Kevin Garcia is the gender fluid ballerina we love

Kevin Garcia is a gender fluid ballerina from Canary Islands living in New York and working in one of the best companies in America, “Les Ballets Trockadero de Montecarlo”.

Pink is and will be his favorite colour and, thanks to his family’s support, he learned to not compromise and never identify as a man if he doesn’t feel like it. His mission in life is to show people that miracles happen and that dreams are never impossible. Hard work and determination brought him to where he is today and his philosophy of life is to inspire people to keep fighting for their dreams.

His ballet persona is Elvira Kebhabgalina (at Trockadero) and his drag persona is Maria Canaria.

credits: Zoran Jelenic 

Who is Kevin Garcia and how do you identify?

Kevin Garcia…tricky question. I’m just an enthusiastic guy with big dreams. I identify as gender-fluid because even though I know I am a man, I am well connected with my feminine side and I’m not afraid to show it to the world.

Where do you come from?

I come from The Canary Islands, in the south of Spain next to Africa. It’s definitely a place you can call paradise.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m honest, sometimes stubborn, helpful, positive, and passionate. Culture aficionado, a Blues singer, and also a makeup artist. Oh, I’m hopeless romantic too.

credit: Jose Luis Marrero Medina 

When did you decide to become a ballet dancer and how did your career start?

I started dedicating most of my time to ballet when I was twelve. But, I knew I wanted to be a ballet dancer since I was three. It was always somehow in my heart. I felt that dance was my passion, and indeed it was also going to be my job in the future.

The Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo has been the most popular drag ballet company for over 40 years. How did you manage to become a part of it and how has your journey been?

I saw the company for the first time in my hometown when I was twelve and I knew right there that I will somehow be part of it. I was always interested in the female repertoire, the pointe shoes and of course the tutus and the tiaras. I moved to New York City to do a program in a ballet school after graduating from the conservatory “Carmen Amaya” in Madrid because it was a way for me to be seen in Trockadero. Finally after several auditions, I got my contract the day of my birthday in 2016. Since then, it has been quite interesting: a lot travelling to many cities and countries around the world, and wonderful opportunities with a group of people that have become my family.

credit: Zoran Jelenic 

How easy is it to change between one role to another during the shows?

After three seasons in the company, it has become easier. But, it is a process that happens insanely fast and you just go for it. To change costumes and hair is not that difficult, just a little stressful at the beginning. However, the part that I find interesting is to go from pointe shoes to flats and then to pointe shoes again…The feet sometimes get swollen after wearing flat shoes and it can be a little painful sometimes.

Do you need to be part of the drag scene in order to combine ballet with drag?

I think it can be related, because of the use of makeup, wigs, etc.. But not all the dancers in the company do drag outside of it. In my case, I do sometimes but, also, the kind of drag I do is more related to fashion than the club scene. I do perform sometimes with my fellow sister Lolita Golighltly, but just for fun rather than as an actual job.. I do more photoshoots and red carpet events.

Do you feel that drag ballet has been unrepresented all these years?

I think so. People think about us as drag ballerinas in the dance community, but not as much in the drag scene, although ,thanks to Brooke Lynn Hytes, finally the drag family of the world got to know even more about Trockadero. Last year we were invited to the DragCon convention here in New York and, also, a dancer of the company performed “The Dying Swan” on the main stage.  

Are you a student apart from a dancer? What degree do you want to pursue?

Surprisingly I am. I enrolled this year in UNED which is a distance university. I am taking a course for access to university when you are older than 25 years old. I don’t know what degree I will pursue next year when I pass my exams in June, but I am sure that it will be something related to computer science because I do have an inner nerd that only a few people know about.

credit: Zoran Jelenic 

As a gender fluid artist are you connected to both your feminine and masculine side?

Absolutely. Thanks to Trockadero, I’m able to dance both female and male roles and that give me the opportunity to explore those sides of me.. Also, I think fashion is getting more androgynous every year and that opens a huge window for gender fluidity.  

You have said “I decide when I wake up how I feel and if I should wear Oxford shoes or high heels”. Is it that easy and simple?

It’s definetly not easy. We live in a society where even inside of the LGBTQ+ community the backlash can be overwhelming at times, because of labels such as top, bottom, vers, fem, masc, etc.. Also, while travelling with the company, we sometimes go to cities more conservative than others. But it’s all about attitude and not having fear.. respecting everybody’s beliefs, but also respecting and being true to yourself.

How has your family stood by your side all these years?

I have been the luckiest kid in the world, I grew up in a really great family environment where I was able to be myself since I was little, no matter what society was going through in terms of homosexual acceptance. They have supported me since the beginning of my career and they feel proud of my success because in my head coming from such a small island, it was not just me working hard to make this dream a real thing, it was more of a family commitment.

credit: Scott Jacob

What are your role models and the people you admire?

First of all, my parents. Their hard work and ethics brought me where I am today and they are the people I want to become when I’m older. In terms of role models outside of my family, I have to say I have many, but obviously a few special ones; Marianela Nunez (principal at royal ballet of London), Sara Mearns (principal at New York City Ballet) Steven Mcrae (principal at royal ballet of London). But, the most special is my best friend Sabrina Pretto A.K.A Lolita Golightly, who apart from my friend was a dancer with Trockadero and my fellow roomate on tour and, mostly, somebody I look up to since my first day in the company. I’m extremely proud of her and her career, and I’m excited for her future. She has taught me a lot over the years and continues to do so.

How does it feel when people depict the body of a ballerina as a sexual object of desire?

I feel flattered to be looked up to in that standard. But at at the same time, sometimes it can be a little frustrating, because even when we all know we are blessed with ballerina bodies, people forget that we also have a brain and know very well how to use it. It is a myth that ballerinas are not smart and, sometimes, people think that we are only pink tutus and glamour..

credit: Zoran Jelenic 

Do you have any good friends from the ballet industry?

I have many.. once a moved to New York and thanks to the company I got to meet amazing artists from well known ballet companies around the world that, with time, have become friends.

How was your life and your career affected by this pandemic?

The impact has been tremendous. The entertainment industry has shut down completely in the majority of the country and with that our schedule in the company due to border limitations and theatres closures around the world. It has been emotionally hard at times, but as a travelling dancer we are used to adapting to unusual situations so kicking some furniture has been part of the job while training at home. Also not everything has been bad.. I made the decision of enrolling in school after so many years doubting about it and health is great, so I can’t complain.

What are your future plans?

As for now, my short term plan which is to pass my exams, get into university and keep dancing at Trockadero. 2020 has proved that we never know what will happen tomorrow so, I would rather focus on short term goals.

More of Kevin Garcia here:

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