Steamboat Springs Sarah Steinberg hung around with Steamboat Springs arts patron Eleanor Bliss when she was a baby. Separated by decades in age, Bliss, for whom the Art Depot is named, and Steinberg watched ballet classes together.
"From the time I could sit up, (my mother) would plop me down next to Eleanor Bliss and we'd sit and watch ballet class," Steinberg said. "From about the time I was one-and-a-half, I said 'I want to do that.'"
Steinberg, 17, started learning ballet when she was 3, studying with Karen Comeau, Perry-Mansfield, Julie Sneden-Carlson and the Steamboat Ballet with Stephanie Hunter. This summer, the young dancer is going off to the Joffrey Ballet summer school program in New York City. She hopes her experience there will build her dancing resume enough to get her into a program run by the Joffrey and the New School of Social Science.
Although the Joffrey is a Chicago-based ballet company, the school and Joffrey II, which showcases new works, are in New York City. For Steinberg, the opportunity to attend is a true gift.
"It blew my mind," the Lowell-Whiteman student said about being accepted.
To apply, she had to send in an application and a videotape of her dancing a solo, as well as some compulsory moves. She will spend eight weeks living in student housing in Brooklyn Heights and commuting to the school in Greenwich Village, where she will dance, dance, dance.
Steinberg is a classically-trained dancer who has dabbled in jazz but never had an affinity for modern dance. She likes her tutus and tiaras.
"I can't sit still. I have to move. It's just something inside," she said. "I love the way it all comes together with dance and music."
Dancing was also a natural outlet for her, Steinberg said, because she was shy as a child: "I liked the concept that you could express yourself without words."
Steinberg has devoted her life to dance, pushing other activities to the side, and has arrived at a crossroads that many young dancers reach when college looms. But she knows which path she'll follow.
"I want to be a professional dancer," she said.
Steinberg said the Joffrey school will make her a much more versatile dancer.
"It's a really great experience when you get in a room and see how they play off you in a piece," she said. "It's really different to get to work with new teachers and their different styles."
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