Carlin Kramer, 13, performs onstage during the Pacific Northwest Ballet's dress rehersal for Swan Lake.
West Seattle dancer performing in Swan Lake
Posing for a picture backstage, Carlin Kramer gracefully lifted her arms, stretched her leg and lengthened her neck as she had done so many times before. Posing on command with such strength and precision she appeared mature well beyond her 13 years.
Later, when the young dancer followed me into a conference room I expected her to be nervous and giggly. Instead, she was remarkably well composed.
Most of all, she was confident in one thing: her deep love for dance.
Kramer has been studying at the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) for seven years now. The Admiral resident currently takes classes six days a week for up to three and a half hours a day.
"It's really fun," said Kramer politely. "The performances, taking classes and learning new steps."
Because there are so few children's roles in Swan Lake, PNB dancers must be invited by faculty in order to perform. This is Kramer's second offer to be in the production, which she says is her favorite ballet.
"I love the music," Kramer said with a sigh. "And the sets and costumes are really gorgeous."
The young dancer has also performed in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Circus Polka" and "The Nutcracker" five different times.
While Kramer admits that she sometimes feels challenged meeting the "criteria for being a dancer," she doesn't get discouraged and hopes to one day dance the lead in Swan Lake.
With a smile she couldn't seem to contain, Kramer said "I just love it, I have a passion for it."
The PNB's performance of Swan Lake runs from April 9 through April 19.