One-On-One With Shira Greenberg

What have been the scariest moments in your professional life?

Answer: I don't know that I separate fear and adventure from each other, necessarily. Even when things are scary, that often propels me to do more and dig in farther, so it's a little hard to identify what was a scary time from what was a really cool and exciting time. I think from a standpoint of work ... I find that fear usually turns into something interesting.

Who are your favorite performers?

Answer: I love watching the dancers here that we have as company members perform because I also know them personally so well and so I see so much of their humanness come out of that. They would top the list. Then, I love anybody who gets up on the stage and just puts it all out there. So it's hard to say one favorite.

Do you have any superstitions?

Answer: Well, I definitely have some theater superstitions, certain words you don't say and certain things you do say.

For example?

Answer: Well, I can't say the ones you don't say because we're in the theater right now. But before a show, you say "merde" (a French expletive) for dancers. A lot of people say, "break a leg," which is not what you say to a dancer. So merde is for dancers. ... And I've got a few things left over from my grandparents, like I have three spits I have to do here and there.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Answer: I would say adventurous, stubborn, positive.

THE BASICS: Shira Elyse Greenberg, 45, born in Minneapolis; married to Rick Letscher since 2002; one son, Joey Greenberg, 13; two pets, Zelda, a Belgian Malinois, and Penny, a golden Lab; studied at Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael in Israel, Ithaca College and Hebrew University of Jerusalem; graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy.

POSITION: Founder and artistic director of Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts; founding and current board member of Cohesion Dance Project, Helena, Mont.; co-chair of the Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation Rehovot, Israel, Committee.

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