Stefan Daniel Pichler Goncalvez – Dancer
Stefan Daniel Pichler Goncalvez was born in São Paulo, Brazil. He left home at the age of 14 to pursue his dream of studying ballet in United States. He has spent his time in Florida, DC, and is currently based in Chicago and professionally dancing with the Joffrey Ballet.
What or who is inspiring you right now?
I am currently reading a book called “the four agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a beautiful book that helps you understand your actions and the actions of others and why you should not take anything personally. How you can make hell into heaven in your life. So, it is inspiring me to know and believe in my own vision of truth never making myself the victim and stop judging others or jumping into conclusions on why they are doing their actions towards me or others.
How did you come to work in your creative industry?
Ballet dancers need to go through a ballet school for many years to teach them the technique and other styles of dance to prepare them for the professional company life. When I was young, I was lucky to get scholarships throughout a few schools. And eventually after auditioning through different companies, I made the best choice and I am currently dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.
How have you developed your career?
I haven’t been a professional for a long time but I have gone through many experiences that have made me the dancer and artist that I am today. Like injuries and working with different choreographers and styles of dance. Once you get to the professional level, I believe in being able to express yourself through your movement. You should not try to dance a certain way to please others but yourself. And that goes for life as well. It makes you unique, stand out from everyone else and most important it make it fun! I do this because it’s fun and I love what I do. It is remembering that this is just ballet, we are not saving lives so there is no reason to be stressed. Just enjoy!
What are you doing now?
Drinking coffee and answering these questions. Haha
Describe your creative process
We have ballet classes every morning so we are ready for the day ahead and to improve our technique. After that we have 6 hours of rehearsal throughout the day for a whole week to prepare for our performances. For touring it is usually quicker since we have done it before. So, we just put it together in a week or two and travel.
It can take a lot longer if a new ballet is being choreographed on us, because there is a lot to figure it out with the setting of the stage and creating a choreography.
What do you want to say with your work?
I want to show people that you can do what you love and have fun with it. I want to entertain, inspire and touch people’s emotions through telling a story with my dance.
How would you define your style?
Free, fun and easy going. I am very expressive when I dance and I am not afraid to show my emotions at all. I don’t hold anything it.
Paint a picture of where you live/describe it
Well Chicago is the most beautiful city in the US, in my opinion with it’s beautiful architecture, beaches and areas. I personally love the river going through the city.
Who has been the most inspirational person for you?
Dancers in general are all inspiring. Everyone is so unique and you can learn so much by watching them.
What project of yours has inspired you the most?
I have done my first swan lake this season with my company and it was very challenging but fun at the same time. Anything that pushes me to be a better dancer makes me inspired. Tired, but inspired and stronger!
What are your beauty secrets?
A dermatologist. Haha
How do look after yourself mentally and physically?
I always say that physical therapy is a dancer’s best friend. It is unfortunate that dancers only realise that after a big injury. It makes us work on what we lack strength on it prevents injuries.
Sleeping enough, hitting the gym and eating healthy is also something I do.
As far as mentally goes a good therapy session every week helps me so much. It is so good to just have one hour that you can just talk about yourself and figure out your problems and why you might be feeling a certain way. Listening to yourself speak can sometimes make you realise problems that you would have never know if you were just thinking about it in your head.
What’s your favourite film?
Anything that will make me cry. I like movies that take emotions out of me.
Do you have a favourite quote that you try to live by?
Just be and do you. You get what you put out there.
What makes you nervous?
My health. I am a hypochondriac so whenever I feel something odd in my body It can make me feel nervous. Thank god therapy has helped me a lot with this issue.
Is there anything in your career that you regret not doing? / regret doing?
I try to live life without regrets. So not really. I am where I need to be and I have learned with my falls.
Who’s the nicest person you have worked with?
My director is probably the nicest person I have worked with. Very accepting and loving. He is basically a father to me. He has known me basically ever since I came to America.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I try not to put timeframes on my goals. I believe in the word eventually. Just work towards eventually and it will happen, if you put a timeframe and it does not happen it just leads to disappointments.
Do you dream?
I live a dream!
If you were a perfume what would you smell like?
What’s on your playlist right now?
My playlist has probably every type of music existed to mankind haha.
Can you describe what you are doing now, with your life and work?
Loving, enjoying and living. Always thankful!
Follow Stefan on instagram @stefangoncalvez