On pointe: The life of a Victoria Ballet Theatre dancer

Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:20 a.m.

As if the life of a teenager isn't difficult enough, 17-year-old Aimee Fries is breaking a leg every day, metaphorically, of course. In ballet training since second grade, this St. Joseph High School senior and dancer in the Victoria Ballet Theatre says the balancing act of friends, family, school and dance is all worth it.

Keeping company

From when I was little, I've always thought about being a dancer professionally and hoped I would be able to do that. I know I want to dance in college and then probably dance with a company, but I'm not sure about teaching.

Ballet lessons

We learn time management from a young age. Dance really helps you learn how to be focused; you have to be on task. It's helped me even in school - knowing that I have to get this work done and having a purpose to do it. Just to be passionate in everything I do and have a reason for doing it.

Tight schedule

I get my homework done before I go to dance, or most of it. After dancing, I come home and go to bed. During the week I can't do anything, but on the weekends I'll hang out with friends. There are two other dancers my age who go to St. Joe, so I'm friends with them, but other than that I've got a wide variety of friends.

If the shoe fits

I would like to dance at college. I'm looking at colleges now and auditioning and putting in applications and stuff, just to see how far it can take me. There are a lot of colleges that have dance. I don't think I knew there were so many and now I have to decide where I want to go and the different programs out there.

Opening act

We do the "Nutcracker," so I've had different parts in that every year. I also do Spring Gala where we have a big ballet and a bunch of original works. We go to a festival every year called Regional Dance America. We take classes every day and we get to perform on certain nights.

Dance, dance

For "Nutcracker" we start and have auditions in August. Then every weekend up until the first weekend in December, we rehearse. Lots of weeks of preparation. This is the first time I've ever choreographed. So right now, in the mornings, there's a seminar and we'll talk about the different elements of the choreography and what we're going to work on, and then, in the afternoons, we each have an hour to rehearse.



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