Top of Mind
Good People: Eva Alt
By Crown Affair
Welcome to Good People, an interview series featuring those who inspire us and keep us forever excited for the future. This month's Person is Eva Alt, a long-time ballet dancer and more recently, real estate broker. When she’s not in the dance studio, you can spot her biking around the West Village on the way to work. She’s learning to trust her intuition, and is finding freedom in letting her hair down. Read her full interview here:
- How long have you been practicing ballet? What parts of it resonate with you most?
I felt an intrinsic joy for movement from a really young age—and always understood music very well. I was 11 when I knew that ballet would be my profession, and so became very driven on that path. Dance is a culture and a connective tissue—it's a way for me to have fun with friends and meet people all over, which is wonderful. It's a constant source of self-knowledge and discovery, and allows me to experience the height of spiritual striving.
When I was younger, I only hoped to achieve becoming a professional dancer, but today, it's so much bigger (and more) than that for me. It's something I plan to do for my entire life, so the goal is really longevity.
- You worked in the beauty industry and social media marketing for years—what are you doing now, and what inspired the transition?
I had been thinking about wanting to do something else for a while, and one day it just clicked. I was hoping to find some kind of work that would allow me to be more with people versus behind a screen. And something that would be flexible with my dance schedule. I like doing lots of different things!
I’ve always had a deep interest in real estate, architecture, and design. Doing research and going down rabbit holes of New York City history is a hobby of mine, and one day it became obvious to me that I needed to get my license and make that a job. From a practical level, it also felt like something I needed to know about—and having that knowledge would make me more powerful and I would be able to help myself and my friends.
About a year and a half ago I joined The Hudson Advisory team at Compass and I started @Prewar_Eva, which is basically how I share (what I think) is good real estate, updates on my own business and listings, and is also a real estate fan account in a way. I feel like I am finding my own way with it.
- What role do choreography, teaching and writing play in your ballet career? How has it expanded since you started?
Each of these facets inform one another and make up my lifelong practice of dance. I certainly go through phases where I'm more focused on one, but often find myself fluidly moving through each.
- What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have any rituals you follow? Why do you do them, if so?
I like having a schedule of dance classes and rehearsals, and that provides a beautiful structure to my week and life. None of my days are really the same, which is how I like it. With real estate, it’s very active all around the city. I can typically be seen biking around the village, running around doing showings and meeting with clients. Some days are more dance focused.
- What has your relationship to your hair been? Past, present, how has it changed over time?
I have always had very fine hair, and quite a lot of it. It tangles easily and doesn’t hold a curl well. Growing up through dance, it was always up. As a kid trying to become a dancer, I was very serious about how I presented myself. It felt, to me, like every detail counted.
In auditions (or classes that can feel like auditions), I wanted to have the best ballet bun. I was always looking at the older girls and how they were doing their hair, and it would inspire me to experiment with different things. I got really good at different styles of updos, like french twists, or creating buns in a figure-eight pattern (called a Balanchine bun), and took a lot of pride in that. I have memories of a lot of times where I had one pin that would feel like it was sticking into my brain (I’m sure all dancers can relate).
It’s kind of funny that when you’re a little older, a professional dancer or almost professional, it becomes cooler to have messy hair on a day-to-day basis (haha). You know, just thrown up with a clip and a pin or two. Then of course you have to pull it together for performances. Now that I dance in a more free-flowing way, I place less emphasis on how my hair looks. Sometimes it’s just down, or in a ponytail, or a clip.
- What is your current haircare ritual/routine? Feel free to give us a rundown—how often you cleanse, what you do in between washes, what products you use and why, etc.
I don’t look good with greasy hair. It just gets flat and lifeless, so I wash my hair every other day or every two days. I’m typically trying to give my hair more texture than it actually has. I find that shampoo scrubs with sea salt gives me a little oomph. I don’t use conditioner because I don’t think I need it, and usually it just weighs my hair down. The Aveda Pure Abundance spray is a long-time stand by for me, it gets spritzed into my roots while my hair is wet. I comb/brush it regularly to get knots out, and use dry shampoo when it needs it. I love clips and barrettes and headbands and use them frequently on a daily basis. For special occasions I love to use hot rollers, it makes me feel very pulled together.
- Do you have a personal philosophy about hair or beauty in general? How does it tie back to your work?
I believe the most beautiful things in the world are love, nature, and being present.
- What kinds of things do you do to care for yourself, inside and out?
I’m good at intuiting what I need, and try to make choices in that direction. It’s not always possible of course, like when you feel you need a vacation but can’t take one that minute. But for the most part I try to prioritize whatever it is my body, mind, or spirit needs, whether that’s a massage, time with a loved one, rest, etc.
- What things make you happiest? What do you do to incorporate more of those things in your life?
Two of my best friends Kyle Miller and Krissy Jones talk about “recipes for joy”. And they’re pretty simple. One recipe for joy is to find what makes you happy, and do more of it…make more space in your life for it. Being in the right place at the right time is also a recipe for joy.
Besides dancing, being with my partner Sharif, my friends, my family, and in nature make me the happiest!
- Interviewed by:
Anna Jube, Crown Affair Brand Manager. Photographed by David Cortes.