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I'm so unbelievably honored to be named one out OUT Magazine's 100 most notable members of the LGBT community in 2014.
OUT100: James Whiteside
BY OUT.COM EDITORS
Dancer and Entertainer
Photography by JUCO | Retouching by Anna Glen at Wet Noodle
The Moment: June 16, 1961: Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev defects to the United States from Russia.
In addition to his work as a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, James Whiteside belts out tunes as his pop star alter-ego, JbDUBS, and he recently released his first EP, titled Hey JB! His other project: performing with his boyfriend Milk (a.k.a. Dan Donigan; a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 6), under their drag group name the Dairy Queens (he’s Yoohoo). His influences? Whiteside remembers locking himself in his room with a girlfriend at age 15 to watch Showtime’s Queer as Folk. “I wasn’t out to my parents yet, and it was my first glimpse into the unabashedly fabulous world of the LGBT community,” he says. “Plus, their clothes were hilarious! I saw Emmett Honeycutt wearing pleather pants and crop tops — so I bought pleather pants and crop tops.”
Photographed in Central Park, New York on September 21, 2014
Groomer: Heather Schnell
My friend and dressing roommate, Daniil Simkin told me about the NYC Dance Project a couple weeks ago. He said "YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE!". Next thing I knew, I was at Deborah Ory and Ken Browar's studio doing a shoot. Check out the photos and Q&A below.
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James Whiteside, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
What career would you choose if you could not be a dancer?
JW: I’d be a musician or another form or creator. However, when I was in school, I was obsessed with astronauts and dinosaurs. Go figure.
What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)?
JW: My worst fear is losing the people I love.
Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could?
JW: Janet Jackson, circa 1989
If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what would your advice be?
JW: Go for it! Go for everything!
If you could be an animal, what animal would your choose and why?
JW: I’d like to be an eagle. They are beautiful and the idea of being able to fly is incredible.
What is your greatest indulgence?
JW: My whole life! What a fairy tale!
What 3 items do you always have in your bag with you?
JW: My kindle (I love to read), my iPhone (music is my passion), and deodorant (boys are smelly).
What career would your family have chosen for you?
JW: Circus clown. Ha, I don’t know. I never gave them a chance to try to persuade me.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
JW: A house on the ocean with lots of coffee and all my friends.
Who would you most like to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)?
JW: Roger the alien from American Dad. I feel like we would be the best of friends.
What is your favorite city to tour to and why?
JW: Tokyo. The food and culture suit me just fine!
What was your biggest mishap in a performance?
JW: Years ago, I did Lysander in Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and my sword got caught in the front cloth in the lovers scene. I had to stand there for a full minute untangling it. Hilarious!
Is there a special meal you have before performances?
JW: No, I don’t really care what I have before a show. I’ll eat anything!