DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Erie ballet student heads to the Big Apple

Digital Exclusive

Ballet. A beautiful and demanding art form. For one local dancer, her studies are taking her to New York City.

“My student, Sierra Griffith, got accepted to the School of American Ballet in Lincoln Center in New York City,” said Michael Patterson, artistic director of the Patterson School of Ballet.

A dancer from the Erie area has not been accepted to the School of American Ballet for decades.

“It’s really big news because it hasn’t happened since the eighties when local dancer, Sandra Brown, was accepted to the school’s year-round program. So it’s really exciting for her,” said Patterson.

At just 15, Sierra is excited to make the move to the Big Apple and enhance her skills.

“I get to work with some really great teachers and meet new people and live in the city,” said Sierra.

Sierra says that ballet is her favorite type of dance.

“When I was little, I always did ballet. From the time I was three or four, I always did ballet. I did hip-hop and acro as well, but I just wasn’t as- I like the precision of ballet more and always was just something that stuck with me,” she said.

She was accepted over thousands for the School of American Ballet’s academic program.

“So the School of American Ballet auditions over 2,000 students from across the country for their summer program, and out of that, they only take 200 students for their summer program. And out of that, they take even less students for their year-round program. And because of COVID this year, they’re taking even less students than they typically do. So they’re only taking half the number of students they normally would for the year-round program. And so for Sierra to be selected at age fifteen is a huge deal,” said Patterson.

Maybe one day we’ll see her on the biggest stages of the world as a professional dancer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar