Beyond the Barre

Not only des CPYB provide an unreal syllabus for ballet training but it creates lasting friendships within the studios. In this edition of "Beyond the Barre," I spoke with Courtney Kara '12. Join in as I go "beyond the barre" with Courtney! 

Where are you originally from?
The small town of New Hartford, NY.

Favorite book or TV show?
Two of my favorite books are The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye. I love to watch Food Network; however, I also love some serious nature documentaries such as Blue Planet II.

Favorite Food?
Steak. Always has been, always will be… unless we’re talking ice cream of course!

What is something incredible you have done or experienced in your life so far?
Besides ballet, I was able to study abroad in Australia while I attended Dickinson College. I was part of the Global Scholars Program as a Biology major. We studied the effects of ocean acidification. I had an out of body experience swimming in the ocean next to any and all sea life you can imagine.

Why did you start dancing?
My mother had put me in all sorts of activities as a child. I actually asked her to take dance classes. Maybe I didn’t understand it then, but there’s something that makes me want to move inside when I hear music. It’s an unexplainable feeling – like the feeling you get watching Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in an old movie.

How long were you at CPYB?
2008-2012

What was your path after CPYB?
After graduating from Dickinson with a B.A. in Biology, I moved to Long Island where I was able to dance for a few more years before becoming more involved in the corporate world.

What do you do now? And how did you get there?
I am the Executive Assistant to the SVP of Strategy & Research, the SVP of TV Sales & Co-Productions, Factual, and the SVP of TV Sales & Co-Productions, Scripted, BBC Studios North America. I also assist my friend with her lifestyle blog, The Hare & Style.

I took chances and purposely stepped outside of my comfort zone in order to be where I am today. I worked in restaurants, managed restaurants, was the only person leading the sales force at a luxury club and through all of it never gave up on the idea that you can have more than one passion in life.

What has CPYB taught you?
Respect, drive, comradery. I pushed boundaries I never thought I would be able to break. I learned to never take “no” for an answer, to continue to strive and grow as a dancer and as a person. Looking back on that first day, I have realized that what I thought was impossible, what I thought could be the end of something I loved, was only the beginning of something great.

What is your favorite CPYB memory?
It wouldn’t be fair to pick just one. There are so many memories I hold close to my heart. There is an irreplaceable bond between those who lived and breathed CPYB that is rare to find elsewhere.

What is your favorite CPYB outfit? 
Since black leos are always my go-to choice, it’s safe to say Big Bow Day was my favorite.

Is there a message you would like to give any young dancers out there?
If you truly love the art form you will find it in yourself to never give up. You will be able to handle rejection because at the end of the day you dance for yourself. You dance because it makes you feel alive. Don’t let others narrow your mindset because life has a lot to offer. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went and happened to things.”


About the Author
Nadia Vostrikov is a former professional dancer with Boston Ballet II and the Alberta Ballet, has film credits in Flesh and Bone, The Knick, Elementary, Z: The Beginning of Everything and was a part of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Nadia now works in digital marketing at Path Interactive. 

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