Adriana Pierce

Adriana Pierce by Alejandro Gonzalvez

“The more I lean into who I am, the more it enriches my work and inspires me to continue,” Adriana Pierce tells GO. “Accepting the power and strength in my identity and speaking about it openly allows me to claim my space in my profession with confidence and grace and encourages me to pave the way for other marginalized artists.” As an openly queer woman in the professional ballet world, grace and confidence are necessities for her success. Pierce began her career as a New York City Ballet apprentice before completing seven seasons with the Miami City Ballet, where she also worked as a choreographer. She performed in the original cast of Broadway’s 2018 revival of “Carousel” and the FX miniseries “Fosse/Verdon,” and she can be seen in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of “West Side Story.” Pierce is also the founder of #QueerTheBallet, an initiative to make classical ballet more inclusive of LGBTQ+ performers and creatives. Its first project was a pas de deux created by Pierce, which was performed by dancers Sierra Armstrong and Remy Young in Catskill, NY. “I remember the way it feels to be alone in an art form that did not have room for me and my identity,” Pierce recalls. “My work with #QueertheBallet is driven by a desire to make sure that no one ever has to feel that way.” Since starting the initiative, she’s heard from LGBTQ+ people from all over the world who’ve been touched by the work she does. “Reading those testimonials not only reaffirms my commitment to the work but also creates the community that I have always craved,” she says. “And it is an honor to reply to those messages: ‘You are seen, you matter, and you are not alone.’” —RK

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