My name is Charlotte and I am 16 years old. I’m in Sarasota Florida and I dance with the Sarasota Ballet Conservatory.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I took my first ballet class when I was very small- 2 years old- but it didn’t stick. Then I went to the school of Russian Ballet, where I began learning in the Vaganova style at the age of 4. I have loved ballet ever since. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a very vibrant arts community that has lots of classical ballet options. Here I’ve been able to study the Cuban style as well as English styles of ballet. I am currently a trainee with the Sarasota Ballet Conservatory. The program takes me through most of my day- from 9:30 am to 2 pm, and during rehearsal weeks, it can be 6 or 8 pm before I get home. I am enrolled in virtual school and get to my homework after I am home for the night.
My greatest adventures and some of my fondest memories have been at summer intensives; I have danced at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Atlanta Ballet, and ABT. Those experiences have helped to broaden my view of dance and cemented my love for ballet.
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 have incredibly supportive parents who are always proactively seeking out new opportunities for me and encourage me to try new things.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I am a naturally shy person, and I have to overcome my own anxieties in order to perform.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
Because I’m shy, some directors have thought that maybe I wouldn’t be bold enough to dance the way they wanted - with lots of energy, enthusiasm- but I work hard to defy their preconceived notions and show them I’ve got what it takes.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I like to talk to people I trust who will give me the truth and help me to steer clear of my negative emotions.
What is your favorite quote?
"Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth." - Archimedes
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently a trainee with the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of the Sarasota Ballet. I am working hard to try to make the Studio Company in the next couple of years. I hope to dance in a couple of international intensives and travel- I love to travel!