She spends her mornings and evenings studying, but in the afternoons, Victoria Cataldo ’18 pursues her dream of becoming a professional ballerina.
As a member of the Northeast School of Ballet Conservatory (NSB) for three years, she has danced internationally, and her performances include The Nutcracker Suite, Giselle (in the title role), Freaky Fairytales, Carnival of the Animals, Paquita, and Sleeping Beauty, to name just a few.
There are 15 other dancers about her age in the program at NSB, and what makes Victoria stand out from the rest is, “I’m the only one who goes to a real school. All the others are in ‘online’ schools,” she said.
“My parents struggled with whether to have me enroll in an online school,” Victoria said. “They really didn’t want that.”
Victoria leaves school at 11:30 am every day to train with NSB. In the evenings and in her spare time on weekends, she studies, does homework and emails her teachers to arrange to make up quizzes and tests. Her current course-load includes two Advanced Placement classes and she is an Honor Roll student with the rank of Distinction.
“The teachers are really great and everyone supports me,” Victoria said. “I’m able to keep up with my schoolwork.”
She and her family appreciate the flexibility in her schedule, which has provided her the opportunity to travel and learn valuable lessons outside the classroom.
Many of the professional dancers she has met and performed with have offered great advice about handling the pressures that come with a ballet career.
“People are always saying ballerinas should be perfect, but you are never going to be perfect,” Victoria said. “I’ve learned how to strive for perfection, but not to lose myself in it.”
She has danced on stages all over France, in Boston, Seattle, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania. Victoria and her mother, Mrs. Kristin Cataldo P’17, P’18, spent this past Christmas in a castle in the town of Arry, France. NSB were the guests of the town’s mayor, who arranged for the conservatory to perform The Nutcracker, and hosted several receptions so the town’s residents could meet the dancers. The performances were his gift to his constituents.
Up next - the NSB is partnering with the Portland (Maine) Ballet in April for a production of Swan Lake. May will see Victoria perform in another production of Carnival of the Animals.
Victoria is in the NSB’s pre-professional program. After graduating from Austin Prep, she plans to attend college and hopes to dance as an apprentice with a company, and eventually dance professionally.
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