My name is Sarah Drake.
One year ago, I made the huge decision to move away from my family in Los Angeles to attend the prestigious San Francisco Ballet School for their year round program. I was given a full scholarship and a spot in their house for serious, advanced ballet students; however, were it not for the amazing generosity of my dear family and friends, it would have remained only a dream.
Thanks to my dear supporters, my dream became a reality for a whole year. This is my story.
Ballet has been the primary focus of my life for the past 11 years, ever since I took my first ballet class the summer I was six years old. I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to always study with the best teachers. For the past five summers I have been studying intensively with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet. I have received invitations to study on full talent scholarship with the top ballet schools in America: School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Boston Ballet School.
I am incredibly grateful to my dedicated parents, Byron and Nancy Drake; and to all my ballet teachers who have brought me this far, including: Patrick Armand, Seth Belliston, Luis Dominguez, Laurie Fields, Nader Hamed, Martine Harley, Melissa Barak, Tina LeBlanc, Yvonne Mounsey, Mario Nugara, Tiler Peck, Sofiane Sylve, and John Todd.
Here I am behind Tiler Peck, principal dancer at New York City Ballet, in class at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica (my ballet school at home).
Living in San Francisco at the age of 17, I am responsible for my own transportation, groceries, laundry, cooking, and studies. A homeschooled high school graduate at 16, I am pursuing my undergraduate degree via online classes. I also take 3-4 advanced ballet classes each day, in addition to company rehearsals. It is a challenging and rewarding life.
During the 2[phone redacted] school year, I met the challenge of a serious stress fracture in each foot. This is a very big deal for a ballerina, as you can well appreciate. After healing, I am stronger than ever, and was privileged to perform with the San Francisco Ballet company in their May 2015 production of Romeo & Juliet!
In the upcoming year, my challenge will be to audition for a position as a professional ballet dancer. This is my career and I am very serious about it. I will be getting ready for the auditions from now until probably January, when the auditions begin. I am ready to work hard!
Although I am receiving a significant talent scholarship, I will have expenses with which I need financial assistance. My family is already doing everything they can for me. Can you help with a small - or large - contribution? You will be a part of my story, my journey in becoming the ballerina I'm destined to be.
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