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Berkeley Springs teen dancing her way to Fla.

May 17, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ballet is her world, Taylor Haines will admit, but she is a pretty normal 15-year-old with homework, chores and a little piano practice thrown in.

Taylor is studying ballet with the Arts Triumphant Dance Theatre and Artistic Director Yvonne Salcedo Williams.

"Everything is going well," Taylor said before beginning a recent practice session with Williams, with whom she has been studying for more than two years.

Her goal after high school is to attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh to continue her dance studies, she said.

Taylor auditioned in January in Washington, D.C., for a summer program at the Orlando (Fla.) Ballet, which is one of the top schools in America, Williams said.

Not only did she win a spot to attend, she was also offered a scholarship for Orlando Ballet's two-week summer program.

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More than 2,000 ballet students ages 13 to 18 auditioned nationwide, Williams said.

About 27 students auditioned along with Taylor, and she said they were terrific dancers. There was "no way" she felt she was going to be chosen, she said.

She said she was notified about a week later that she won a spot in the summer program and then in another week, she was notified about the scholarship.

"It was exciting," Taylor said.

"I am thrilled," Williams said.

"She loves it and that's why we want to keep supporting her," said her father, Kenny Haines. "It's a good thing to know what you want."

"She's got the hunger for it," Williams said.

Taylor began taking piano lessons this year, which will help with her dancing.

She said if she's encouraged to try something that will improve her dancing skills, she wants to do it.

Last summer, instead of going to the Academy of Ballet Florida, she went to the Toledo (Ohio) Ballet and spent a week with guest ballet teacher Soili Arvola from the Finnish National Ballet.

She said she learned a lot.

"I refined my technique and brought out more artistry. And I had fun," Taylor said.

She and other Arts Triumphant dancers will present "Dancing Waters," a performance of modern, jazz, musical and classical dance, on Saturday in the Berkeley Springs High School auditorium, Williams said.

The performance will include a solo debut by Haines of the "Wedding Solo" from "Sleeping Beauty," with music by Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky, she said.

Taylor said it has been a huge challenge to learn the "Wedding Solo," but that the challenge is what encourages her.

"Taylor is ready to perform it. It is the original choreography," Williams said.

She will wear a tutu on loan from Ballet Florida for the performance, Williams said. The tutu was worn by the company's ballerinas when it was performed by the Florida company, she said.

"We are extremely proud of her. She has all honors classes and she kept her grades up," her dad said.

"It's a joy to teach her," Williams said.

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