Isabella Boylston is steadily working her way up to the top rank of American Ballet Theatre's principal dancers. Her rise has been incremental rather than sudden, with some choice new roles added each season. With each new role her on stage presence seems to grow and she is becoming a deeply complex artist in addition to being technically gifted.
She made headlines and history by becoming the first African-American female principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, she debuted on Broadway in the hit show On the Town and launched her MindLeaps Girls' Program in Rwanda, which uses dance to prepare disadvantaged youth for school.
It's especially lovely when the dance community can gather together and applaud each other's efforts. Such is the environment at the Bessie's, dance's version of the Academy Awards or the Tony's. This year, the 31st-annual ceremony took place at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, with its iconic neon-red sign.
It still hasn't hit me. I'm living my dream and I look forward to continuing to work hard towards becoming a better, stronger dancer. Now that we're here, my hope is that in time, this won't be such a rare achievement, and my reviews and mentions in the media will refer to me simply as a "ballerina," because that's what I am.