Q&A with Corps Member Zsilas Michael Hughes

How has your approach to the career changed over time?

When joining the company at a young age, a young dancer’s life drastically changes, commanding one to adjust to the caliber of responsibility a dancer must take on. Shortly after beginning, I altered my approach to the career of a professional dancer. I have become quite decisive in prolonging long term health and longevity, so that I may afford myself and the audience the gift of visual arts. Just as one must maintain ordinance of a chore chart or checklist, it is imperative to create a system that allows yourself to consistently evaluate the standings of our being. A mental, emotional, and physical checklist allows dancers the capacity to take on the challenge of a role such as Giselle, Juliet, and even Mother Ginger.

Read Zsilas’ Dancer Bio

Do you have talents or passions outside of dance?

Outside the magical artistry of a dancer, I greatly enjoy the benefits of being a musician. The nuance of movement and the construction of music jest one another for the title of my greater passion. Developing my own sonic identity creates a complimentary fulfillment that dance is able to amplify, including composition, vocal arrangements, production, and song writing.

If you were not a dancer, is there an alternate career path you would have chosen?

In an alternate career, you could find me in your local Barnes and Nobles and even as an Amazon Best Seller. As a passionate young writer, I’ve found the fluidity of a pencil stroke and the whimsical outpour of thoughts transcribed to paper all too fascinating. At the age of eighteen, I published my first book as a co-author. Overtime has afforded me opportunities to be a prevalent ghost writer for many authors.

Photos by Angela Sterling & Lindsay Thomas