15-year-old Arizona girl wows the ballet world

She is 15-years-old, and a dancer is living among us here in the valley. She's one that will likely go on to make history in the world of ballet. 

Her name is Gisele Bethea, and while she's graceful and technically advanced in her dancing, she has a special quality that is very apparent when you see her perform.

The young dancer is already scooping up awards and getting contract offers from all kinds of ballet companies, including one of the most prestigious in New York City.

She's taking the stage at a sold-out show at the Orpheum this weekend, those lucky enough to see her perform will know they are watching a super-star.

If you watch her move across the stage in a warm up with her partner, it's obvious that she has something special. She moves like silk across the floor, never giving an inkling of how difficult it is. At the very young age of 15, it is not only incredible, and it's incredibly difficult.

"I was about 11-years-old," said Gisele. That is when a former teacher told Gisele she was a special dancer. "She was always saying 'you have so much talent, you have so much potential, it's up to you, you know. You can make this happen for yourself.'"

"So I decided, I'm gonna put all my hard devotion and work into this and become the best I can," she said.

A short time later, the world renowned dancer-turned-teacher Slawomir Wozniak became Gisele's and recognized her talent.

"Gisele is absolutely the best dancer of her age in the whole world," said Slawomir Wozniak.

You heard him, here in Arizona, a Mesa girl? "She's the perfect student, perfect dancer," he said.

The perfection is being recognized by judges at the international ballet competitions and ballet companies worldwide.

So talented, grace in motion, but also modest, sweet, and gentle with an incredible work ethic.

Gisele spends two to three hours on academics each day and then six to eight hours dancing. When the prestigious, world-renowned American Ballet Company came calling, offering her a contract last year at the age of 14, she did the unthinkable. She told them not yet, wanting to spend more time at home with her family and training with Wozniak. The company told her they would wait.

"She already got a contract open for American Ballet Theater. That is pretty rare, and it never happens, especially at that age. I mean, we are talking about a 15-year-old girl who can just go to New York City and perform," said Wozniak.

Gisele Bethea may not be here in Arizona for long, but audiences here will be appreciating her talent and watching greatness in motion before she is whisked off in the professional world of ballet. She is one who is destined to make ballet history.
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