Local girl pursues her ballet dream

COLORADO SPRINGS – 6 days a week, Simone Gibson gives up her free time away from school and friends to rehearse intensely for ballet. For her, sport is a way of life that she hopes to pursue as a career.

“Simone is one of those students that as soon as you walk into the room, you feel her focus,” said Colorado Ballet Society Artistic Director Kate Walsh.

Simone has been dancing for 8 years and is still as passionate as the day she started.

“I think the main reason I do this is to perform. I like giving the audience a connection while I’m dancing without, you know, talking and stuff like that,” Simone said.

Simone’s parents, Charles and Catherine, say they act as a kind of entourage for their daughter. Between school, homework and free time, they make it work.

“It’s a total family commitment, but we’re all into it. We knew as soon as she got involved, we were all into it. It’s work, it’s school, it’s dancing “, said Charles Gibson. “It makes me want to cry every time I see her perform on stage.”

Simone’s hard work pays off. She recently won first place in the Ester Geffery masterclass competition and a full scholarship in the Joffrey Summer Intensive.

“Simone is just one of those dancers that you see and you know she has it. She just has that star quality,” Walsh said.

Several other dancers I spoke with mentioned their favorite part of their passion.

“So for me, ballet is above all a performance,” said Sophie Unsell.

“Being on stage brings this adrenaline and happiness that I can’t find anywhere else in my life,” said Claire Cinocotta.

“It makes me so happy, it’s the joy of my life,” Evelyn Gohl said.

Walsh emphasizes the importance that ballet can have in the lives of young girls. She says they don’t have to dream of becoming a professional dancer to get something out of their time.

“I learned to be able to take a break,” Evelyn said.

“Some days I’m just tired and I don’t really feel like coming, but as soon as I come and I’m with my friends, I feel good,” Sophie said.

Simone still has a long way to go before heading to her dream destination of New York. But for now, she’s fine with enjoying the little things along the way.

“It’s going to be my life, and I love it, and these years are really going to help me succeed,” Simone said.

If you want to know more about the Colorado Ballet Society or see one of the dancers in a upcoming showyou can visit their website to learn more.

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