Company member Christopher D’Ariano joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2017 and was promoted to corps de ballet later that year. Christopher is creating his second work for NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN on June 14, 2019.

My motto: Actions speak louder than words.

Christopher created his first work, Youthquake, for Next Step in 2018; he also performed that same evening at NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN in Donald Byrd’s premiere of Wake The Neighbors

Christopher D'Ariano in Donald Byrd's Wake the Neighbors at NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN. Photo © Lindsay Thomas
Christopher D’Ariano in Donald Byrd’s Wake the Neighbors at NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN.  Photo © Lindsay Thomas

Which living person do you most admire?

Paul McCartney. He, along with the other Beatles, influenced an entire generation and created a cultural flame that is still sparking in our present day society. He preaches of love and peace and created a musical world that really promotes truth, happiness, and experimentation. He’s a true Genius.

PNB School students dancing in Christopher D'Ariano's Youthquake. Photo © Lindsay Thomas
PNB School students in Christopher D’Ariano’s Youthquake. Photo © Lindsay Thomas

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be how personally critical I am. I feel like dancers and artists in general have a very harsh and critical eye, largely because we are trained from a young age to portray that “perfect” image to the viewers of our art. I’m growing to be more accepting of my body and mind and more appreciative of what they can do. Being a dancer is no easy job, but at the end of the day I have to be fulfilled with the work and love I’ve created for myself. I hope all dancers can learn to breed that love as well.

A phalanx of PNB School students strike a pose with knees bent to the left and arms out to their sides, dancing in Christopher D'Ariano's Youthquake. Photo © Lindsay Thomas
PNB School students in Christopher D’Ariano’s Youthquake. Photo © Lindsay Thomas

Who are your heroes in real life?

My heroes are my parents. They taught me that if I work hard, invest time, positivity, and love, then I can do anything, no matter the situation.

My mindset is to always listen to my heart and be open to change.

What is your present state of mind?

My present state of mind is trying not to dwell on the future or the past too much, but rather searching for inspiration from them. I need to stay focused on the now and am trying to remember that I don’t need to grow up overnight. I’m at an age where I’m neither a kid nor an adult. It’s such a confusing, interesting, and restless time and I want to enjoy the magic of not knowing how my life will play out yet. 

To learn more about Christopher’s inspiration, head to PNB’s Spotify channel and check out his Creative Drive playlist.

You can also follow him on Instagram.

A headshot of Christopher D'Ariano, looking directly at the viewer over his left shoulder. Photo © Dorien J Photography
Christopher D’Ariano. Photo © Dorien J Photography

Questions excerpted from The Proust Questionnaire