One of Neglia Conservatory of Ballet’s pre-professional dancers will be heading to an international competition this weekend. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the ballet student will be part of an 18-day event.
Six days a week, 16-year-old Maggie Weatherdon travels across the border into Buffalo from Grimsby, Ontario to train with Neglia Ballet. The tenth grader will be heading to Jackson, Mississippi this weekend for the USA International Ballet Competition, June 10th through the 24th.
“In round one, you have two variations, which means that you’re doing a set piece, basically from a ballet, and so you chose two variations from a list they give you and you perform those. And then, if you move on from that round, you go to round two, which is the contemporary round, and then round three is two more variations with one more contemporary,” explained Weatherdon.
Weatherdon has been dancing since the age of three. She competed successfully this past January at the Youth America Grand Prix capturing first place at the Senior Women’s Contemporary Ballet.
“What is your favorite thing in ballet?” Buckley asked. “I love it all, to be honest with you – I like to express myself through dance and I like to through ballet – I just love it,” responded Weatherdon.
“Extremely flexible – very good coordination – I would say good coordination and very smart – very smart, so she jumps right on it,” remarked Viktor Plotnikov, Neglia guest choreographer.
Neglia asked Plotnikov to work with Weatherdon on her variations and contemporary pieces for the competition.
Plotnikov offered Weatherdon advice.
“Just to go in – perform her best – not to try to get the medal – I always tell students, you know, go and perform your best – that’s important, because it puts you in a different situation,” Plotnikov said.
“How excited are you to go to that level?” Buckley questioned. “I’m really, really excited – I’ve never done a competition like that,” responded Weatherdon.
Weatherdon tells WBFO News this is the first step toward becoming a professional ballerina. She hopes to dance someday profession in Europe.