The Kennedy Center

Alison Basford


Alison Basford (Corps de ballet) started her ballet training in Brooklyn, New York at a small dance studio in her hometown of Park Slope. She continued her studies at Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Tech, and School of American Ballet. Alison joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2002 under artistic directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. In 2008, Alison joined Boston Ballet. Her repertoire includes Florence Clerc's La Bayadère, Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, Kent Stowell's Swan Lake, George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, Divertimento No. 15, and Serenade, as well as works by Kylián and Forsythe.  She has performed across America and around the world, including Hollywood, Turin, London, Seoul, San Sebastian, and Barcelona.  This is Alison's first season with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. 


What is your favorite role to dance and why?
One of my favorite ballets to dance (and watch) is Serenade. It’s such a beautiful ballet in every way--the choreography, the music, the costumes. For me, it’s a very emotionally rewarding ballet and I love being a part of it.

What do you like to do when you are not dancing?
I spend a lot of my free time checking out local restaurants with friends and family. I love discovering new, fun places with delicious food. I also like to nap. 

How do you prepare yourself for the physical challenges of rehearsing, performing, touring?
Cross-training has been a big part of my professional career; it’s important for fixing muscle imbalances, preventing injury, and building stamina. Depending on my rehearsal schedule, it may involve cardio on a bike or elliptical machine, pilates, feldenkrais, physical therapy exercises, or dynamic stretching. I tend to stay away from too much static stretching--it doesn’t work for my body! And if I’m rehearsing/performing a marathon ballet, I make sure to have chocolate milk on hand to refuel immediately after.

What music do you like to listen to when you warm-up?
My music preferences are usually based on my mood, ranging from classical when I want to calm my nerves to pop when I want to get my adrenaline pumping. When I’m actually doing a warm-up barre, I often like to play ballet class music on my ipod.

Alison Basford