Meet Carlin Ciocchetti, 11, from Phoenix, AZ Youth American Ballet Company.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was two, I used to sit and watch Swan Lake and then I would try to replicate what I saw. I tried my first ballet class when visiting my aunt in Burbank when I was 3 and cried because it was over. When we got home, my parents searched for the best ballet school that would be willing to have me in their program. We found the Arizona School of Classical Ballet, and it was perfect! Over the next 7 years, I would learn from incredible teachers like Susan Farsi, Sabina Valic, Irina Abramyan, and Hagop Kharatian. I grew so much with them. At 10, we moved schools to Youth American Ballet Company to be part of their Pre-Professional program with Georgi Rusafov. I feel I have grown so much by being in this program and working with Georgi.
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?
I would not say that things have been easy. I have had to work very hard to get to where I am, and I have a long way to go to get to my goal of being part of The Royal Ballet. I have struggled with bullying, mean girls, a broken arm, and juggling school, friends, and my passion for ballet.
What personal limitations if any, did you go through in your young career?
I have always felt like my age is my biggest limitation. My parents had to search for a school that would take me at 3 and put me in the level I belonged to. My first school. Accepted me with open arms, but I still struggle to be looked at for my ability and not my age.
How do you conquer negative talk?
My parents have been my support, and we talk a lot about negative people. There has been bullying, jealousy, and just mean kids/parents. I try to remember that those people are just trying to project their feelings onto me, and it is not because of something I did.
What is your favorite quote?
"Let the sun warm your heart, and the moon feed your soul."
So, what's next? Any big plans?
I am going to keep working! I have YAGP Finals in May, then back to work at my home studio for summer intensives. I will continue to work. I would love to do Prix De Lausanne and then dance with the Royal Ballet someday.