Molly Rooney: director of the National Ballet Competition - 003

Molly Rooney: director of the National Ballet Competition - 003

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When Molly Rooney started dancing at a small studio just outside of Philadelphia at the age of 3, jazz and tap were quickly ruled out and Molly zoned in on ballet. She then went on to train at Dance Elite and was intrigued with how difficult ballet was. During her junior year of high school, she wanted more out of her ballet experience and was given the opportunity to move away from home and train at Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory.

However, her experience at boarding school was not what she had expected it to be. Other girls in her class were not kind and she went through a low time of not wanting to continue on with ballet. During her senior year, she moved back home, leaving ballet to the wayside for a season.

But Molly knew in her heart, when she wasn’t dancing, she missed it. So she slowly started taking recreational classes as she looked into applying for colleges. She ended up getting a scholarship to Point Park University, where she could major in both dance and business.

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During her Sophomore year, Molly’s teacher presented her with an offer to prepare for the Valentina Kozlava International Ballet Competition. She was still not so sure about ballet, but made an audition video and got accepted!

Once at the competition, she had a realization that changed her life. After witnessing all of the talent and being the environment of people working so hard to do what they love, Molly was reinvigorated to give ballet her all. She went back home, trained with her old teacher, auditioned for First State Ballet Theater, and got invited to be an Apprentice with the company.

In this Episode we talk about:

  • juggling dancing professionally with pursuing college and working a side job at the same time

  • the importance of having a team and utilizing connections

  • learning on the spot during her first year creating the competition in 2019

  • how being a professional ballet dancer is really a dream come true because she grew up with the belief it was her ‘plan b’.

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Jess Spinner of The Whole Dancer - 004

Jess Spinner of The Whole Dancer - 004

Chelsea & Heather of Luckyleo Dancewear - 002

Chelsea & Heather of Luckyleo Dancewear - 002