NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are few jobs as challenging as motherhood, and one prominent dancer with the Alvin Ailey company knew that when she stepped away from the spotlight to have kids.
Now, Constance Stamatiou is returning to the stage – just in time for the Lincoln Center season.
Stamatiou told CBS2’s Dave Carlin that when she dances, “It speaks to me; it fills me; it moves me.”
Her big break at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater came in 2007, and by 2011, her image was on the theater’s posters. She was also performing around the world, dancing on TV and twice for President Barack Obama.
And then, at the height of it all, she walked away.
“I knew I wanted to have kids,” Stamatiou said.
Dance had always been Stamatiou’s passion, but now, new loves came in to her life – husband Steven, daughter Savannah, and son Thanos.
And for five years, her primary focus, heart and efforts were with her family.
But Stamatiou thought about her life before — starring in the Ailey Classics such as “Revelations,” And She needed to dance again.
“I wasn’t sure if I was being selfish by wanting to come back,” Stamatiou said.
In the dance world, five years can be an eternity. Getting back in top form was tough — with no guarantees.
“Are they going to take me seriously?” Stamatiou said. “Are they going to have faith that I’m going to be just as good as when I left?”
The Ailey Company brought Stamatiou back with open arms into a staggeringly demanding job no one does part-time or half-way.
The Ailey at Lincoln Center season begins Wednesday, June 8. Stamatiou is featured in not one, but two world premieres and a handful of returning favorites.
“It is the ultimate tug-of-war,” she said.
Stamatiou cautions the balance can never be perfect. She said it works to strong support from those at Ailey — and especially her husband Steven.
“She’s an amazing mom, acutally, to manage both things at the same time,” her husband said.
“Me being a mother makes me a better dancer, and me being a dancer makes me a better mother,” Stamatiou added.
She says you’ll find joy being true to yourself — and your passions.