Michaela Paltzik, a seventh grade student at Phoenix Country Day School, recently received the news that she has been cast as Clara in Ballet Arizona’s upcoming production of The Nutcracker.
Q. What was it like receiving this exciting news and what does it mean to you?
A. Incredible! It is a dream come true and all that I have wanted to do. It is a role everyone wants and a big deal for someone my age to achieve. I get to meet and work with teachers from case Ballet Arizona. Getting exposure to a big company helps me grow as a dancer because I have to work with older and more mature dancers.
Q. How long have you been dancing and how much do you practice each week?
A. I started ballet nine years ago and have been studying with the School of Ballet Arizona for six years. I attend ballet classes and rehearsals six days per week, totaling nearly 20 hours per week.
Q. How are you able to juggle ballet and academics?
A. My teachers at PCDS have really helped me to learn time management skills. I have time at school between classes to get a lot of work completed, and I focus on getting my homework done during work periods. I have learned to utilize the resources available at school during the school day when they are available.
Q. Plans for your future?
A. I would love to dance in college. If I didn’t dance, I would study anatomy. I am fascinated by studying human cells and understanding what makes the body work. It all goes hand-in-hand with being a dancer!