Meet your faculty: Rachel James

  • Rachel James works with high school and intermediate dance students at Interlochen Arts Camp.

  • Rachel James helps a junior dance student style her hair for a performance.

Interlochen Arts Academy Instructor of Dance Rachel James has been teaching at Interlochen since 2003. A native of Canada, James received her training at the National Ballet School of Canada and Mercyhurst University and has performed with professional ballet, modern and contemporary companies throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to her work at Interlochen, she has also taught on the faculty of Mercyhurst College, Cornish College of the Arts and Evergreen City Ballet. James is also a STOTT certified Pilates instructor. Her research on the use of Pilates as a conditioning and restorative tool for dancers has been featured in Dance Magazine.

We sat down with James to discuss a few of her personal and professional favorites.

Ballet or modern?
Ballet for sure!

Where do you get inspiration for your choreography?
I typically choreograph in the classical technique, so pull from classical repertoire. I’m usually inspired by the music.

If you could dance with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Who was your favorite teacher of all time?
Carina Bomers (of Canada’s National Ballet School).

Who is your favorite choreographer?
Jiri Kylian.

What was the first ballet or dance performance you remember attending?
The Nutcracker.

What’s one piece of advice you give all your students?
Be in the moment, and enjoy your work in the studio.

What’s one thing you always keep in your dance bag?
Tiger Balm.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I used to raise sled dogs.

Who’s your favorite musical artist at the moment?

Meet Rachel James for yourself! Apply to Interlochen Arts Camp or Interlochen Arts Academy today!