Life After Dance

The new PBS documentary Water Flowing Together examines the life and legacy of now-retired Native American dancer Jock Soto

BY Brian McCormick

April 07 2008 12:00 AM ET

A friend of Andy
Warhol's and a celebrity in the elite world of ballet
who also appeared on Sesame Street, Soto was hailed
by dance critic Anna Kisselgoff as, “one of
ballet’s most creative personalities.”

“I never
considered myself a star,” said Soto in a
recent phone interview, “I just consider
myself a dancer. If you’re going to be behind
Wendy Whelan, you have to remember, ballet is the ballerina,
‘ballet is woman.’ I was just there to
make her appear as if she were the queen.”

He attributes
this attitude to how his father always treated his mother.
“I owe everything to what I learned from
them,” he explained.

Jock Soto 1 | Advocate.com

“In a
way,” Soto explained, “this film is a huge
thank-you. I grew up in a trailer. My mother
sacrificed everything for me to get to New York. I
want to speak to the younger generation. I had the freedom
and the support to be myself. I want younger people to
have the same freedom to be themselves.”

“When Gwen
and I approached each other about making the film,”
said Soto, “we both discussed how it could be
an inspiration to teenagers who are afraid to be gay,
afraid to come out, especially in the Native American
and Puerto Rican communities. No one should be scared of
being gay -- or being a ballet dancer,” he
added.

Tags: Dance

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