Getting to Know Amanda

Amanda CochraneAmanda Cochrane has been a professional dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre since the 2009-2010 season.

I was 10 when I first performed with a professional ballet company.  I was a page in Western Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty. The following four years I performed children's parts in Alberta Ballet's Nutcracker.  I was so inspired, and it was so much fun to watch all of the beautiful dancers as I dreamed of being a ballerina too. When I started studying dance at various summer programs in Salt Lake and New York, I knew that to make my dream come true, I was going to work as hard as I could to the best of my ability.  I fell in love with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre the first year I joined their graduate program in 2007 watching the professional dancers and being a part of their productions.  I’m very grateful to be a dancer in the company today. 

Hometown:  I grew up in Spokane, Washington. Like Pittsburgh, it has a major river running through the downtown core, but it's much drier than Seattle on the west side.

Number of years as a dancer: I’ve been dancing for 19 years.  I was 3 when my parents first enrolled me in dance classes.          

Practice time: The dancers at PBT have a 1 ½ hour class in the morning before starting the six-hour rehearsal day.  Weekends and free time are also used for cross training such as pilates, elliptical and other assorted exercises.

Favorite role: I have a couple of favorite roles. My most recent favorite is Tinkerbell, from PBT’s last production of Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan.  I loved how her character was so happy, feisty and somewhat temperamental.  It was amazing to be part of such an exciting adventure.  I have to also include the part of the endearing Marie in Pittsburgh Ballet's The Nutcracker.  The storyline is magical and enchanting.

Favorite choreographer: I’ve always been fond of George Balanchine’s style of choreography.  My favorite ballet of his is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Jean-Christophe Maillot's choreography in Romeo et Juliette is also fresh and unique. 

Favorite thing about dance: The butterfly nerves, excitement, joy and satisfaction one gets before, during and after a show. 

Favorite television show: Wipeout.  It makes me laugh every time. 

Favorite food: Any kind of seafood.  King crab legs are my favorite!

Other interests besides ballet: Sketching and playing the piano are two things that I’ve always enjoyed outside of the ballet studio. I also like to cross-country ski in winter.  I've recently begun designing and producing dancewear.

Favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh: Point Brugge Café.  Soloists Christine Schwaner and Alex Silva introduced me to the restaurant about three weeks ago.  The mussels there are amazing!

Last movie you saw: Captain America.  I’m very excited for The Avengers to come out in May.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Cookie dough ice cream!  I like to take out the cookie dough chunks and save them for the very last bite.  I also like green tea ice cream.

Favorite vacation: When I was young my family took vacations to Hawaii.  I loved the geckos and flowers.  One of my best memories is playing in the sand at the Barefoot Bar with my sisters. 

What three things can always be found in your refrigerator? Bagels (they’re perfect for eating breakfast on the road), garlic (I love lots of fresh garlic in my dinner), and pineapple juice (for its anti-inflammatory properties). 

Finish this statement, “People may be surprised to know that…”: I simultaneously completed my high school diploma with honors and an Associate of Arts degree at a local college (magna cum laude) in 2007.