Taylor Lim spends junior year at a rigorous New York ballet school

Less than a year ago, Taylor Lim was a sophomore student walking through the halls of CVHS by day, and taking ballet classes by night.

Now, Lim lives in an apartment in New York City and studies at Ellison Ballet, a prestigious ballet school that teaches a Russian-based ballet curriculum.

After attending the summer program at Ellison Ballet for three consecutive summers, Lim was offered a place in the school’s year-round program, which had already produced numerous professional dancers in its 12 years of operation.

Although making the decision to stay for the year-round program was huge, Lim said that she knew right away that it was the best decision for her.

“For some reason it just felt right. Everything sort of clicked, and the barriers that were keeping me from considering training in the year-round pre-professional program fell away. My parents were surprised and happy,” she said.

Lim’s new life in the Big Apple is jam-packed with ballet and conditioning classes during the week from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., or sometimes extending even later when she has rehearsals for upcoming performances.

Although Lim had never before experienced such an intense dance schedule during the school year, she is currently thriving in the rigorous dance environment at Ellison Ballet. The schedule allows her to give more attention than ever to her ballet technique.

“It’s a very hard-working environment. Everyone is giving 110 percent in class and trying to get everything that our teachers tell us. It’s very detail-oriented but also focused on the feeling and spirit that ballet should show,” said Lim.

The program at Ellison Ballet is designed to thoroughly prepare dancers for professional careers with major ballet companies. The school puts on two annual performances, one in December and one in May.

This past December, Lim found herself in a challenging situation when a dancer stepped out of the performance because of an injury. Lim stepped in and performed the soloist role in their performance of the “Waltz of the Flowers,” the most famous section from the classic ballet, The Nutcracker.

Performing in high-pressure situations like this is what ultimately completes a pre-professional dancer’s training, and rather than shying away from the opportunity, Lim decided to get the most out of it and further demonstrate to her teachers her level of commitment to ballet.

On top of Lim’s overwhelming dance schedule, she also has to make time for her online schoolwork and her daily meal preparation. In particular, Lim finds it difficult to maintain her commitment to excellence in school while balancing her busy schedule.

“I miss learning traditionally from a teacher in a classroom, seeing my friends, and being able to discuss things with my peers. I feel like I don’t learn as much or it doesn’t stick as effectively in online school as it did at CVHS,” said Lim.

Ann Fisher, Lim’s first dance teacher and founding director of the Conservatory of Classical Ballet, recognized Lim’s amazing potential for ballet early on.

“Taylor had just turned four years old, when she came to her first pre-ballet class. She had remarkable physical and mental ability. I knew in that 45-minute class that she had the potential to become a ballerina,” Fisher said.

Looking forward, Lim is not entirely sure if she will attend college immediately after completing high school, or focus solely on starting her dance career.

“I really want to continue going to Ellison Ballet next year. I know that I eventually want to dance professionally for sure. I guess I’ll just keep training and see where it takes me,” said Lim.

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