My name is Natasha G, 15, from NYC. I go to American Academy of Ballet.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started to take dance classes at 2 years old. I became serious about training for ballet at 7 years old and trained with a former Boston Ballet Principal. At 12 years old, I began training at American Ballet Theatre, Gillespie (ABT).
During COVID, I studied virtually with Principal Ballerinas Marianela Nunez (Royal Ballet Theatre) and Sarah Lane (American Ballet Theatre). I continue to train virtually through the American Academy of Ballet and ABT.
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?
Nothing worth pursuing is always easy. My journey is in its early stages, and I have experienced disappointments along with periods of elation. I am grateful for both, as they have been opportunities to learn and grow.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
We all have personal limitations. I choose to look beyond them and remain focused on my goals and my journey.❤️
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
During Covid-19 lockdown, I had an idea to help struggling artists. Several people thought my ideas were too difficult to achieve.
I thanked them for their input and found other dancers and brands who felt they were up to the challenge. I formed @studentswans, and together, we launched #studentswanschallenge, which raised over $25,000.00 to help dancers, dance studios and dance companies like ABT.
How do you conquer negative talk?
Many years ago, there was a dancer who was ready technically to compete for YAGP, but didn’t want to because she doubted her own abilities. Life happened, and she never had the opportunity to experience YAGP. I go back to that moment when I am afraid to take a chance or start to doubt myself.
What is your favorite quote?
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am working with other @studentswans and @worldwideballet to help a dance school in Nigeria, @leapofdanceacademy with dance equipment and gear.
An opportunity to support this school came when @worldwideballet chose to feature them on a post, I asked if a company can help the school, and @dot2dance / @dazzle_distributors volunteered to help. They sent the school 12 portable Dot2Dance floors.
So far the following dancers and companies have contributed or will contribute items to the school:
@jaidyn_elise21 @elizabeth.pouliot @dancermaya2209 @sophia.shapiro @__gracie__m
I am also working on a couple of other projects. Stay tuned! (More information will be listed on @studentswans page)