KIDS WITH DREAMS
W I T H A V A R A M I R E Z ( U S A )
Ava is a ten-year-old Preprofessional dancer from South Carolina. Ava started dancing when she was two and a half at the Columbia Conservatory of Dance. Ava’s first ballet teachers were Sharon Jones and Mimi Worrell. She started studying with her current teacher, Mariclare Miranda-former prima ballerina of Columbia City Ballet at age six and started training with William Starrett, Artistic Director of Columbia City Ballet at age 8.
Ballet has enormous benefits for children. It helps us to be very disciplined and very good with time management. It also teaches us to cope with both success and disappointment.
Ava is very caring and also empathetic. She works very hard at everything she does. Parts of Ballet come quickly for her, like turning and jumping. She has to work on other things like straightening her knees and being consistent in her attention to detail.
Having both success and challenges has made Ava a very hard-working goal-driven dancer, and this applies to other areas of her life. She is a straight-A student and is State Identified as academically Talented and Gifted.
Ava’s proudest moments so far have been: Being awarded 1st place at Youth American Grand Prix in both Classical and Contemporary categories, being cast as Clara in the Columbia City Ballet’s Nutcracker and being chosen to be a Nikolay Grishko Ambassador for two years in a row. Ava’s most challenging moment in Ballet has been feeling isolated from others because she is the only one of her age in her level. Everyone else is at least two years older than her.
Is she shy?
Ava is not shy. She is quite outgoing. However, learning ballet is a great tool to help shy children to break out of their shell. Ballet teaches dancers to express themselves and collaborate with other dancers daily!
How can parents encourage passion in their child, even when the parent doesn’t have that skill?
I would advise parents to try to learn an appreciation of Ballet. It is not imperative that they know Ballet but just that they appreciate it and can understand how much work it is. Training dancers need supportive parents who they can talk to, and it will help to make the process of learning ballet so much more enjoyable if they know that their parents are behind them!
Ava trains 19 hours a week in Ballet. She is a part of a daytime training program at her studio. She is homeschooled to help her prepare to one day be in a preprofessional full-time program. She takes ballet class (1 or 2) every day as well as pointe and strengthening classes. She also takes variations in class and contemporary. Ava’s most significant success is winning First at YAGP Regionals in Classical and Contemporary! She had just turned ten years old. In 2021 Ava hopes to place again and compete in New York Finals.
What are Ava’s dreams and ambitions?
Ava wants to be a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. She wants to dance the role of Giselle. She also wants to train at JKO or Ellison! Ava’s favourite ballerinas are Marianela Nunez, Isabella Boylston, Gelsey Kirkland and Natalia Osipova. She loves them all for different reasons as they are all unique. Her favourite ballet companies are ABT and Royal Ballet. Ava is motivated by her success. When she feels successful, she works hard! Ava is also motivated by her teachers, who genuinely believe in her and encourage her. She has been granted some fantastic opportunities to perform and tour with Columbia City Ballet, and she intrinsically wants to do well. She works very hard.
Encouraging our children to pursue their dreams is vital for their success. Ballet is time-consuming, expensive and brutal! Having parents who understand that it is so essential for young dancers mental health and overall happiness in the artform.