Kelsey was 16 years old and a senior in High School when she was awarded the Noble Barker Scholarship.
Here are 10 things you may not know about Kelsey:
- I have been dancing for 11 years. I started at the age of 5.
- I dance at my high school 5 days a week and at New Haven Ballet 4 days a week.
- My first performance in The Nutcracker was the most memorable time in my dance experience. Being a part of such a great production at such a young age had me captivated with ballet. The older dancers who would have the leads inspired me and I would say to myself, “I want that to be me when I get older.” Now that I am a senior, just like the girls I was inspired by, the experience is that much more surreal
- Before a performance I like to pray.
- What people do not know about ballet is the amount of commitment and dedication it takes in class, to practice and perform. Being a ballet dancer is more than just a twirl; it has structure, technique, and discipline.
- My favorite step to perform is grande allegro, especially, sissone faille assemble.
- With ballet there is a lot of pressure to do your best and not meeting your personal expectations can be frustrating. I would advise younger students to work hard in class and to never give up. Dedication and commitment will help you to improve yourself not only physically but also mentally.
- I enjoy the beauty of ballet. Ballet conveys so much through movement, your posture and facial expression. Ballet allows you to perform and communicate to the audience.
- The fact that there are not numerous African-American ballet dancers inspires me to continue to practice classical ballet. I want to be a figure or role model for younger girls who think that they cannot practice ballet because of stereotypes.
- After high school I plan to go to college to receive a nurse practitioner degree and a minor degree in dance. In 10 years I see myself in the medical field while dancing and teaching younger children.
photo: Thomas Giroir (c) 2019