COPPELL (CBSDFW.COM) – Aldrin Vendt and Sheridan Guerin are taking their final turns as students at the Ballet Academy of Texas.
Both have accepted professional contracts to dance with the Oklahoma City Ballet.
“I was really happy,” says Guerin, 17, “overwhelmed!”
With Vendt adding, “all the tiny little steps were worth it. Every small step was an achievement, and the reward was just dancing.”
Vendt started dancing, on a dare. He was bored at big sister’s recital, so…
“My Mom was like, ‘I’ll bet you couldn’t make it through one dance class, so stop complaining!’ And I said, ‘I bet I can!’ and she was like, ‘fine! let’s go!’ and I ended up absolutely loving it.”
But, turning that love into a career, is rare.
“Upper echelon, 1 percent maybe get to this point,” says Lisa Slagle, Director of Ballet Academy of Texas.
“My friends will say, `you’re just dancing around’,” says Guerin, “it’s not easy at all. You have to make it look effortless.”
In truth, perfecting the en pointe grace is grueling. Guerin dances six days a week. Both students were home schooled to allow more time for classes. But, the dedication that laid the foundation for their success, was not theirs alone.
“My Mom was driving four hours a day,” says Guerin, “she’d take me to my home school teacher in Arlington, then to work in Fort Worth, then back to Arlington to pick me up and then to Coppell for class and then an hour and fifteen minute ride home. I’m just so blessed to have amazing family and friends who are so loving and supportive of what I want to do.”
Guerin’s ultimate goal is to dance in New York with the American Ballet Theater. As for Vendt, he says “there’s never an arrived place for me. As soon as I reach a goal, I’ll set a new one.”
Both dancers have similar advice for young dangers looking to follow in their well worn, and talented shoes: “just love what you do, as long as you love what you do, any sacrifice is worth it,” says Vendt.