Letters from PNB Artists: Leah Merchant, PNB Dancer

The Pacific Northwest Ballet Future Fund ensures that the artists at PNB are able to dance, create, and bring you joy during these times of uncertainty and change. We ask that you consider a gift to the fund, which will help keep our dancers, musicians, staff, and production teams employed and insured. We could not do this without you.

Keep reading for a message from PNB Dancer Leah Merchant.

Hello there!

I’m Leah Merchant, a soloist with PNB, and this wild and unexpected season is my 13th year with the company. I’m currently not dancing in the studio as I’m expecting my first child in November, a happy discovery I had just a few days before the first Stay at Home order went into effect this year. To say I miss dancing and my colleagues is a vast understatement! Dancing has always been a source of freedom for me, and as my years as a professional stacked up, it has become a beautiful exploration of what our bodies are capable of.  

While I may not have been able to take my baby for all the dancing joy rides I’d hoped for, I’ve found that lessons learned through dancing about trusting and listening to my body apply to pregnancy as well. My little one certainly seems to share a joy of movement as of now! 

While we’re all longing for future days when we can return to the hall to enjoy our art with you, we’re now focused on finding ways to share our passion for movement and dance with you in whatever ways we can. 

The repertoire here at PNB is far more vast and eclectic than my teenage self could have envisioned for my career, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore so many facets of movement here. The breadth of our repertoire is also why it’s truly impossible for me to ever name a favorite ballet! From dancing every movement of Balanchine’s Jewels and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue; to Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and One Flat Thing, reproduced; to Twyla’s Sinatra Songs; and Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump, my list of favorite moments sharing McCaw Hall with our audience seems never ending.

We’re looking at this season with the same creative spirit that built the diverse repertoire our company boasts, and are looking to our audience to show their support too.

One easy way to reflect your passion for dance back to us is to support the PNB Future Fund, which will sustain the organization in these challenging times and will position us to return to the stage when it’s safe to do so. I hope you’ll consider a gift or a pledge to the Fund today.

When we look back on this time, my hope is history will show we used these challenges to find even more profound ways of loving and enjoying dance. Come along and join us in this discovery!

Thank you!

Leah Merchant

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