Cameron Panesso is chasing her dream. One day, Cameron, a Heritage Isles resident, hopes to become a professional ballet dancer, and, with the community’s help, a winter term at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City could help make that dream a reality.

The Bartels Middle School eighth grader began her training to become a professional ballerina at age 3, right here in New Tampa at the New Tampa Dance Theatre, located on Cross Creek Blvd. Since then, she has appeared in numerous stage productions including “The Nutcracker” and, most recently, in a rendition of “Sleeping Beauty.”

For the past two summers, Cameron has auditioned and been among the 200 from across the country who have been accepted into the School of American Ballet’s summer program, at the end of which 30 are invited to attend the school’s 10-month winter program. Only 500 dancers are accepted into the winter program and many of those students go on to become members of the New York City Ballet (NYCB). Cameron has been accepted to the summer program for the third time, but she says she is intent on being invited to stay for the winter this time.

“The expense for these programs is very high and has become very difficult for my family to support,” Panesso says in a press release. “I am seeking sponsorship or donations to help me with the cost of tuition. Any size contribution would be greatly appreciated, because this will allow me to pursue my passion for the art of dance. Becoming a New York City Ballet ballerina is my dream!”

To help Panesso with the cost of school or for more sponsorship information, please call 340-1277.


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