This interview has been lightly edited for style, content, and clarity.
Why did you choose to focus on ballet?
Ballet is definitely a lot more difficult for me physically than modern or creative, but I kind of felt more of a connection to it. It just feels right.
Why do you like taking classes here?
The teachers are really nice and fun, and they give interesting and challenging combinations. I think the classes are really fun.
What role are you in the Nutcracker this year?
I’m a candy cane and a soldier.
What have rehearsals been like so far?
They’re twice a week and they’re fun. Sometimes you’ll run just one section of the dance many, many, many times just to get it perfect, but I think we’re on track.
You’re also performing on the Nutcracker Prelude on November 17. Are you excited for that?
Yeah, I didn’t notice it was so close until in Soldiers [rehearsal], the costume designer came and was taking our measurements for the costumes. I was like, how far away is this?
Is this the first time you’ve worked with a costume designer in a big production like this?
I also did it last year. But otherwise, yes, I think. It’s exciting because it really feels cool and professional to be working with these principal dancers from the Miami City Ballet and to be wearing these really amazing costumes. It makes me feel inspired.
How does it feel to work with professional dancers?
I’m really excited to be on stage and sharing the stage with these professional dancers and I’m also kind of like, wow. These dancers are so good and I want to be like how they dance.
Why do you like to dance?
Whenever I hear music, I immediately get all these ideas, like oh this would be cool to do to music. I get all these choreographing ideas and it feels good to work with the music that way for me. I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember so it just feels right.
Do you want to keep dancing when you grow up?
Yes, I want to be a professional dancer. I love dance so much, it’s like, how amazing is it to love something that much and to have that as an option for your career and what to do with your life.
Do you ever watch the Dance Academy students perform?
Yeah, I see them in Colburn performances. I think it’s really cool to watch them do that. It’s also kind of daunting to think they’re not much older than me. But I really enjoy watching them dance, because it inspires me to think these people are not that much older than me and they can do all this stuff. That’s what I want to work towards.
What do you like to do besides dance?
I like to read and draw. I read a lot. I like fiction books. I read a lot more books like Harry Potter, where they think they’re normal and then they realize they’re not! Like in a different world. I think the storylines are really interesting and I just enjoy those characters working through all the difficulties of adjusting to a different life. It’s fun to read about.