Q&A with Noah Parets
March 2, 2021
Noah Parets. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
What have you been doing in your spare time during the pandemic?
Spending time with my family dogs, reading and taking extra classes to work toward my university degree!
What would you have done as a career if ballet hadn't come your way?
I have always been interested in anatomy and biology, so I would have gone into physiotherapy or maybe medicine.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
Yes! I have had quite a few. When I performed as Billy Elliot in the North American tour of Billy Elliot: The Musical, there was a show where I replaced a Billy (there were four of us) who was not feeling well. Some of the actors playing Billy were starting to go through puberty, including the person I was standing in for, which meant the orchestra had to lower the key in some songs to accommodate their changing voices. Someone forget to tell the orchestra that I was standing in for the other Billy and when it came time for my big solo song, the orchestra started playing in a key far too low for my voice. So, in the heat of the moment, I began whispering the lyrics to the song instead of singing. Then, as I gained a little confidence, I tried to sing and out came the largest voice crack I have ever experienced. Thirteen year old Noah was mortified!
What is your work philosophy?
My grandma always tells me that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
How do you handle criticism?
I think I am my own worst critic in dance as well as in life. Usually, I feel like I need to work harder or be better all the time. In some ways I think my self-criticism has made me a strong, focused person but I am also trying to learn to enjoy the opportunities I have instead of finding what could make them better.
How do you define a successful ballet dancer?
Someone who is artistically fulfilled and proud of what they have put onstage.
Noah Parets in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.
What’s the best thing about being a dancer?
The creative process. I love being in a studio with a choreographer, helping their ideas take shape through movement. It’s the most amazing gift to be able to make art.
What’s the worst thing?
The unavoidable body aches and pains. Often after a long day of rehearsals, I will need to take an ice bath or elevate my feet.
What's your guilty pleasure song that'll always make you rock out?
Motivation by Normani. Any time this song comes on I want to smile and dance. It’s perfect to raise my spirits when I am feeling down or to get me energized right before a performance.
What are three random things most people don't know about you?
- I sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game.
- I go to the University of Massachusetts and I am working towards getting my degree in Arts Management.
- I have never watched a horror movie. I get scared too easily!
What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Reality TV. I have recently discovered how entertaining it can be and it is totally a guilty pleasure for me.
What cheers you up on an off day?
A pint of ice cream, preferably chocolate chip cookie dough.
Noah Parets. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?
Spending money at coffee shops when I could just make coffee at home.
What is your favourite onstage memory?
Recently, my favorite memory was getting to be in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. The energy of the music and the stark white set had me buzzing inside before stepping onstage. Once I was out onstage, I could not stop smiling and loved every second of it.
However, my all-time favorite onstage memory is my first show of Billy Elliot in Louisville, Kentucky of all places. It was my first professional performance and my first time ever singing or acting. I had never been so nervous in my life. Living the journey of a boy who learned he loved to dance was truly remarkable and I found that his story resonated within me as well. Ultimately, that performance allowed me to find out how much I love to be onstage.
What is your favourite ballet and why?
Romeo and Juliet. The music and the story are unparalleled.
What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?
Joining Boston Ballet School’s pre-professional program. I knew I wanted to dance but at the time I was extremely short for my age and many of my teachers were advising me that a professional ballet career did not seem realistic.
When are you most proud of yourself?
Right before the curtain rises. I know that I have put in the work and it is time to enjoy the stage.
Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced.
Being a part of Crystal Pite’s Angels’ Atlas. I have admired her work since I started ballet but being in the studio with her was truly surreal. The way she articulated her ideas about movement and life made it the most awe-inspiring studio experience I have ever had.
Do you have a favourite quote?
"If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." - Marc Anthony
What’s the number one item on your bucket list?
Adopt a dog.
Learn More About Noah
Noah Parets is sponsored through Dancers First by John Covington Jr and Robert Lukey.