Do you dream of being a professional dancer one day? Gemma Freitas, a senior at the famous Julliard School, has spent years training to become a professional dancer. Recently, her hard work paid off when she was awarded a Princess Grace Foundation scholarship. The foundation gives money and opportunities to rising young talent in theater, dance and film, and Gemma is certainly a rising star!
Gemma has been dancing since she was two, and she started focusing on ballet dancing when she was fourteen. Even though she had been dancing since she was very small, she says it did not come easy to her at first. “When I was younger,” she says, “I was not the most physically blessed with technique. I was kind of pigeon toed, and a bit chubby. But I had so much personality, and I loved putting on shows—being in front of people and telling stories.”
Gemma trains up to twelve hours a day for weeks at a time. All that dancing takes a lot of energy, and Gemma is careful about what she eats. Her favorite snacks include nuts, hummus and fruit. She always eats a big breakfast before class, so she’ll have enough fuel to get her though the day. She also takes care of her body by doing exercises outside of the dance studio and making sure she gets enough sleep.
Gemma may be going to Julliard for dance, but she learns a lot more than just dancing. She and the other dance students take classes in all areas of the craft, including music theory, acting, anatomy and composition. They also learn how to write a resume and how to act as your own agent to stand out and get jobs.
If you want to pursue a career in creative arts, be ready to work hard and love it! Like Gemma says, “I am so lucky to be working so hard at something that I love so much. The career is hard and rigorous but if one has the passion for it, it is a remarkable journey.”