Person of Interest: Ballet Dancer Andrea Yorita

Andrea Yorita returns to her hometown this month to perform with BalletX, Philadelphia’s contemporary ballet, at Irvine Barclay Theatre.
Photograph by Gabriel Bienczycki, Courtesy of BalletX

Where did you train?

I went to a studio in Santa Ana called Academy of Dance. And when I graduated, I decided to get my BFA in dance at UC Irvine. I had done classical ballet all my life. At UCI, you have to do ballet, modern, and jazz. My mind was really opened to the contemporary (dance) world. And I shifted to wanting to go into that world.

What appeals to you about contemporary ballet?

Sometimes with ballet, there’s a right and a wrong. And I loved how with contemporary ballet, there wasn’t necessarily a wrong. I loved the humanity of it—finding different human qualities within my dancing. I had just never viewed dance that way before. I thought it was about perfecting a turnout. All that stuff is important, but it just pushed my mind to go beyond the technique. 

You’ve been at BalletX for 10 years now. Do any performances stand out?

One that’s always stuck out is Nicolo Fonte’s “Beautiful Decay” at the end of my first season. I finally felt like I was in my groove. It’s something I hold very close to my heart. I got paired up with Zachary Kapeluck—he’s no longer with the company, but we just got married last May. 

Tell us about this upcoming performance.

We’ll be doing highlights from our repertory and three West Coast premieres. We’ve performed before at Segerstrom and at the Laguna Dance Festival, but this will be my first time performing in Irvine since I graduated from UCI. I’m excited to have my family and friends come out and see what I’ve been learning for the past 10 years.

See Her!

BalletX will perform Jan. 24 at The Barclay.