Dancer Spotlight - Katie: 2019 ” Sugar Plum Fairy”
When I was ten, I sat perched on the edge of my seat, mesmerized by the gold-leafed walls and the sparkling chandeliers at the Alexandrinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The curtain hung in the foreground as I anticipated the start of Swan Lake performed by the Mariinsky Ballet. Looking back on this moment, I realize the significance it had on inspiring me who I have become today: a ballerina.
Four and a half years ago, I embarked upon a career in Classical Ballet with its attendant hardships and rewards. The pain from dancing en pointe, blisters, bruises and blood, and nights spent soaking my feet in ice took its toll. However, I have been blessed with kind and talented friends and inspiring and wise teachers at The Dance Center. I followed my passion, working hard each day, and was rewarded the dream role of Clara last year.
Days before my first performance, I felt a snap in my foot and fell to the floor in pain. My worst fear had become my new reality: I would not be able to perform as Clara. This role had become my life and challenged my character as I had to say goodbye to a piece of me. I found acceptance with the support of my teachers, family, and friends, and sat in the audience, cheering on Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s 2018 cast with tears in my eyes.
As months passed, I focused on my recovery with the determined mindset to return to ballet. My hard work and perseverance have culminated in the principal role of Sugar Plum Fairy, which will be an absolute honor to perform.
Ballet has taught me valuable life lessons of commitment, discipline, self-perseverance, and independence. I believe that I am prepared for life’s inevitable challenges and have the ability to persevere when faced with extreme hardship. My hope is that I can show younger girls and boys that when you fall, always get back up, just as I did.