Sophomore ballet dancer tip-toes her way to success

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Eleanor Bogart-Stuart culture editor

There’s an uncanny consistency in the wild career choices that people dream up when they’re kids. Whether it be an astronaut, a clown or a princess, most of these dreams end up being a little unrealistic. For ballet dancer sophomore Matisse Love her fairytale life is only a few pirouettes away.

Love started dancing at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet when she was only seven years old. Marat Daukayev himself runs the renowned studio, and has been her coach her entire career as a dancer. But Love didn’t always know that ballet dancing was her true calling.

Love dances as Clara in the "Nutcracker". Photo courtsy of: DAVE FRIEDMAN.
Love dances as Clara in the “Nutcracker”. Photo courtesy of: DAVE FRIEDMAN.

“I went to New York for the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix world ballet competition when I was ten. I was so inspired by all the amazing and incredible talent from all over the world. That’s what motivated me to push myself into a more competitive aspect of ballet,” Love said.

As if participating such a revered competition wasn’t hard enough already, Love then amped it up. She began to attend classes at least four times a week, and still does. Love is not only a single performer, however.

During many competitions and performances, she dances with partner Eli Gruska. This past Christmas, the two performed the main roles of the nutcracker and his princess, Clara, in the “Nutcracker”. Love has performed in a number of large scale performances, from “Sleeping Beauty” to “Don Quixote”.

“My favorite role was dancing Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty” because I love the ballet and the music so much,” Love said.

Although some people’s hopes of becoming an astronaut may be a little farfetched, Love’s is anything but. She’s practically made it halfway to professional status, as she was granted a scholarship to dance next year at the prestigious Bolshoi Theater  But, before she does, she wants everyone to know one thing first:

“Everyone asks me if my life is like ‘Black Swan’. Don’t ask me that! It’s not!”

 

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