Off to the Big Apple: Mia Zamora tiptoes her way to Joffrey Ballet School

For almost 10 years, Mia Zamora has been a dedicated student of Ballet Lubbock, but this summer she will stretch her endurance to all-day classes at the Joffrey Ballet School.

The Terra Vista Middle School eighth-grader has lived in West Texas all of her young 13-year-old life, but after a successful audition in Dallas in January, she earned the right to study ballet at the internationally acclaimed ballet school in New York City.

Zamora

Zamora

That will mean daily trips to the school via the subway. Mia will stay with relatives who live in NYC, and her mother will make the trip with her on the subway each day.

“I’ll have to take the subway, but it’s pretty close,” she said of the school. Classes will be eight or nine hours a day, five days a week. Currently at Ballet Lubbock, she takes classes five days a week for two hours each day.

Because she wanted to attend a summer ballet workshop, Mia said she got on the Internet and researched schools in the area where her relatives live.

Mia is currently a level 8 dancer at Ballet Lubbock, and hopes that the intense work she’ll put in over the summer will help her to move up to the apprentice company at the school next fall. She has been dancing on pointe, or the tips of her toes, for about two years, she said.

“I really hope that I can come back here in August and I’ll be a lot better,” she said.

She is also interested in learning to dance with a partner, which will be part of the training at Joffrey. Since there are not a lot of males taking ballet in Lubbock, she has no experience in that.

“I’m nervous” about partnering, she said. “I just don’t want to fall.”

Mia also studies jazz and hip-hop dance one day a week, but most of her focus is on ballet. She will also study jazz and hip-hop in NYC, and hopes to continue learning those disciplines when takes dance at Frenship High School.

Mia said she barely remembers the first ballet lessons she had at age 4.

“I remember my teachers and the classroom,” she said. “I think I wanted to do it as a little girl.”
She said she has always enjoyed dancing, and hopes to continue dancing through high school, although she doesn’t see herself continuing in college or as a professional.

“I was thinking I might want to be a business manager,” Mia said, adding that she is interested in hotels and restaurants.

Her parents, Rebecca and Jorge Zamora, are supportive of her taking dance classes, she said.
“My parents are both behind me,” she said. “They’re not pushy. If I want to stop, I think they’re OK with that.”

Besides dance, Mia is also interested in music. She is a member of the TVMS choir and band, in which she plays clarinet. She also takes private lessons on the fiddle.

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