Another person I looked up to is Amy Marshall, who I danced with for more than 5 years. She has had her own company for the past 20 years. Amy danced for Taylor 2 and David Parsons. I took her class and she hired me from her class. It’s amazing before you get your foot in the door to have a teacher who has had the career you want. To even just get to listen to her audition and touring stories is amazing. Going into the dance world is crazy. It’s not a normal job. I remember being in college and I would say to myself, “Of course I want to tour!” But then you get there and you are like, “Oh no, what am I doing?” I think it’s important to listen to people who are really honest about what the dance world is really like. Being a professional dancer is hard and I appreciate Amy.
When I graduated from college, everyone wanted to get into a contemporary ballet company. I thought I couldn’t do it. I can’t put on a pointe shoe anymore. I was trying to take as many classes as I could to figure out what worked for my body and what I liked. I have short legs and a mobile torso. It works for Taylor and that is a blessing. I had found a technique that doesn't require such high legs and feet! It can take a while to figure out what style you like if you want to teach and not perform. In the dance world you need to put in time to figure out what works for you. It takes time -- at least a year. Being rejected is very hard but if you are committed and keep trying it eventually pays off. It could be that you find out you love teaching pilates and you open a pilates studio.
I am proud that I’m a working dancer, that this is my number one job and who is paid a salary. I have my dream job; I’m the first person in my family to have their dream job. Neither of my parents graduated college. They are first generation from Puerto Rico and Sicily...I remember when I got the job. I said, “We made it, we did it!” It was such a huge deal...My parents are my biggest cheerleaders...I’m living the American dream of working hard towards what you want to do and having it actually pay off is the most inspiring thing that will probably ever happen to me.
Lisa Borres, a native of Staten Island, New York, is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. At the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, from which she graduated in 2011, she studied with Stephen Pick and Katie Stevenson-Nollet and danced in works by Martha Graham and Pascal Rioult. She participated in Summer Intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Parsons Dance, and has taught dance at The Hartt School. Since 2012, she has been part of the selection process for Ballet Tech. She has performed with Amy Marshall Dance Company, Elisa Monte Dance, DAMAGEdance, Lydia Johnson Dance and LEVYdance. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2019.