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Jul 22, 2015

sara esty - a true american in paris



I am so excited to have had this article featured by Kirsten Evans on her entirely lovely blog, Setting the Barre. It's an absolutely beauteous site, be sure to check it out. This interview premiered there and now I'm thrilled to share it with my own readers. The Esty twins are two strong, determined, down-to-Earth women that I idolize in every way. It is my pleasure to have been able to discuss with them a new chapter in both of their lives.



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At my home, Maine State Ballet, there isn't a person in the building who fails to snap to attention when the words, "The Estys are here," trickle down the hallways. We all know who they are; their names have become somewhat of a legacy. Twins Sara and Leigh-Ann Esty, from small-town Gorham, Maine, have roots planted firmly with our school and company. They not-so-quietly climbed through the ranks and took on roles as prestigious as the Sugar Plum Fairy and/or Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker. A dynamic duo they are.


Sara Esty
Leigh-Ann Esty

The two eventually migrated down to take on the Miami City Ballet where they stayed for ten years. Leigh-Ann is currently a corps de ballet member with the company and Sara Esty reached as high a rank as soloist before an exciting opportunity came her way...
Sara was kind enough to work in between her busy schedule and indulge me with a Facebook conversation about her new and exciting life.


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Firstly, congratulations on your life (no, seriously). You've certainly taken advantage of this blossoming crossover between ballet and Broadway. How did this opportunity come about?
Thank you so much!!! So I had been with the ballet company in Miami for about 10 years and one day I literally got a random Facebook message. It was from a casting director in NYC, saying she was working on a new project with Christopher Wheeldon for Broadway and asked if I would be interested in contacting her. There was no doubt in my mind that the answer was yes! Two of my favorite worlds were colliding - how could I not be part of it? I wrote her back and soon came to find they were looking around in professional dance companies for artists interested in singing and acting for a new version of An American in Paris. The rest is history!
That's incredible. Has Broadway always been something on the bucket list?
I think I've always had a theatrical personality and drive about me, but it wasn't till around high school that I made the promise to myself it would happen someday.
Coming from a small-town atmosphere, was the prospect of opening this premier Broadway show in Paris, one of the biggest cities in the world, overwhelming? ... I mean, you are the "American in Paris!"
Haha! Yes, I mean all I was prepared for was to do what I know how to do... The rest was icing on the cake. I love the show and the experiences and places it has brought me so far. It can be overwhelming at times but mostly exciting and extremely gratifying!
What an adventure... Could you describe a typical day for the cast while you guys were in Paris?
Well, we had the mornings off typically and then would rehearse a bit after around noon. Shows were around 7 or 8. Other than that we had Paris at our finger tips!
I understand that you and Leigh-Ann have been blessed to work side by side one another for almost all of your professional careers. How are you coping with being separated for the first extended period of time?
Leigh and I have been dancing by eachothers sides for over 20 years. Being apart in life, let alone at ballet, has been a bit of a struggle. Good and bad I would say! The worst thing is just missing eachother and having to catch one another up on our daily activities, people, and lives where as we never used to have to do that. We have gotten more used to it, and because we are so close, nothing changes whenever we see eachother. It also came at an appropriate time I think. Independence is such an important thing for siblings, and we are really loving finding ourselves as individuals. Needless to say, I hope we get to dance together again one day!! This time is important and healthy though. :)


(Leigh-Ann contributed a few words regarding their separation as well: When we first separated, it was a total shock. I think we both didn't know how to handle it. However, as time went on, things improved. We were able to share fun stories with each other about new experiences, introduce new friends over FaceTime, things like that. One thing that remained a constant was always wishing the other one was there! It's bizarre living 28 years with someone and then separating. I think it's healthy in many ways.. It has forced each of us to establish ourselves as individuals, and find our own voices. We are still closer than ever, and continue to dream about the day when we live in the same city again!)

 There are rumors twirling around that you're dating a fellow cast member, can you confirm or deny them?

Haha yes I can happily confirm them. What can I say, Paris is a magical place! We started out as friends. I've always wanted to find someone who is first and foremost a good friend :)

Last question! How did it feel to perform as the lead for the first time at the Palace Theatre?

It was unreal, surreal, emotional, empowering, exciting - all of the above! Life dreams - ✔️


I can’t thank Sara enough for taking time out of her wonderful, busy life to indulge her fans! You’ll never meet more gracious, humble, extraordinary people than Sara and Leigh-Ann.



* Sara is dating fellow cast member Will Burton (and may I recommend them both as perfect candidates to stalk on Instagram - @sesty5 @willburtonum). She will be performing the lead in An American in Paris July 21-26. Don't miss it. She's incredible<3 *

UPDATE: Sara will now be performing the role of Lise for the production's Wednesday matinee performances beginning July 15th.



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A big thank-you to Kirsten Evans for posting this interview and especially to Sara and Leigh-Ann Esty for always inspiring, working, and continuing to be the most perfect role models.


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