Leighton B. has been dancing since age five. For the last four years, she's been a dancer with Ballet Chicago and performed in their productions of the Nutcracker, held at the Athenaeum Theater. Over the last year, like many of us, she's had to adapt to a virtual world for her classes - transforming her living room into a personal dance space! Her dance routine includes 2.5 hour lessons, 5 days a week. Always dedicated and disciplined, she approaches each lesson or warm-up with enthusiasm and excitement. "You'll never hear her complain", says her mom.
For the second year in a row, Leighton has been accepted to the summer intensive at the prestigious School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. A world-renowned school, SAB is also considered the preeminent ballet school in the U.S. Founded by George Balanchine in 1934, SAB has trained more dancers for professional careers in ballet than any other school in the country. Over 90 percent of the New York City Ballet's current dancers are SAB alumni.
Due to COVID-related restrictions this year, SAB accepted fewer students in the hopes of being able to offer their program in-person in New York. Leighton's dedication, ambition and incredible talent earned her a coveted spot. Fingers crossed, she's hoping to be able to attend the workshop in-person this summer!
When thinking about the future, Leighton would love to pursue a professional dance career, but has also expressed that she would love to just continue dancing as she attends college. We applaud her efforts and achievements, and wish her a productive and memorable summer with SAB, whether in-person or virtual. Regardless of what the future holds for her, there's no denying she will continue to achieve great things!