“I’ve known Micah Schure for six years now. When we met, we were blushing young students in puritanical Boston. We found our similarities were abundant: both New York born women with a love for Argentine culture. Both of us practical yet artistic. In 2013 we were young, determined individuals that turned in metro cards for palm trees.
When I found out Micah was leaving her job at Epic Records in LA and moving back to New York City to dance, my jaw dropped. First I was in awe—I have never known a real ballerina and then I was envious—that’s a badass move for a 23-year-old.
Micah’s growth and self-assuredness has manifested in her physicality and it’s a pure delight to watch her move. She is a dancer that is svelte but strong: beautiful and powerful. Through her capacity to seek new expressions, she has inspired me to find my sense for meaningfulness…to follow my creative will. With her most recent debut in Solange’s music video, “Cranes in the Sky” we can see a woman alive. A woman with heated, passionate enthusiasm that occupies both her mind and heart.”
How did we meet?
Well, from going to school together in Boston. We were probably drunk, which doesn’t help with remembering….
I’ll never forget when we had a class together. We were studying Family Communication and you were so direct and conscious with your speaking. You spoke a lot about your biracial upbringing. How has your identity changed since college?
In college, I feel like I was much more outgoing than I am now. This is out of protecting myself and protecting my friendships. I am just as passionate about whatever I am supposed to be passionate about. But now, because I’m older, I feel like there is more purpose to what I am doing now, therefore I am more protective of myself and what it is I like to do.
I think I respect myself more now. I respect how it is I live my day. I definitely have become more exclusive. When I look at myself in college, when I pursued music and played shows, I feel like I looked like a girl who was super confident. In a way I was, but I was confused and lost. I look at that girl and I’m like ugh!
„We always think we know the most and we know the best in the present. „
I feel like a lot of people have that feeling. Especially after you go through so many experiences. How was I a person without all of these profound experiences and trials I’ve had?
Yeah, that’s completely it. We always think we know the most and we know the best in the present. Hindsight is everything. That is so true. I feel so comfortable in my skin now. I’m so excited for what it’s going to feel like in 5 years, in 10 years.
„What is so incredible about ballet is that you can train your entire life and never be perfect. And I don’t think that’s a frustrating aspect of ballet, I think it’s inspiring. There is no threshold. You hit one point and then there’s more and then there’s more.“
What are your ballet beginnings?
I started ballet when I was 2 years old. When I think about that I think of jumping over shoes, and I think of dance recitals with my best friends, wearing a blue satin leotard we wore with a tutu. It was so much fun. Ballet has always been a fun thing for me. I continued it until I was 15. When I was in high school I was training every day, 4 hours a day. As I got older, I started having knee issues. When I went to the doctor, I figured I had to stop, and they actually told me no! That I should continue. I used my knees as an out. I was actually so insecure because I was a black ballet dancer with muscular thighs and a butt. I didn’t look like everyone else. Back then, there was no Instagram. Right now there is such a huge ballet world on the internet, there are so many more role models. We didn’t have any of that back then. So when my knees were hurting, I told everyone that was the reason I was quitting ballet.
For 7 years I didn’t do anything about it. After college, I stepped on the scale and I gained a considerable amount of weight. I started going to the gym, I hated going to the gym. I was so lazy about it. I started ballet again. The moment I went back I never once thought of it as a workout and my intentions completely shifted. It was no longer about losing college weight and it took over my life. I was working at Epic Records and everything was about finishing my work on time so I could leave Beverly Hills and drive across town to my ballet class in Echo Park. It consumed my life, to the point that I didn’t want to do what I was doing. I didn’t want to work in music anymore. So I quit and basically my life changed. The past year I have been doing ballet, working in ballet while I can, traveling taking ballet classes in every city I can. I just got back from a 3 week trip to Cuba studying ballet there. It basically has been an overhaul of a life.
„When I dance I think my mind is blank. My brain completely blanks, when I’m done it is so powerful, I feel like I’ve had an out of body experience. „
Ballet is associated with the pristine. It is centered around perfection. Do you feel a struggle to tame nature when you’re dancing?
Yea, 100%, but that is why I love ballet. And I think that’s why I’ve never been drawn to another type of dance, because what is so incredible about ballet is that you can train your entire life and never be perfect. And I don’t think that’s a frustrating aspect of ballet, I think it’s inspiring. There is no threshold. You hit one point and then there’s more and then there’s more.
What are the risks of dedicating yourself to dance?
The obvious is if you dedicate your entire life to training and it never turns into a professional career, you walk away with investing so much of your time and money without a monetary result. That’s a huge risk. Besides that, obviousness, there are mental risks. You are staring at yourself in a mirror every single day, critiquing the tiniest things about yourself. Not everyone is capable of doing something like that without driving themselves insane. I think there’s a lot of talking myself out of hating what I see in the mirror and that can get pretty heavy. But I do think because of all the role models that are available to me now, that becomes easier for me every day. Being able to see myself in other people and other people who are successful helps.
Misty Copeland for example, is not just a ballet dancer anymore. She is an author, she is the face of brands, she’s released a documentary. It is incredible what her outreach has been. And it all stems from her being different.
„I think I respect myself more now. I respect how it is I live my day.“
What does your mind look like when you’re dancing? Does it stop, are you drawing inspiration? Are you channeling something or someone?
When I dance I think my mind is blank. My brain completely blanks, when I’m done it is so powerful, I feel like I’ve had an out of body experience. I almost don’t feel like I’m me. I surprise myself.
What other things besides dance inspire you?
Traveling, other people around the world that don’t speak English. Figuring out a way to communicate with other people. Being outside in quiet, open spaces. Any opportunity I have to think.
How did you end up working with Solange? How did ‘Cranes in the Sky’ come about?
I was working with a ballet school and every day I was taking classes and dancing. I was inspired by my fellow dancers. I decided I wanted to pursue dancing. I kid you not, the day after I said this, I decided to audition for a ballet intensive. I did the audition and I got accepted with a scholarship. This all happened in a matter of days. This all happened so quickly: Wednesday I decided to be dancer, Thursday was the audition, and Friday I was accepted into the school. The day after that, I got a DM from Solange asking what I was up to! She saw a photo of me doing arabesque and asked me to come shoot her music video.
„Because I’m older, I feel like there is more purpose to what I am doing now, therefore I am more protective of myself and what it is I like to do.“
How has your ballet training prepared you for a major music video set such as one for Cranes?
It was a fun and uncomfortable experience for me. Because some of the dance was modern and contemporary I felt uncomfortable. This video prepared me for ballet. I feel like after I did Cranes, I have a different approach to ballet. I wasn’t so stiff about ballet anymore. I had to learn very quickly.
Didn’t you drive around Texas and New Mexico?
Ugh yes! Like I said, the only thing I care about in life is ballet and traveling so it was the dream job.
The combination is utopia…
I was the happiest I have ever been, ever.
Solange’s ‘A Seat at the Table’ is an ode to black culture and the black woman’s social history. As a black woman making strides in ballet, how do you relate emotionally to Solange’s music and narrative?
I have to admit, while we were working on the music videos, I was so enthralled and over stimulated I didn’t realize how profound the experience was. When it finally came out, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t realize what I was a part of. First, being a black woman, but not even just that, there’s so much on that album I related to on a personal level. We come to our realizations when we are supposed to, and I do think that it’s better I came to it after.
I was able to be a part of a discussion that everyone is now having about A Seat at the Table.
Where can I see you next?
It’s always a mystery.