SEAster Spotlight: Ava Van Wie


AOSE sophomore Ava Van Wie began ballet when she was ten years old; a late start for most who hope to excel. However, this was not the case for Ava. In just a few years, she was able to outshine other girls who had been working for many years with her breathtaking dedication and talent.

Three years prior to the start of her dance career, Ava had been practicing gymnastics and honing in on her strength and flexibility– skills she would later need for ballet. Although she did many different styles, such as contemporary and jazz, alongside her older sister, Ava decided to stick with ballet after an intensive summer program at New Jersey Ballet. Over the course of the five-week program, Ava fell in love with the style, as well as the performing and acting aspects. “I quickly realized that I enjoyed ballet much more than gymnastics,” she says. “It suited me so much better.” Ava notes that her greatest accomplishments stem from her involvement in American Ballet Theatre (ABT), a classical ballet company based in New York City. In only her first year of attendance, she was able to land the role of Little Harlequin in the ABT’s Met season production of “Harlequinade.” Ava also danced in a new ballet titled “The Seasons” that was choreographed by multi-award winning Alexei Ratmansky, ABT’s resident choreographer. This performance was the most exciting for her because she was able to attend several rehearsals with Ratmansky, and was thrilled to dance alongside company dancers she looks up to.

However, Ava’s achievements are not limited to inside the studio or on a stage. The experience that American Ballet Theatre has given her is something irreplaceable: “It has definitely taught me to be responsible and have discipline, especially this year. I feel that I have grown up a lot since I’ve been going into New York– on my own mostly– every day.”

It would be incorrect to look at Ava and say that she got to where she is with sheer, natural talent. In fact, it was her hard work and long hours, coupled with her talent, that helped her excel. She also gives credit to her many role models, especially her older sister. “I learned a lot from (my older sister) and she inspired me to start dancing,” she says. “​​My dream company has always been ABT, so I really hope to dance there professionally one day,” Ava says. With her history of hard work and determination, there is no doubt that Ava Van Wie will only continue to excel.