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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 student accepted into Colorado Ballet program

On Aug. 1, Maria Danieli, age 15, received a letter of acceptance into the pre-professional program at the Colorado Ballet in Denver. The spot is usually only secured through an audition.ìWhen I got the letter, I was overwhelmed with happiness,î Danieli said. ìI took a six-week Colorado Ballet intensive program over the summer and thatís how they noticed me.îìI started (dancing) when I was 4 at the Dance Center in Colorado Springs,î she said.ìFor the last three years, Iíve been dancing at Revolution Dance Academy in Colorado Springs as a competitive dancer.îDanieli said sheís been staying with a host family in Denver so she can practice Monday through Saturday. As a student at Falcon Virtual Academy, she said she fits her online classes into her schedule between her practice times and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the school year.ìItís hard being with a host family, but if itís what you love to do, youíll sacrifice things to be able to grow through your dancing,î she said. ìItís been relatively easy to fit my classes into my schedule, and my teachers at FVA have been very supportive and encouraging of what Iím doing.îDanieli said she is currently cast as a toy soldier in this holiday seasonís ìThe Nutcrackerî performance, which will run from late November through early January. She had to audition for the role and will have to audition for the upcoming performances as well, but doesnít know yet what those will be, she said.Once she turns age 16, Danieli said she plans to audition for a spot in Colorado Balletís Studio Co., which is a paid position. ìI want to do that for a few years but my main goal is to be a professional dancer in the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle,î she said.Danieli said she will have to audition for a spot with Colorado Ballet for the next school year. ìIím not nervous about having to audition for the pre-professional spot,î she said. ìIíve already grown so much over these past four weeks. I just think of it as having fun and doing what I love to do.î

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