But that's terrible! The artistic director is an autocratic monster! Is this really what the ballet world is like?
Sascha Radetsky: Well, I think that by necessity there has to be a hierarchy, a director has to make decisions and have that freedom to make changes and to execute his vision. But the directors for whom I've worked [at ABT and Dutch National Ballet] were both nice guys [Laughs] and very approachable! I've been around enough to have come into contact with those people who can get drunk with power and cross lines from time to time—but I can't really comment the state of ballet companies in general, I can only tell you what my personal experience has been.
Sarah Hay: There are a lot of male directors, it's true. It's traditional that way, though I've worked with one female director—and they tend to be a bit feminist! And yes, then the environment is easier for the girls. When it's straight older men, they have power complexes; I've worked under the best and the worst. And it's true for other roles too: the choreographers and ballet masters, the people who were stars, the people who wish they were stars. I'm hopeful, but I don't know if it's getting better.
Moving into the world of television in this way, do you feel like an ambassador?
Sarah Hay: There are a lot of standards that women have to deal with in this industry—you have to fit the mold, and people are not healthy. It's an art form that's ancient, so old-school and traditional, but where I currently work, in Dresden, they have a vision of uniqueness about their company. My director wants people to be healthy, and there are 'perfect' body things he can easily drop—like my having boobs! He accepted me. I'm definitely happier dancing in Germany; in the U.S., there's a different level of competition. I find in general that I try to get my voice heard about protecting women. It comes from everything I've been through personally—I'm opinionated, and that doesn't make it that easy.
Sascha Radetsky: Gosh, I would say that's more a mantle Misty [Copeland] is wearing. I'm not in the public eye, as much attention [as] Center Stage has gotten. Still, it does have legs! I guess I have gotten good responses from people who were inspired by Center Stage—people who were inspired to pick up dancing, or simply [to become] educated in dance itself.