Next to My Bed: Connor Holloway
Despite your greatest Center Stage fantasies, the professional world of ballet dancing is not all crimson pointe shoes and tear-away tutus. Just ask American Ballet Theater's Connor Holloway, who joined the company's corps de ballet in 2015. For Holloway, dancing means rehearsal, performance, rehearsal, more rehearsal, and... social media advising.
Shortly after joining ABT, Holloway was appointed to run ABT’s Instagram account, and officially joined ABT’s marketing team as the Social Media and Content Strategist in January 2019.
Oh, and this month, in celebration of Pride, Connor will be speaking in a panel discussion on June 29th and 5:30PM ET called, Ballet Beyond The Binary, hosted by Dancers Amplified. The event is free and virtual and you can RSVP at dancersamplified.com.
So, does Connor ever sleep? We had to ask them about that...and more.
When asked what the word "pride" has meant to them historically, American Ballet Theater's Connor Holloway replies unabashedly and honestly:
"It's complicated," they say. "I definitely went through a long period of feeling more resentment than Pride. I think it’s often forgotten that even today a lot of Queer people still struggle on the daily with feelings of fear, anxiety, self-loathing, shame, and so on… The short of it: our society kinda sucks and it’s often not a safe place for many of us. (And I’m a white, male-bodied person saying this!)"
"Moving to New York City certainly helped me come into my own and find the inspiration, love and appreciation for the facets of my identity that society frequently condemns," they say. "It’s a daily practice, but I am proud to be me and I’d sooner risk safety than living inauthentically."
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Okay, so, if you’re laying in the bed, I am on the right side. But if you’re standing looking at it, I’m on the left side. Is it common knowledge to know how to answer this? Legitimately, unsure.
What can you not sleep without?
Cannot sleep without at least four pillows of varying firmness. Maybe it’s because I’m single, but I need to be surrounded by plush comfort objects to sleep effectively. I usually sleep with one pillow under my head (classic), and then I have a second one either under my knees or between my knees (depending on my positioning), then the third one I’m undoubtedly squeezing the sh*t out of against my chest and under my chin, and the last one is usually next to my head so I can burrow my face at any given moment in the night.
What are your rules around electronics in bed?
I’d really love to lie and say that my bed and my phone are complete strangers to one another, but the reality is that they’re in a very sick, toxic and complicated relationship. We’re healing. We’re growing. We’re working on it. In my dreams, my phone is exiled to the kitchen or the living room and the only thing near my bed is a book or a journal or some knitting needles. (No I don’t knit, but that’s some real cute Tom Daley type of vibe that I’ll aspire to.) I do have to say, as of late, I have been actively practicing this morning routine I’ve inherited from Mrs. and Mr. Sarah Hoover-Sachs, called “output before input”. It’s a system that encourages creative output in the mornings before any intake of new information, news, content, work requests, all the nasty things our phones violently accost us with before we even make it to the toilet. 10/10 recommend it! If creative output sounds challenging, might I recommend stretching, or deep breathing, dishwashing, drinking water, or skincare?
What's currently next to your bed?
I have one, ugly raw oak nightstand with a very broken lamp from my childhood bedroom (in Kentucky) on top of it. Honestly it’s probably the decorative rock bottom of my apartment. Aside from the lamp and about a quarter-inch of unrelenting dust, I keep a crystal, a jade infinity puzzle, a photo of my mama, a book and this little cross pendant that a friend gifted me that is (allegedly) from the Byzantine Empire. I mean, who doesn’t want to cozy up to sleep next to a tiny ancient orthodox artifact?
And speaking of books, I co-run the Ballerina Book Club with Isabella Boylston and All Arts, and this month we're reading Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang, so, that, too.
What's your nighttime routine in 5-steps or less?
- Chug magnesium water
- Brush, floss, mouthwash
What's an organization you feel passionately about right now and why?
FIG NYC!! Please everyone check out this amazing organization that’s fundraising all Pride month long to build resources for a collaborative food justice and food sovereignty project with Black Trans Liberation and Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo. Fresh and nutritious food should be accessible for all. Read more and consider sharing your coins at fig-nyc.org.