WSVN — From pliets to pirouettes, these teens are learning the art of classical ballet. This class may look a little different … because it’s all boys.

Michael Holden: “Well, I started dancing when I was three.”

Michael Holden has been in love with ballet since he can remember, but growing up in a small town didn’t make it easy to express himself through dance.

Michael Holden: “Even though there was backlash and teasing and all that stuff, it didn’t take away; it didn’t matter, because the dancing was above that.”

Carlos Valdez started doing ballet when he was six, and says some people just couldn’t accept it.

Carlos Valdez: “There’s always the people who will say, ‘Oh, look at that kid, stay away from him, he does ballet.'”

Now both under the instruction of Olivier Pardina at the Miami City Ballet, they are learning to pursue their true passion.

Olivier Pardina, Principal Teacher, Miami City Ballet: “Being a ballet dancer is certainly one of the most beautiful professions in the world.”

Pardina grew up playing soccer, then switched to ballet. He says it’s like any other professional sport when it comes to drive and dedication.

Olivier Pardina: “The discipline you learn, the respect, the way you address people.”

Thirteen-year-old Henry grew up playing sports.

Henry Galban: “Basketball, a little bit of football or soccer.”

When he was introduced to ballet, he was skeptical at first, but then he saw a performance of The Nutcracker.

Henry Galban: “I saw the music, the costumes, the beauty of ballet.”

He was hooked, and he’s not alone. That’s why the Miami City Ballet offers scholarship programs for boys seven and up.

Darlene Callaghan, School Director, Miami City Ballet: “Once they experience it, usually they just love it and want to stay in the program.”

Henry knows he has years of hard work ahead of him, but he’s determined to follow his dream to become a professional dancer.

Henry Galban: “If you believe you do it good or have the passion for it, you should really pursue your dream.”


The Miami City Ballet is now registering for fall classes

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