My name is Annabel and I am 13 years old. I dance at Westside Dance Project and Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet in Southern California.


Photographer: @evanysphotography

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I started dancing at age 4. I have danced in all styles and used to love Musical Theater the most! Now my passion is for ballet and contemporary. I wasn’t born bendy, and dance is hard work for me, but I’m so dedicated to it. I hope to attend USC Kaufman and become a Professional dancer and choreographer!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

No. I’m not naturally flexible or muscular, so I have to work hard. I’ve also battled scoliosis, which is finally starting to improve thanks to dance and Dance Prehab.

Photographer: @evanysphotography

What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?

I have dealt with scoliosis and a lack of flexibility.

Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?

Yes, I’ve felt inferior to many dancers. But it pushes me to work harder and try to reach my goals.

Photographer: @evanysphotography

How do you conquer negative talk?

I remember that nobody is perfect and many of us have insecurities. It’s easy as a dancer to be critical, but you never know people's stories and struggles. Bringing a dancer and model puts a lot of pressure on you. I try to remain positive and realize that we all have flaws. I love school and doing well academically, so when something in dance makes me frustrated, I remind myself that I’m well-rounded and should be proud of my other achievements if dance isn’t going well.

What is your favorite quote?

"Practice like you’ve never won. Perform like you’ve never lost." - Original Author Unknown

Photographer: @evanysphotography

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

Right now, I’m enjoying Nutcracker performances. Next up, we start our WDP season at Break the Floor and NYCDA! I’m also attending YAGP soon. This summer I’m hoping to attend a ballet intensive away from home!

Dec 30, 2021

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