The 2016-2017 season was my last as a professional dancer. I have a new role this season as the Assistant to the Directors. I am excited to be back with my new job title and reaching out to the world with a different point of view.

My new job responsibilities include assisting our Artistic Director, Javier Velasco, and Executive Director, Robin Morgan, for rehearsals, performances, workshops, community concerts, educational outreach demonstrations, benefit performances, and tour productions. I am basically their right hand person and will help make their work flow smoother.

I will be working very closely with the dancers, running rehearsals and perhaps serving as Ballet Mistress for a few productions. I am hoping to be the go-between for the Dancers and Directors. I am no longer a dancer with San Diego Ballet, but I am very knowledgeable and have a lot of experience when it comes to working here. I still want to be a good example for the Dancers and I want them to feel comfortable opening up to me if they need help. I am going to work really hard to build good relationships with our young talented dancers this year.

After my retirement as a dancer and moving from on-stage to behind the scenes, my lifestyle has completely changed. I used to take ballet class four times a week and go to the gym as much as I could. Now, I’ve tried to take ballet class just for fun, but it didn’t really work for me. I think I need little bit more time to figure out how to continue incorporating dance into my life. I started taking yoga class more often and I enjoy it a lot. I think it’s going to help me relax my mind and is a good learning experience for me to discover a new lifestyle.

It is very weird for me to not wear a leotard and put my hair up in bun everyday like I used to. Now, I sit in front of the computer a lot more and being in the office is very different; it can be difficult sometimes but I am learning. Often it makes me want to say thank you to Karen Foster, General Manager, who does all the work behind the scenes. Thank you Miss Karen, we all appreciate your hard work!

I am looking forward to a new and exciting 2017-2018 Season and to seeing everything with a new mindset!

Noriko Zaragoza