Shamira Sirr put what would have been her junior year at St. Thomas on hold to pursue her dream of becoming a professional ballerina.
The Saint Paul City Ballet offered Sirr one of two available spots for an apprenticeship position at the beginning of September for a year-long contract. Sirr said ballet apprentices get experience needed for a professional career.
She will be performing in the ballet’s upcoming production “Clara’s Dream.”
The ballet’s artistic director Zoé Henrot said Sirr’s enthusiasm made her stand out.
“She’s very enthusiastic, which is great, because we need a lot of energy. We go through hours of rehearsal. She wanted to be here,” Henrot said.
In order to make her ballerina dream possible, Sirr took a year off from school and plans to return to St. Thomas next fall. Henrot said because the dance career window is between ages 16 and 25, it’s common for ballerinas to “put the rest of their lives on hold to dance.”
“If you’re a dancer until you’re 40, that’s unbelievable. You did a great job, and you kept your body really healthy. So, I need to go to college and have marketing or something I can do when I’m done dancing,” Sirr said.
Stephanie Dodd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.