Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Catching Up with Megan Krauszer '02

This month, we had the chance to connect with Megan Krauszer, a graduate of our Dance Department who these days frequently performs at the Metropolitan Opera, among other venues. Megan was kind enough to reflect on her Walnut Hill experience and catch us up on her past 18 years.

What brought you to Walnut Hill originally, and what was your experience like as a dance student here? Do you have a favorite memory from those years?  

I had reached the limits of my local studio and knew I wanted to move to a professional-level ballet school to further my training. I had been prepping my parents for years for this . . . I’m pretty sure they thought I was joking. My freshman year, I decided it was time. I did a ton of research (on dial-up AOL internet) on ballet schools within the physical boundaries my dad had set for me: east of the Mississippi River, north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Walnut Hill stood out because it was a boarding school; instead of staying with a strange host family, getting early release from a public high school, and attending a ballet school nearby, everything would be included on one campus and be contributing toward my development as an artist. This definitely put my parents at ease and helped me win my case!

I loved my time as a dance student at Walnut Hill. It provided the space, focus, and opportunity for immense growth. Being surrounded by other serious ballet students in a program that would challenge and push me was so important. When I started Walnut Hill, my dream was to enter a ballet company right after high school . . . that was the career path I had heard of. However, I was introduced to a multitude of possibilities within the dance and performance world, and I learned that my artistic soul actually lived in a more contemporary and multifaceted part of that world. Sam Kurkjian and Diane Arvanites were significant to helping me find new ways and paths to explore on top of the solid ballet technique and foundation that I was so lucky to receive at Walnut Hill.

My favorite memories from that time are small moments with friends—who are among my nearest and dearest to this day.

Catch us up on the years since you graduated—what did you do after Walnut Hill, and how did that lead you to the career you have now?

After Walnut Hill, I attended Boston Conservatory as a dance major. Boston Conservatory felt like a natural progression from Walnut Hill—Diane Arvanites was there, and it allowed me to continue to pursue a more modern and creative approach while keeping my ballet training and roots. The process continued to dig deeper into creating, questioning, taking risks, and expanding my vocabulary. I auditioned for pretty much anything and everything, and had a lot of very different experiences early in my career. Following where doors opened and where I've felt most satisfied, I've ended up here, performing in some of the biggest opera houses in the country. I dance frequently in operas at the Metropolitan Opera and the Kennedy Center, in addition to outside projects and operas in other beautiful houses. I love being part of a bigger production, where dance is but one of many important elements for both the production and my own personal track.

In what ways did your arts education shape who you have become, both as a performer and a human being?

I think my arts education cemented in me a commitment to excellence and to doing the work—every day you show up, commit to being there fully, and do the absolute most you can—to make sure that you can stand behind what you put out and take pride in it.

Do you have any advice for our youngest alumni who are beginning their careers? 

My advice is to get out of your own way. Don't spend your energy doubting yourself or worrying about looking foolish.


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