Suzanne Farrell: I learned to love dance for its own sake. The feeling that it gave me -- the happiness, the security, the release of my feelings, -- it made me a person. It brought out in me the person whom I had the potential to become. I think that's why I loved it for its own sake, not to be a ballerina. On the other hand, I think it is wonderful for everyone to take ballet classes, at any age. It gives you a discipline, it gives you a place to go. It gives you some control in your life. You are with music. You express yourself in a way that you can't explain, even to your best friend. And it is in a beautiful environment.
Suzanne with her dog Duchess,
I had a wonderful childhood in Cincinnati, but my mother had realized that if we wanted to further our training and become professionals, we had to come to New York. Fortunately, she was willing to come. She was more than happy to come. My sister was a very talented pianist. We lived in a tiny one-room apartment, but we were happy. We really lived at the piano, or at the dance studio. I think my work gave me a flexibility that I would not have had. Even thought it is very channeled, and you have to be committed and work very hard, and eliminate some things in your life, it also gives you a flexibility because you have to admit what's important in your life at that time. It doesn't mean that it has to last forever. To me, forever is as long as it lasts, as long as you are still productive and you still are the best you can be. I think that was important, and it wasn't important whether I became famous, I just wanted to be the best that I could be. So you are always in competition with yourself, and not someone else.