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Paly ballerina to pursue dance career

Published February 28, 2013

Junior Jennifer Wang recently returned to Paly after a week spent at the Bolshoi Academy in Russia. Wang, a ballerina, aspires to be a professional dancer.

Junior Jennifer Wang recently returned to Paly after a week spent at the Bolshoi Academy in Russia. Wang, a ballerina, aspires to be a professional dancer. Photo by Paige Esterly.

Your average five-year-old girl wants to be one of four things: a princess, a movie star, a fairy or a ballerina. Palo Alto High School junior Jennifer Wang may not live in a castle or cast spells with the flick of a magic wand, but she nevertheless leads a five-year-old’s dream lifestyle: Wang is a ballerina.

Wang has been dancing for about 10 years and it envelopes so much of her life that she has time for little else.

“I honestly cannot imagine my life without ballet because over the last 10 years it has practically taken over my life,” Wang said. “During weekdays I go to ballet every day after school, and on Saturdays I have class, and then I usually have rehearsals on Sunday… It’s tough balancing school and ballet, but I can usually manage my schoolwork if I work efficiently.”

Earlier this month, Wang spent a week in Russia taking ballet classes at the Bolshoi Academy.

“I had two classes a day, which were technique and then variation [and] pointe,” Wang said.

Wang, like other passionate performers, has learned important lessons from her dancing.

“I think ballet has definitely changed me,” she said. “It has taught me discipline, and it has made me stronger both mentally and physically.”

Wang is confident in her future in ballet, and says she fully intends to pursue dance after high school.

“I aspire to become a professional dancer,” Wang said. “Most likely I’ll audition for companies senior year, and if I am accepted and my parents let me then I’ll take the job and defer from college for a year.”

So, although Wang may not be able to rule a kingdom or flit about the room on butterfly wings (although both princes and fairies are common characters in the ballets Wang performs in) she nevertheless lives a life enviable not only by five-year-old girls, but many an adult, as well.


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