CLASSICAL:

Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven):

It's incredibly haunting and passionate. When I listen to it, I get the feeling of love that has been lost or a yearning that is unfulfilled. That may sound depressing to some, but it's a gorgeous piece to my ears.

The Candy Cane Dance from The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky):

This is such a playful piece of music and Balanchine choreographed a spectacular and spritely dance to go with it. When I saw The Nutcracker as a child, this was definitely my favorite part! Hula hoops, high jumps and candy canes? Amazing.

The Candy Cane Dance from The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky):

This is such a playful piece of music and Balanchine choreographed a spectacular and spritely dance to go with it. When I saw The Nutcracker as a child, this was definitely my favorite part! Hula hoops, high jumps and candy canes? Amazing.

Toy Flutes from The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky):

It's beautiful, familiar, and elicits feelings of Christmas, hope, and merriment.

Habanera from Carmen (Georges Bizet):

I love the spicy rhythm of this piece. Very flamenco in feel, and super sexy.

Summer from Four Seasons (Vivaldi):

I've seen many different interpretations of that piece, from very modern to very classical. I like that it lends itself to different styles of ballet and it feels feverish and powerful.

Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn):

I love the light-yet-frantic quality of this piece. I can always hear the flutes from the orchestra in my ear, and the strings building up into a whirlwind of sound.

Tristesse (Chopin):

When I used to take ballet class as a young girl, this is often what we did adagio barre or centre to in my classes. Adagio was always my favorite part of class because my strength lends itself to more controlled, melting movements than the petits allegros.

CONTEMPORARY:

All Around Me (Flyleaf):

I love any rock group with girl power, and Lacey Sturm's voice is so unique and powerful. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs—a haunting, obsessive love song.

Dark Side (Kelly Clarkson):

Can she do anything wrong? I love this song because we all have "dark sides"— especially some of the characters in Dance of Shadows!

The Only Exception (Paramore):

Another band with a fantastic lead singer, Hayley Williams. I listed to this song while I was working on Dance of Shadows because I think, in many ways, Vanessa can relate to this feeling of loss about Margaret—and when she meets Zep, she thinks that he can truly be the one for her.

I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor Swift)

If Vanessa doesn't play this song when she first meets Zep, she certainly will at some point in time.

Abnormally Attracted To Sin (Tori Amos)

Admit it: there's something sexy about the dark side, isn't there?

Welcome to the New York Ballet Academy, a school of dreams and passion… and a dark secret. Vanessa's older sister Margaret has gone missing.  Where is she?