Today we’d like to introduce you to Indiana Woodward.
Indiana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Paris, France where my mother was a professional dancer and my father was a filmmaker. I grew up in the studio with my mom. We moved to Philadelphia, where I began baby ballet among other forms of dance. I eventually took classes at the Rock School in Philadelphia.
When my mother and father divorced, my brother and I moved with my mother to Los Angeles. I trained in many different types of sports including ice skating, tennis and karate while still pursuing ballet and other forms of dance. I attended West Side Ballet for a few years and then changed to a teacher named Yuri Grigoriev who had a studio next to Venice high school. I found my drive to become a professional dancer from that studio and will always be thankful for the ballet training and life lessons that I learned from Yuri. I spent hours driving back and forth to school, ballet and back home. It was at least a 45-minute drive to Venice form Malibu high and was a total of at least 1 hour and a half to 2 hours a day. I couldn’t have done it without my mom Amanda Kofksy and my stepfather Steven Kofsky. I eventually got accepted to go to a summer program in NYC when I was 15, where I was awarded a scholarship to train in Moscow at the Bolshoi ballet school.
I traveled to Moscow at 15 to study with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. It was my first long term experience away from home and was the scariest thing I had ever done. Not knowing the language, not knowing many people and not knowing where I was helped me grow tremendously as a person and as a dancer. The beautiful thing about dance is that it is a universal language so wherever you are you can communicate through the dance. After returning from Russia, I went to the School of American Ballet in NYC for the summer course and was accepted into the year-round program. I trained there for two years before receiving my apprenticeship with the New York City Ballet in 2012. I was promoted to soloist in 2017. Since being in the company, I have had the chance to work with many incredible choreographers including Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Peter Martins, Christopher Wheeldon, Lauren Lovette, Pam Tanowitz amongst others. Dancing the choreography of Balanchine and Jerome Robbins has deepened my love of dance and my sense of being a part of this incredible living legacy of dance. Due to COVID 19, I am back in LA with my family and looking forward to whatever opportunities lie ahead.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
COVID 19 has been an obstacle in the dance world and arts in general because we need to have close proximity to one another. It has forced so many artists out of their jobs and apartments. My boyfriend and soloist with the NYCB Harrison Coll and I have had to move out of our NYC apartments and put everything in storage for the time being. We have relocated to Los Angeles to live with my family. Even though this has put a halt to our careers, we have been able to find new ways of connecting with others and new ways to continue our dance journeys.
Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about you and your career so far?
I have taken up virtual teacher like so many in the world today. I absolutely love teaching and am so thankful that zoom can allow us all to connect. I teach Ballet all levels, Pointe, variations, pilates, and Full body strengthening. I teach a mixture of styles. My dance training has allowed me to learn Russian classical ballet along with Balanchine style of dance. The styles along with French and Italian allow me to oh close attention to each student and cater to their exact needs. I want to help dancers have an open-mindedness to all styles of ballet and dance because it only helps grow a dancer.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory in LA would have to be walking to In N Out with my best ballet buddy before class. We had a semi-private lesson with our Russian teacher in the early afternoons during the week. Amanda and I would work hard in our lessons and have an hour break before the next class. Amanda and I had done this walk to In N Out form our studio in Venice regularly. One time we found a grocery cart and decided we would use it as our transportation. We would take turns pushing each other in the cart. Dressed in our ballet attire and looking quite silly, we would laugh endlessly. We pushed our cart through the drive-through even though it wasn’t allowed and got our burgers and milkshakes. We successfully pushed the cart all the way back to the studio and parked it so that we would have it for our next run!
- 1-2 hour classes range $80-160
- Semi private classes range $50-100
- Pilates/core class 1 hour $50-75
- Website: Indianawoodward.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Indiana_woodward
Nycdanceproject, James Jin, Cristiano Castaldi