A 13-year-old Manhattan native and Brazilian national is taking the ballet scene by storm. Lara Galinari began her passion with dance at the Montessori School in Astoria, Queens. In her first performance in a Mother’s Day musical, Lara used her creativity and natural charisma to elicit much applause and excitement from the audience. Since then, Lara’s parents and peers knew she had a true natural talent for dance.

Lara’s parents support her dancing and always encourage her to do her best and focus on honing her own excellence and talent as an individual dancer. Monica Galinari, Lara’s mother, originally from Rio de Janeiro, understands that ballet is a competitive and tough career, yet she believes in Lara’s dreams to become a professional dancer.

As soon as she turned 6, Lara went to audition at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. An extremely competitive school, Lara and over 300 prospective dance students auditioned for 30 openings in the program. Although there were many gifted children, Lara’s parents never doubted her, and to their happy surprise, they received an acceptance letter for her one-month later.

The training routine is intense. She studies from 8:00 AM until 2:30 PM and goes straight to the ballet; every day, from Monday to Saturday. During show times, after the classes, the rehearsals take place, which also includes the weekends.

Today, Lara is 13 years old, and in addition to studying ballet, she is an exemplary student. She is part of the High Honor Roll class and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Lara has participated in several New York City Ballet productions, such as: The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker Coppelia, Harlequinade, and the premiere La Syphide. All productions are presented at Lincoln Center, at the David Koch Theater of the New York City Ballet and the Workshops at the Juliard Theater. The career for a ballet dancer is short, but this isn’t stopping Lara from seeking success and fame.

Lara has a dream. She desires to finish her ballet course and to become the principal of a renowned ballet company. And with this experience, she dreams of being able to get involved in a social ballet project for underprivileged children in Brazil. Though ballet dancing can prove difficult and trying at times, Lara is not discouraged from pur-suing her professional calling. As she puts it, “never stop in the middle of something, because you may never know how it will turn out or where the path may take you.” Photos by Valeria’s Photo & Studio (www.valeriasphotostudio.com)

CLAUDIA KNUTSSON
Freelance writer
https://ebarteldes.wordpress.com