My name is Sarah Lapointe and I am from Bel Air, MD. I started ballet when I was 2 years of age and now I am 18 years old. I knew I wanted to be a professional ballerina around the age of 13.
For the past two summers I have attended the Chautauqua School of Dance located in Chautauqua, NY under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree Patricia McBride. My first summer in Chautauqua, I was a festival dancer, meaning I was one of 18 girls and 10 boys selected for this program which is designed for the older, more advanced student. We danced about 6 hours a day, which included classes and rehearsals. I enjoyed my summer as a festival dancer. The days were long and vigorous, but extremely invigorating and I improved tremendously during that summer. My second summer in Chautauqua, I was part of the company apprentice program, which takes professional company class with Charlotte Ballet. During the summer, the artistic directors showed much interest in me and allowed me to perform alongside the company in multiple performances. After the summer program the directors and faculty said they hoped to see me in the future at company auditions.
During the spring 2015 audition season, I auditioned for many ballet companies. Over the process of deciding, I kept coming back to Charlotte Ballet. I was invited by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux to come and take a company class. I spent the day in Charlotte, North Carolina with the Charlotte Ballet taking classes and watching rehearsals. At the end of the day I was offered a position with the second company and I was very grateful and excited.
I made the decision to accept the CBII offer and l knew that I would be attending Charlotte Ballet in September of 2015. However, a couple months later after a busy senior year, I received a phone call from Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. He said one thing, “I have some news Sarah.” At this point I had no idea what to think. To be honest, I was quite scared and my stomach sunk. He asked me one question and then continued with saying , “Congratulations Sarah, you are now a member of Charlotte Ballet’s first company! How do you feel?”
I was speechless, but so very thankful. I know I must have thanked him multiple times over the phone. As soon as he hung up with me I called my parents to inform them of the best news I just received in my pre-professional dance student life.
From that point on, I had the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I had finally reached my dream/goal of becoming a professional ballerina. I started preparing for my move to Charlotte, NC out of sheer excitement for this new journey. I am looking forward to an exciting 2015-2016 season with over 60 performances scheduled in Charlotte, NC, Charleston, SC and Chautauqua, NY.
Photo by Eduardo Patino, Courtesy of Gaynor Mindon