Before Rahm Emanuel became Barack Obama’s officially announced chief of staff, I tried to interview him about ballet.

A few years ago, I was working as an editor at Dance Teacher magazine and saw Emanuel on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, and I thought he seemed cool. His wikipedia page said that he studied dance all the way through college, and I hatched a plan to interview my first congressman.

Excited, I e-mailed his press secretary and waited for weeks for a response. I had my questions all prepared: What advice do you have for male dancers who deal with ridicule? and How did studying dance prepare you for your career in government?

Then, a flicker of hope: “We’ll set something up,” she wrote. Then, nothing. I never did get Emanuel on the phone, and considering his new gig, maybe I never will.

Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.