Grace Under Pressure

Paloma Herrera in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone

Paloma Herrera in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone

Four Lessons We Learned From Principal Dancer Paloma Herrera

 

Herrera in Sleeping Beauty. Photo: Gene Schiavone

 

Is there anything that a businessman or woman can learn from an internationally recognized ballerina?

Surprisingly, the answer is Yes! There are valuable lessons to learn from great practitioners, no matter their field.

Here are four important lessons we learned from talking to Argentina’s Paloma Herrera, who has danced as a guest artist on major stages from Tokyo and Moscow to London and Milan. She now resides in New York City, where she is a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre.

Lesson 1:  Learning never ends.

Paloma Herrera, 35, wanted to dance from the time she was a small child. Fortunately, her mother’s careful inquiries led to Herrera’s enrollment at age 7 in classes supervised by Olga Ferri, a dancer with an international reputation. Ferri’s Giselle is considered to be one of the great interpretations of that role. Many of Ferri’s partners, such as the late Rudolf Nureyev, were the great dancers of their generations.

The ballerina’s respect for her first teacher, whom Herrera still describes almost three decades later as “my teacher,” is almost without bounds.

But for great practitioners, learning never ends.

When Latin Business Today caught up with Herrera in New York on a beautiful early morning, we didn’t want to take more time than she could allow. Asked what time she had to leave the interview, she said that she had to be in class by 9:00 o’clock.

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About the author

Nona Aguilar

Nona Aguilar is an award-winning journalist specializing in family health. In addition to articles that have appeared in major women’s magazines, she has written three books, including The New No-Pill, No-Risk Birth Control on natural family planning.