Respect your Body. There are days that my body is tired or in pain and I learning to respect what my body is telling me. I am always pushing myself to the limit but I am learning that I need to listen and respect what my body is saying. I remember dancing on an infected toenail, performing in my pointe shoes, and in so much pain, but my ego was not going to let my understudy have that show. When I took my pointe shoe off after the show, I had to pour the blood out of the shoe. I was in agony and pretending I was fine. I have learned that it’s OK to say I can’t perform tonight or that I can’t train today. This has definitely been a hard lesson for me but an important one. Learning to respect my body and the messages it is sending to me has also been very empowering.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kirsten Bloom Allen, an experienced ballet dancer and founder of ARC Entertainment Company. Kirsten has been reviewed as a “Beautiful dancer with a sensual style of movement that draws in her audience.” Most notably, Kirsten danced a private ballet performance for former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. She danced a series of shows at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC displaying several exclusive dramatic ballets as well as dancing multiple performances in both Shanghai and Beijing, China. In 2018, Kirsten founded ARC Entertainment Company, her creative concept for adding the visual element of dance to the rock concert experience. Since then, ARC has opened for iconic rock bands The Wallflowers and Jefferson Starship with dance performances to rave reviews. ARC just released a music dance video to Sound of Silence by metal band Disturbed to show the crossover of art forms.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Kirsten! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in the ballet studio! My first ballet class was at age 5 and I’ve been dancing ever since. At the age of 16, I left home to attend a performing arts high school on full scholarship. At 17 I was dancing professionally.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ballet is my passion, but I have always loved rock music. In starting ARC Entertainment Company, I wanted to blend the two art forms to create a unique and exciting art cross over. I want to give ballet a new platform to shine as well a make it more accessible to mainstream audiences.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of my most interesting performances was when I danced a private performance for former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. It was a private performance in our rehearsal studios and they were sitting on plastic chairs in a hot ballet studio with no air conditioning. Both George and Barbara were so gracious and so humble; they didn’t even complain about the heat. It was such an honor to meet them and have the opportunity to dance the great classical ballet Giselle for them.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of my funniest stories involves a costume malfunction. I was so into the performance, the music and the moment, that I didn’t even realize that my strap had broken and that my left breast was out! Another dancer let me know as soon as I got offstage and I remember saying, “Well, I gave it my all out there!”
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am so excited about our Sound of Silence video just released on Youtube to the amazing band Disturbed’s version of the song. The depth and passion of David Draiman’s vocals mixed with the sensuality of dance creates such a powerful piece of art. My dance partner for this piece, Magnus Christoffersen, is one of the most amazing male dancers I have ever worked with. Our chemistry is off the charts. The choreography is by award-winning choreographer Tigran Sargsyan. The dynamics between the three of us working together is nothing short of magic. We are releasing a new music video to Disturbed’s song A Reason to Fight that will feature Magnus, Tigran and myself in October. We are furthering Disturbed’s message in the song of suicide prevention with our choreography.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each
- Train Everyday. Each new day we have an opportunity to work our bodies and get stronger. For dancers, we typically take a two hour ballet class each morning from 9:30–11:30 to warm up for rehearsals and work on our technique. But there are many other ways of keeping your body and mind strong such as yoga, meditation, and taking time for yourself.. Everyday there is a renewed chance to nurture our bodies and our minds. Ballet class each morning starts my day off connecting with something I love.
- Believe in Yourself. Celebrate the uniqueness of you! Always value and honor your thoughts as they are a part of who you are. Believe in the potential you have within. I knew at age five that I was going to be a ballerina. I never strayed from this vision and it shaped who I am today.
- Stay true to your art. As a dancer, it can be hard to not let your ego occupy too much energy. I am not dancing for fame or recognition, I dance because I love it and want to serve a higher purpose for the art form. I believe that art can truly change lives and help people and I do my best to keep that at the forefront of my mind. We all have an ego and it will come into play many times in our lives, but I try to remember that the art comes first.
- Respect your Body. There are days that my body is tired or in pain and I learning to respect what my body is telling me. I am always pushing myself to the limit but I am learning that I need to listen and respect what my body is saying. I remember dancing on an infected toenail, performing in my pointe shoes, and in so much pain, but my ego was not going to let my understudy have that show. When I took my pointe shoe off after the show, I had to pour the blood out of the shoe. I was in agony and pretending I was fine. I have learned that it’s OK to say I can’t perform tonight or that I can’t train today. This has definitely been a hard lesson for me but an important one. Learning to respect my body and the messages it is sending to me has also been very empowering.
- Shoot for the Stars. Never let anyone tell you what your limits are! When I started ARC Entertainment Company, I had a close friend tell me it would never work. Here I am now, just over a year after founding ARC, having shared the stage with both bands The Wallflowers and Jefferson Starship and I attribute the success to hard work, perseverance and shooting for the stars.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Dancers don’t burn out. I believe dance is in our souls.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The power of art! Art connects us through our humanity and opens our minds. We are all connected and art gives us an opportunity to celebrate that connection.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My favorite ballet teacher, Carinne Binda Cunningham, instilled in me a tremendous work ethic. I have always had the love and dedication to the art form of ballet, but Carinne taught me how to channel that into a drive that pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. She shaped the ballerina I am today.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Dancers are the athletes of God”
I feel a tremendous reverence to the art form of ballet. Every day that I am training, rehearsing, or performing, I feel that I am working towards a higher purpose and trying pushing myself beyond my limits for something greater. This quote by Albert Einstein serves as a daily reminder of the responsibility I have as an artist to really challenge myself and be the best person I can be.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have breakfast with Jeff Probst! I love the show Survivor!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
YouTube: ARC Entertainment Company
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!