 218-733-7570. The box office is open Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Prices begin at $15 for children, $25 for seniors/students/military, and $30 for standard admission.



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