Local ballet dancer accepted to prestigious arts academy
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Delaney Parker was working her way through another shift at Johnny B. Goods Diner when her father, Scott, walked in. He was accompanied by Celina Taylor, the arts director at Steamboat Arts Academy where Delaney danced.
The pair weren’t looking for Delaney to serve up a classic diner milkshake. In fact, they came to serve Delaney some good news: she had been accepted into the fine arts boarding school at Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan.
The 15-year-old was surprised. Interlochen is a prestigious academy that has produced the likes of Josh Groban, Norah Jones and actor Ed Helms. Parker had only been dancing ballet for four years and getting accepted into Interlochen is tough. Nevertheless, her application and virtual audition did the trick.
“I feel like if I wasn’t ready, I probably wouldn’t have gotten in,” she said. “But sometimes, I do feel a little bit behind just because most people my age at this level have been dancing since they were 2 or 3.”
Parker took to dancing as a young girl, letting her body move as it wanted and teaching herself tumbling tricks by watching YouTube videos. So, her mom put her in ballet, and Parker took to it right away.
“I feel like I can just be me when I’m dancing,” she said.
When the Steamboat Arts Academy opened in 2018, Parker joined and started taking ballet more seriously.
“That’s when I realized I actually wanted to pursue this,” Parker said. “I started dancing 25 hours a week there. That’s when I really knew this is what I wanted to do.”
Acceptance to Interlochen served as a boost affirming Parker’s dream of being a professional ballerina. She’s been recognized as talented and driven.
Next, she hopes attending the school can give her the tools she needs to dance professionally and also provide her skills she can use in life, if she decides to not pursue dancing.
For now, dancing is the goal, though. Upon graduating Interlochen, Parker plans to apply to ballet companies where she hopes to eventually be a principal dancer.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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