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Senior Spotlight - Kodi Bagwell

My name is Kodi Bagwell and this coming 2021/2022 season is my final season with Makaroff Youth Ballet. I have been dancing for over 13 years and have spent 8 of those years at Makaroff School of Ballet. Ballet has made me the person I am today, and will continue to shape me as I move into the next stage of my life.

Since childhood, dancing on a stage has been my “happy place” -- where I feel complete freedom emotionally and physically. Ballet consumes me, and I’m a different person when I dance – creative, expressive and bold. I become the best version of myself. The control and self-discipline ballet dancers require is unlike anything I have experienced as a young girl, which is what gravitated me to focus on dance rather than other activities. The attention to detail is so tedious. I will never be perfect, but when I dance, the perfect outcome is to know I gave everything I had on stage and to recognize where I was weakest and need to do better in the future. While the long rehearsals can be draining for the mind and body, I know it is all worth it when I am able to confidently perform and take the audience to new places, experience deep emotions, and share a new perspective. The feeling of the stage is indescribable and I am so grateful to have had so many performing opportunities with MYB.

To say I am thankful to be a part of Makaroff Youth Ballet would be an understatement. The training at MYB is what has prepared me and the company members to perform such intricate ballet pieces, which are experiences I greatly cherish. From yearly spring shows to The Nutcracker, I’ve been fortunate enough to perform so many roles that have challenged me as a dancer and all of which have allowed me to grow. The pandemic has only strengthened my appreciation for the opportunity to perform and I am thankful to be able to perform once again in this year’s Nutcracker performance at the PAC as the Arabian soloist. The community of company members is something special and unique to MYB, as we are a small group--yet strong in our commitment and strong in our love for our craft. To be surrounded by such a bright, committed group of dancers is such a blessing, as they constantly push me to be an even better dancer every time I step into the studio and on stage. I treasure the time we’ve had as a company to bond both in and out of the studio and will miss these relationships as I leave for college.

I feel so lucky to have an instructor as dedicated to the art form as Ms. Makaroff. I have learned so much from her in my years at the school, and have received valuable lessons that I can apply to dance as well as other aspects of my life. Her commitment to teaching us classical ballet and everything the art entails is commendable. She is a person I am proud to be able to call my instructor and I adore the time I have had with Ms. Makaroff as her student. While it is saddening that this is my final season with Makaroff Youth Ballet, I am excited to use the skills Ms. Makaroff and the company have taught me as I progress with my education.

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