Stepping Out

A local dancer was featured in a famous ballet documentary.

By Art Lapenotiere - November 2012

Rebecca Houseknecht Featured in a Famous Ballet Documentary

A local dancer was featured in a famous ballet documentary.

By Art Lapenotiere - November 2012

-Photo by Sean Scheidt

A year after leaving the prestigious Washington Ballet, Rebecca Houseknecht still dances. But the symphonic sounds of ballet have been replaced by the driving beats of the 14-time national champion Towson University dance team.

The Middle River native capped off her meteoric rise as a ballet student when she competed at the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest ballet competition. The contest was chronicled in the recent film documentary First Position, and Houseknecht was one of seven dancers featured in the movie. Being a big part of the documentary was fun, she says, but the glare of the spotlight wasn’t really comfortable for her.

“The other kids in the movie were totally dedicated to ballet, but I think I was picked to be a part of it partly because I had a life outside of dance,” she says. “I think the other dancers were more comfortable than I was being followed by the cameras.”

After the Grand Prix, she was offered a position with The Washington Ballet’s studio company, which offers young dancers a taste of the ballet world. She eagerly accepted. But after just a few months, the reality of life as a professional dancer set in. The now 20-year-old sophomore quickly realized the total commitment that would be required to dance at that level.

“If you’re not willing to give up everything for it, it’s not for you,” she says. “I didn’t like it. It was too much like work.”

Now a health-care management major at Towson, she is having a ball with the university’s dance squad, which got to compete in a national competition in Daytona Beach, FL.

“It’s so different,” she says. “It was so cool to go on an outside stage in front of thousands of people and perform with your team. It was definitely a bigger adrenaline rush than ballet.”





You May Also Like


MaxSpace

Movie Review: Judy

Renee Zellweger is great as Judy Garland. Now about that singing...

MaxSpace

Movie Review: The Goldfinch

So-so adaptation is bound to disappoint fans of the novel.

Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: September 2019

The latest from Lower Dens and Eze Jackson.


The Chatter

Male/Female Statue: Should It Stay or Go in Penn Station Overhaul?

The future of the long-controversial 52-foot sculpture could be in question with train station redesign.

Arts District

Culture Club: Charm City Fringe Festival, Elizabeth Catlett, and An Evening with Mike Rowe

Our monthly roundup of openings, events, and news from the art world.

Arts & Culture

Final Words

As the Newseum prepares to close, here are the top things to do and see inside its hallowed halls.

-Photo by Sean Scheidt

Connect With Us

Most Read


The Book Thing Starts Next Chapter Under New Management: Here’s what to know when planning a visit to Baltimore’s free-to-all bookshop.

The Mare Projects Connects Communities in the African Diaspora: Works from their first-ever residency program will be on display at Gallery CA.

A New Production of 'The Phantom of the Opera' Is Headed to the Hippodrome: Go behind the mask with the tour's Phantom, Derrick Davis.

What the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s One-Year Agreement Means For its Musicians: After a tension-filled absence, the BSO’s 104th season will open this weekend.

Cardinal Art Walks Explore Works Outside of the Gallery's Bolton Hill Walls: The ongoing fall exhibition is meant to make participants see the city in a new way.