Mia Kellman dedicates her time to dancing at Joffrey Academy

Joffrey Ballet Company is known internationally for its talented dancers

Mack Guthrie

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Mia Kellman, a senior, and  student at the prestigious Joffrey Academy of Dance, has come a long way since she started dancing at age three.

Kellman’s parents signed her up for her first ballet classes.

She explained that her parents original intention for signing her up was because “I was really clumsy, and I would fall all time.”

Little did they know they would spark a lifelong passion.

When she was ten years old,  Kellman started to take ballet more seriously and began to think of ballet as more of a career than a hobby.

Getting her start with the Joffrey the summer between sixth and seventh grade, Kellman has been dancing there ever since.

The Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, associated with the Joffrey Ballet Company, is considered the most prestigious dance school in the city, and is well-known nationally and internationally.

While most High School seniors are completing essay after essay for college admissions, Kellman is working tirelessly as she prepares to audition for traineeships.

Lasting typically one to two years, traineeships are similar to apprenticeships in that they prepare students for the trade of dance.

They are completed with a dance company and students who  complete the traineeship are typically hired into the main company.

Kellman explained that while she has considered dancing in college or attending conservatory, her plans for the future are “still in the works.”

Kellman leaves school after 8th period, giving her ample time to get to the city on time for ballet class which starts at five o’clock.

She makes the trip downtown which includes a 35 minute train ride and a 15 minute walk, everyday, except Sundays, when the dancers have the day off.

Practice runs until 8:30 pm Kellman typically arrives home at 9:15 pm, when she eats dinner and completes her homework.

Despite the busy lifestyle, which includes over twenty hours of ballet a week, Kellman is happy pursuing her passion, and explained that the relationships which she has formed with her fellow dancers make her excited to go to practice everyday.

“We’ve been dancing together since we were 9 or 10,” said Kellman. “We are a close group of friends.” She explained that though some have left Joffrey, they remain very close and still get together.

Sophomore Sophie Elliott, who dances with Kellman at Joffrey agreed that it is a close group. Training with Kellman she said “has been inspiring.”

She explained that Kellman’s dedication, both in and out class is admirable. “She’s always working and doing homework on the train.”

Elliott has respect for Kellman’s ability to balance her homework load and still manages to be “one of the best dancers in our level.”

Calling herself on the cliche, Kellman explained, “I really love ‘The Nutcracker,’” calling it her favorite performance. She enjoys the cheeriness of the music and said “it reminds me of Christmas.”

Nostalgically, she talked about her fond memories of seeing the ballet every year when she was little, and that the opportunity to perform in it was amazing.

Kellman’s favorite thing about ballet is performing.

She explained that while the daily classes could become boring at times with the endless drills and exercises, the nervous thrill of a performance never fails to excite her.

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