My name is Natalie Heinemeyer and I am 20 years old. I live in Indiana and I dance at Butler University, Dance Performance.


Photographer: @balletzaida

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

My first ballet was The Nutcracker, a family tradition, when I was only 4 months old. I began dancing at the age of 3, in a recreational studio, then studied Vaganova, and ABT. I love classical ballet, the stories, music, and costumes. Today, I am continuing my training at Butler University.

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?

Absolutely not easy. I doubt most dancers would describe their experience as easy. It’s hours of commitment, discipline, sore muscles, practice, and training, and then you do it all again.

Photographer: @sixsenses.irving

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

It is difficult to find a balance between education, training, family, and friends. Choosing an educational program that was flexible helped.

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

No, I found my way to instructors that are very supportive and encouraging.

Photographer: @lemonlimephotog

How do you conquer negative talk?

We are our own worst enemies. Staying positive and not comparing myself or my abilities to anyone else was best. I’m a work in progress.

What is your favorite quote?

It depends on the day, time of year, my mood…I can’t possibly pick a favorite.

Photographer: @shuttergleephotography @clickconchicago with @dancerimages

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

I am continuing my training with the accomplished professionals at Butler and keeping my options open.

Dec 8, 2022

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