BY TARYN FITSIK
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--It's an opportunity coveted by dancers of all ages, but a ten year old Saratoga girl beats the odds, landing a spot in the New York City Ballet's "Mid-Summer's Night Dream".
Mahogany Akita has been studying ballet for five years at the Saratoga City Ballet School, in Saratoga Springs.
She recently auditioned for a spot in one of the New York City Ballet's performances, and made it!
Mahogany describes dancing as an art form, a way to express herself in a unique way.
"When I come to ballet class, it's just so fun and I love doing it," she says. "I would never quit."
"When I first met Mahogany, I knew she was very special," adds Eve Whelchel, the artistic director of the Saratoga City Ballet School. "She has a lot of natural ability and she is also very driven. You can tell she really loves to dance."
Mahogany's teacher says dancers, even at a young age, have to be focused, driven and willing to put in a lot of hard work, something she says is just as important as having the natural talent.
"It's a very intense training experience," says Whelchel. "It's almost like training for the Olympics. There are a lot of really good dancers out there and you really have to be motivated to succeed."
Mahogany's family says they are supporting her every step of the way with her love for dance, and are proud of the example she is setting for other African American girls her age.
"I am so unbelievably proud, and am just so thankful," says Kim Green, Mahogany's mother. "God has blessed me with a special little girl."
And Mahogany's advice to other dancers her age?
"Just follow your dreams," she says.
There are three other dancers from the Saratoga City Ballet School that landed a spot in Mid-Summer's Night Dream.
Beginning in June, they will train three to four times a week until the performance in July at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.