Miko Fogarty

Even someone with no knowledge of ballet could see that she had that spark. A spark that would carry her through the ranks of the ballet world quickly and surely.

I watch Miko Fogarty on my screen as she dances at the Youth American Grand Prix. Miko was featured in the documentary “First Position” when she was just twelve years old. But even then, it was clear to everyone that she was different. Miko exuded confidence and a maturity well beyond her years. As the film follows her throughout her classes and training sessions for YAGP, everyone watching can see her hardworking spirit and determination. She refuses to be mediocre or average.

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As a result, she gives up some of her childhood for it. No parties, school friends, or other extra activities. But she’s fine with it. Because in return, she gets to become a great ballerina, winning many awards, and being named one of “The Most Influential People of 2011” in Dance Spirit Magazine. Miko Fogarty is my idol.

She proves to all of us every day that though she has an abundance of natural talent, hard work really does pay off. Miko started ballet at the age of four, and has trained hard ever since. She sacrificed many normal everyday activities for ballet. She had previously done tennis, piano, violin and gymnastics, but was forced to give them up when she became too busy with oh, just about a gazillion worldwide ballet competitions or so. But now, at 17 years old, Miko Fogarty has received worldwide recognition for her dancing.

She won the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2013, got Silver at the Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria in 2014, and Bronze in 2012. At the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, she was recognized as the best Swiss dancerin 2013. In the United States, she won Bronze at the New York finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in 2010 and Gold Medals at the World Ballet Competition in 2009 and 2011. However, in the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix semifinals, Miko fell during her first solo. After performing several difficult moves effortlessly, she slipped and fell after a pirouette. The audience drew in a collective breath, and looked on in horror.

But the 12-year-old never missed a beat. She leapt right back up and started dancing again with strength and confidence. Her ability to rise right back up and perform flawlessly afterwards took her to finals, where she won a bronze medal. Though Miko suffered a horrifying challenge, perhaps the most difficult one a dancer faces onstage, she persevered and showed everyone watching that it’s not the fall that matters, but how you deal with it. Yet Miko best trait is her sweet and modest personality.

She routinely thanks her fans and supporters on social media and never brags or gives off an “I’m-better-than-you” air. Though she is constantly praised for her grace and technical prowess, she still remains grounded and down to earth. This is presented clearly through her interviews and interactions with her fans. Miko Fogarty inspires me to work hard and never give up. She is incredibly talented, strong (both mentally and physically), and she has a great personality.

I only hope one day I can be half the person she is.