Nadia Sneed - Ballet Dancer
Nadia Sneed, 12 years old, has been dancing for about 9 years. It all started out as Nadia twirling around the house like a ballerina. Her mother realized that her daughter needed to dance. She signed her up in Foundations class at Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, Nadia was a month from three years old. She was under the direction of Keith Lee for 8 years. She joined his professional company, Keith Lee Dances in the summer of 2015. Nadia has participated in Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive in Georgia in the summer of 2014, Central Virginia Ballet with Mari Mori in summer 2015, and will be auditioning for American Ballet Theater (ABT) Summer Intensive in New York for the 2016 summer. Nadia hopes for her junior year, senior year, and possibly college, at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), and Julliard School of Dance, Drama, and Music.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I wanted to be a professional artist at the age of 8 years old. At this age I knew that I was going to attend Julliard, the dance, drama, and music college located in New York. I assumed that after going to that school, being a professional dancer in a company would be totally easier, and that it was definitely what I wanted to do.
How does your personal story/background influence your work?
My personal story/background influenced my work by dancing around the house and my mom noticing it. At the age of 2, after I learned to walk, I just twirled around the house with what I called "ballet arms". Which is fifth position.
What work are you most proud of?
I am most proud of Skyfall and Fighter. They are both pieces that I created myself. Skyfall was created at the age of 10. Fighter, at the age of 11. I took a choreography class at Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, which allowed me to create my own works and showcase after 4 months of hard work. This allowed me to show off what technique I learned.
What is the hardest part about being a professional artist?
The hardest part about being a professional artist is that I am always working hard during rehearsals. I work hard on solos and group dances by rehearsing like it is a performance. "Working hard always pays off." This is what I tell myself every time I get tired and bored during dance.
What artists inspire you?
Some artists that inspire me are Misty Copeland, Alicia Graf Mac, and Amanda DeShano, just to name a few. Misty Copeland inspires me because she breaks boundaries for colored dancers; she is the first black women to be promoted to principal in the American Ballet Theater (ABT). Lynchburg's own, Amanda DeShano has taught me from the age of 5 years old. DeShano has helped me with the foundation of ballet for me. Alicia Graf Mac inspires me by having many leads in two out of many of my favorite dance companies.
What advice would you give other aspiring artists?
Advice that I would give them is that if you have obstacles blocking your dreams, use those obstacles as motivations to thrive and achieve.