The De Wolfe Questionnaire: Jennifer Stahl, Dance Magazine
Jennifer Stahl is the current Editor in Chief of 90-year-old Dance Magazine. She has been in this position for three-and-a-half years, following a stint at sister publication Pointe, and, in her student days, all the ballet positions at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lately, Stahl has started running long-distance, traveling with her love, and advocating for more diversity in the dance world.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being in an outdoor jacuzzi when it’s snowing.
What is your greatest fear? Getting run over by a taxi.
Which level of government is most pertinent in your occupation? Right now, the federal: We’re closely following the future of the National Endowment for the Arts, and how any health care changes might affect dancers.
What living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama.
What historical figure do you most admire? Virginia Woolf.
What is your greatest extravagance? Running marathons all around the world.
What is your greatest achievement? Publishing a cover that proudly stated Black Lives Matter (with a story about dance artists tackling race issues), which came out the week of the 2016 presidential election.
What is the most overrated virtue? Waking up early.
What quality do you most like in a man? Wit.
What quality do you most like in a woman? Wit.
What words or phrases do you overuse? “No worries.”
What or who was the greatest love of your life? A guy I once met in a barn in Utah who now eats all the food in my kitchen.
When or where were/are you happiest? Whenever I’m discovering someplace new with the guy from the question above.
What talent would you most like to have? To be able to speak the language in any country I travel.
What is your most marked characteristic? Strangers most often comment on my posture. You can take the girl out of the ballet studio, but…
Where would you most like to live? In Paris, within walking distance from the Palais Garnier and fresh croissants.
What do you most value in your friends? A sense of adventure — along with a desire to plan those adventures and invite me along.
What profession other than your own would you like to try? Whiskey distiller.
Who are you currently following in:
Books: I’ll read anything by Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Tana French, Ernest Hemingway or Virginia Woolf.
Visual: Recently fell in love with Sohei Nishino’s Diorama Maps.
Music: I’m on a Billie Holiday kick right now.
Theater: Can’t stop thinking about [the Broadway musical] Come From Away.
Other: I know I’m late to the party but The OA (and Ryan Heffington’s “movements” for it) blew my mind.
Who is your hero/heroine in fiction? Lizzy Bennet.
What is your greatest regret? Not pestering my grandparents to tell me their life stories.
What excites you in your own creative practice? The amazing writers, photographers and dance artists I get to work with.
Where is your “third place”? Anywhere you can go running.
What is your motto? “The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated.” Not exactly a motto, but part of a beautiful letter Ted Hughes wrote his son that I absolutely love.