NEW YORK, N.Y. (WTXF) - Christine Shevchenko dreamt of being a ballerina ever since she was little. At the Odessa National Opera Ballet Theatre in the Ukraine, she watched Sleeping Beauty.
“For a four-year-old it is probably a hard ballet to watch and be engaged the whole time. I just remember being totally hypnotized by the beauty of the costumes and the music and the dancing,” said Shevchenko.
Shevchenko and her family moved to the United Stated a few years later and she took lessons at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
“I just loved performing on stage and I just got a huge thrill and this amazing sensation whenever I danced,” said Shevchenko.
Shevchenko’s talents caught the eye of many in the world of ballet. At fourteen she was the youngest recipient of the princess grace award which is a dance scholarship for emerging theater, dance and film artists. Soon Shevchenko graced the covers of magazines.
“When I saw their reaction to my dancing and they liked it gave me this confident boost that I was in the right place and I was doing the right thing,” she said.
Her confidence boosted her all the way to The American Ballet Theatre in New York City.
“When I get on the stage, I get lost into the ballet and in the story. I just become someone else in another world,” she said.
Shevchenko dances here as one of the Companies Principle dancers as well as dancing the lead in every piece she is in.
“It is the equivalent as a football game. The body damage the exhaustion is equal to a football player when they play a full game. Usually they get a week to recover for the next game you know to get their muscles heeled and their body good. Where we have to do 2 full length performances back to back or like one on Wednesday one on Thursday,” said Shevchenko.
American Ballet Theatre Company just started their fall season. New choreography comes in every hour. Learning several routines every day.
“It is challenging, said Shevchenko. But once you get into the flow of it till it starts to feel normal. But it’s tough. It is a lot to memorize you have to write things down or video tape things to keep into your memory. Keeps your brain sharp.
Shevchenko isn’t one to shy away from hard work. Long days and routines are the norm. She couldn’t have dreamed of a better place to be.
“When I was little I looked up to so many different principle dancers,” said Shevchenko. “I wanted to be like them. To finally be in their shoes is just incredible for me.”