Lindsi Dec bows after performing Crystal Pite’s Emergence, photo © Angela Sterling.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and principal dancer Lindsi Dec have announced that Ms. Dec has decided to retire. Ms. Dec joined PNB as an apprentice in 2001, and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2002, soloist in 2009, and principal in 2014. Ms. Dec will focus her post-PNB career on teaching private and master classes, in addition to working on plans for a private ballet studio, and continuing with Solu, the professional dancewear line created with her husband, former PNB principal dancer Karel Cruz. For more information, visit LindsiandKarel.com.
“With a mix of emotions, I announce the news of Lindsi Dec’s decision to retire from PNB,” said Mr. Boal. “Lindsi stepped into our School as a wide-eyed teenager with a burning desire to dance and perform. When I met Lindsi, she and Karel were both stand-out talents in the corps de ballet. After the rehearsal day was done, they would start their own work on classics, exploring technical and artistic growth. In many ways, Lindsi grew up at PNB becoming not only a striking presence in a wide-ranging repertoire, but also a friend, supporter, and champion to everyone at PNB; from students to staff, and from fellow dancers to audience members, sharing joy and inspiration for all along the way. As I watched her in Don Q, Red Angels, Rubies, The Nutcracker, Petit Mort and the many original works created for her by friend, Kiyon Ross, Lindsi never held back on the work, laughter, tears, or triumphs. It has been a true pleasure to work with her over the years. I know leaving her PNB family is hard, but she and Karel have a new family now and her decision, like everything Lindsi has done, is admirable. We will miss you, Lindsi.”
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from PNB,” said Ms. Dec. “I have spent 19 years growing up here, never imagining the beautiful journey I would go on, growing as an artist, dancing wonderful roles, becoming a wife and now a mother of two. There are so many people in the PNB family to thank: To [PNB Founding Artistic Directors] Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, thank you for taking a chance on a very weak, gangly student, and for your unconditional love and support throughout my entire career. Words cannot express how much you both mean to me. Thank you, Peter, for the numerous demanding, satisfying, amazing dancing opportunities – always giving me roles that challenged me on so many levels and for believing in me. Thank you to the artistic staff for being with us every day in the studio, pushing us more than we thought imaginable. Thank you to all the hard working development, admin, PR, and marketing teams. Thank you to the costume and wardrobe shop, who always made me feel beautiful and made sure we were always feeling great in our costumes; to the stage crew and stage managers, who helped produce such wonderful shows, making sure we were always comfortable on stage so we could dance our best; and the talented PNB Orchestra and our daily pianists who brighten our day and time on stage with their beautiful music. Thank you to Boyd Bender and the therapists for helping our minds and bodies to continue pushing to do what we love so much. Thank you to our generous donors and audience members for the constant love and support, who are always there for us. It was a true honor and gift to be able to dance on stage all these years for you. And thank you to my beautiful colleagues, my friends. My family. Their love and support along the way has meant the world, not only to me but to Karel as well. I will miss you all so much and am incredibly grateful and blessed for this cherished time in my life. Thank you all.”
Kiyon Ross, PNB’s Director of Company Operations (and former company soloist) added: “Lindsi and I have been friends for nearly 20 years and in that time I have danced alongside her, danced as one of her many lucky partners, created several new works for her, and watched her steady rise to the pinnacle of her career. Lindsi is an extremely generous artist, giving everything she has each time she steps into the studio or onto the stage. Her gifts are plentiful and one cannot help but be in awe when she performs. Whether in Balanchine’s leggy, and jazzy Rubies lead or her ethereal and fierce Myrta in Giselle, she is the epitome of grace and beauty personified. Despite the fact that Lindsi will not be able to share a final performance with her PNB family and fans, I am certain that those of us who had the opportunity to see this incredible artist in her natural habitat have a special memory of her that we can recall so that we may once again experience the joy produced by Lindsi’s dancing. As she moves into this new chapter of her life of raising two incredible sons with her husband Karel, I am certain that Lindsi will continue to find ways to share her gifts and all of the acquired knowledge she has gained during her incredible career. Leaving the stage is no easy task for a dancer, however, I know that Lindsi will carve out a new path with new challenges and treasures. I am so grateful to know Lindsi, to have seen her dance, and to be able to watch what comes next. It’s going to be great! From me and all of the PNB family, we love you, Lindsi!”
Ms. Dec will be focusing her post-PNB career on freelancing, teaching master classes and private classes. She and Mr. Cruz recently launched their new website, LindsiandKarel.com, which also includes educational information, interviews with professional dancers, clean eating recipes, info about online classes and how to book privates, and more. For additional information, visit LindsiandKarel.com.
The new website is also the link to Solu, their professional dancewear line. “As dancers, staring in the mirror for hours, what we wear makes a difference with how we dance – garments that follow the fluidity of our movements and cater to the versatility of jumping, turning, and partnering – are forefront. We wanted to create a line of dancewear for every type of dancer — to provide a unique, edgy yet elegant look.” Seed money for Solu came from Second Stage, PNB’s career transition program for its company dancers. Conceived in 1999, Second Stage supports PNB dancers in achieving their goals following a career in dance. Its resources allow dancers to take classes, access mentors and vocation counseling, and receive grants. At its inception, only a handful of dancers actively planned for their career after dance. Since that time, Second Stage has provided nearly $1.1 million in grants to over 200 dancers.
Lindsi Dec is from Fairfax, Virginia. She trained at Washington School of Ballet and on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School before joining the company in 2001.
At PNB, Ms. Dec has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Coppélia (Discord and War, Prayer), Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Sugar Plum Fairy, Coffee, Dewdrop), Prodigal Son, Rubies, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and Symphony in C; Peter Boal’s Giselle (Myrtha); Trisha Brown’s Spanish Dance; Val Caniparoli’s The Bridge and The Seasons; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to My Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, Red Angels, Serious Pleasures, and Vespers; Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat and Rassemblement; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and New Suite; Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky; Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy, Gold and Silver pas de trois, Queen); Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land and Petite Mort; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Lady Capulet); Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements; Mark Morris’ A Garden and Pacific; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows; Justin Peck’s Debonair; Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Plot Point; Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Kitri, Mercedes, Piccilia) and Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Fancy Free, Glass Pieces, In the Night, and West Side Story Suite (Anita); Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Stepsister), Hail to the Conquering Hero, Nutcracker (Clara, Flora, Peacock), and Swan Lake (Black Swan pas de deux, Pas de trois, Persian Dance); Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs, Opus 111, and Waterbaby Bagatelles.
She originated leading roles in Andrew Bartee’s Dirty Goods, Kiyon Gaines’ M-Pulse, Paul Gibson’s Mozart Pieces, Victor Quijada’s Mating Theory and Suspension of Disbelief, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. She has been featured in Balanchine’s La Valse; Robert Joffrey’s Remembrances; Todd Bolender’s Souvenirs; William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated; Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Silver Lining, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet; Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Variations Sérieuses.
Ms. Dec has performed as a guest artist with Ballet Hawaii, California Ballet, Corpus Christi Ballet, Dance Arts Theatre, Grand Rapids Ballet, Lafayette Ballet, and Mid-Columbia Ballet, and is an artistic advisor for Ballet North Texas.
Lindsi is absolutely stunning! I will miss watching her on stage…I wish her luck in her post ballet career!
We’ll miss seeing Ms Dec on stage. Her performances in Emergence and In the Middle were unforgettable, unimprovable, and always worth the long drive (for us ) south from Vancouver. Seattle, you’re so lucky to have PNB!