Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Ballet dancer, 3rd grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passion: ballet
Interests: reading, piano

“I started formal dance training at 4, and started in the Oregon Ballet Theater at age 7. The first time I saw the Nutcracker it grabbed me and it didn’t stop. I auditioned for the Nutcracker, and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Dance brings out people’s souls. You can express your feelings in ways that don’t hurt other people. You can bring out your emotions in dance. Movement brings you into the dance. It feels like you’re flying, like you’re whirling. It can be colorful and fast, or slow and sad. It’s really about moving, and then music winds in and brings extra color to the dance.
We train really hard, three times a week. The teacher is very strict, which is traditional for ballet. You have to work hard to stay on top of the pack.
The fun time in class is when we’re warming up, when we all share with the other dancers and help each other stretch or learn a step. We have to work together as a community, and the teacher doesn’t interfere during the warm-up. No one likes it when the teacher yells, so you want to do well to make her happy.

I put my head and shoulders and heart and soul into dancing. It’s a hard life, but rewards come in dancing and performance. The costumes, music, and community come together to make a wonderful experience.”