Steven Loch is from Denton County, Texas. He studied at Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, Texas, and on scholarship at Harid Conservatory and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He attended summer courses on scholarship at American Ballet Theatre, Canada’s National Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, Harid Conservatory, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Mr. Loch joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2011 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2012.

Steve is creating his fourth work for PNB’s NEXT STEP, a one-night-only performance for PNBS Professional Division students in an all-premiere line up created by PNB Company members. One of the most fun performances all season long, NEXT STEP is your chance to cheer the next generation of dancers and dance-makers.

Have you choreographed in the past? In your childhood? As a student?

I’ve choreographed quite a bit; this is my fourth year choreographing for the NEXT STEP program. I’ve also done works for my home ballet school and solos for myself, the most notable being a piece I choreographed for myself at the USA International Ballet Competition. As a kid, I would always be making up dances to the point that my parents actually took a room from our house and transformed it into a dance space just for me! My ballet teacher also recognized my passion for choreography, so she gave me a few choreographic opportunities towards the end of my training.

What music have you chosen? How did you choose your music?

This year I chose three songs by Ed Sheeran: “Lego House”, “Don’t”, and “Sing”. I love pop music, and I’ve always wanted to make a piece to music by a pop singer. I first heard Ed’s song “Sing” on the radio two years ago and loved it right away. Six months later I hear his single “Don’t” and that’s when the pieces of the puzzle came together. I chose “Lego House” to pair with the other two songs because it created a nice blend of dynamics while still having the same essence of what I envisioned. These three songs of Ed’s are so incredible, and combining them into one piece of dance is everything that I could have wanted.

Tell us about your creative process.

Most of the time, the initial inspiration comes from the music. Once I connect with the music, the ideas flood in. I listen to the music over and over until the dance forms in my brain. Some things are very specific while others are just a general outline. I always come into the studio prepared and knowing what I want to accomplish, but I used to come in very set in stone with what I want. As I’ve done more work, I’ve come in with more of an open mind to whatever happens in the moment, which has helped me find more room for creativity.

What is your experience choreographing on the Professional Division students?

I love working with the PDs! They are right on the verge of their professional careers, so they are so eager and excited to come with me on this creative journey because not only are they having a piece tailored made for them, they are also getting to dance front and center at McCaw Hall. Each year I choreograph for the NEXT STEP program, the PDs care just as much about my piece as I do, which is a dream for a choreographer. I also get to coach them and guide them during this phase of their career which, for me, is my favorite part about working with them.

How is NEXT STEP a unique program for PNB?

The NEXT STEP program is something hard to find in the dance world. Not only am I getting a chance to build up my voice as a choreographer, but I also get to see my choreography come to life on the main stage just like all of the other shows that PNB presents. There’s nothing like this for a dancer who wants to venture into choreography. It also allows me to progress in my career as a dancer and as a choreographer at the same time. Without NEXT STEP, I would not have the time or the opportunities to pursue my passion for choreography at this level. I am forever grateful for this program and everything it has given me!

Read more Q & A’s with Dancers, Choreographers & Staff

Featured photo: Steven Loch and Leta Biasucci in William Forsythe’s New Suite. Photo by Angela Sterling.

Photos: Steven Loch and Margaret Mullin in George Balanchine’s Emeralds, photo by Angela Sterling. Steven Loch rehearsing for William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Photo by Lindsay Thomas. Chelsea Adomaitis and Steven Loch rehearsing for William Forsythe’s New Suite. Photo by Angela Sterling.