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Senior Spotlight - Maria Tretniyak

Senior Spotlight

The 2019/2020 MYB Season was Maria Tretniyak’s final season. After seven years as part of the MYB family we will miss her bubbly personality and of course her beautiful artistry as a dancer. We asked her to reflect on her years dancing with MYB, and our hearts were touched with what an impact it truly has had on her. We wish her the best of luck in the future!

Senior Spotlight – Maria Tretinyak

My name is Maria Tretinyak and this past year was my final season with the MYB company. Classical ballet has been a major part of my life. I have been dancing for over 12 years. I started dancing with MYB about 7 years ago when my family moved from Minnesota to Appleton. I’ve spent the majority of my dance career training with Ms. Makaroff. This coming fall I will be attending Benedictine College in Kansas and plan to major in marketing.  I will continue to dance as a collegiate athlete with the Benedictine Ravens Dance Team!

When asked what MYB means to me, I don't even know where to start. MYB has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as a person, team member, and fine arts performer. My first performance in the Nutcracker was at age 6.  I looked forward to dancing new roles every year and looked up to the senior members of the company as role models. I of course dreamed of one day putting on a tutu and performing as a featured dancer. I am so grateful to have seen all my hard work come full circle when I was given the opportunity to dance the part of Dewdrop fairy in MYB’s Nutcracker this fall. I would encourage younger members of the company to enjoy every part and opportunity you are given to grow as a dancer! Ms. Makaroff often says, “No part is a small part,” to remind us that every part is essential to the production as a whole and every part has importance. 

I was a proud member of the Makaroff Youth Ballet Company and will be a proud alumni of MYB. My brothers and I have argued for years about whether or not ballet is a true sport. As I grew into more sophisticated parts and finally became a member of the company, I think they grew in their appreciation of the athleticism and commitment required to be a part of this particular company. The endless dedication and work put in by each company member every Saturday and sometimes Sunday and Monday and get the point! It is also most definitely a team sport in that it requires a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, positive attitude and desire to see everyone succeed for the performance to come together. All the hard work aside, the bond formed among the company is something I will always treasure. I will cherish the endless memories that I made growing up in the studio with such an amazing group of girls. I love my MYB family and am so grateful for the many years I spent in the studio with my girls.

Finally, I am grateful to Ms. Makaroff for her personal support of me as a dancer and for her encouragement of me to reach my full potential.  The Makaroff family is certainly known for their dedication to ballet education and a desire to bring the beauty of classical ballet to the community. But I wonder if people realize how much energy is required to coach girls who range in age from 5-18.  Ms. Makaroff’s endless dedication to teaching us the true art of classical ballet is unmatched. I will never be able to fully thank Ms. Makaroff for her contribution to forming each of us dancers. Although I was not able to perform in my final show with MYB as a senior (wasn’t exactly prepared for a global pandemic…). I wish I would have been able to take my final bow to thank Ms. Makaroff for forming me into the best ballet dancer I could be. I wish all of my MYB family Merde for all their future performances and can’t wait to cheer you all on from the audience! 

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