Marta Kelly has performed the same choreography for The Nutcracker for the past few years.
This weekend, Kelly is looking forward to performing new original choreography for Next Generation Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Straz Center in Tampa.
“My favorite role in The Nutcracker is Dew Drop,” said Kelly. “It’s so beautiful and powerful.”
One of Next Generation Ballet’s New Artists, Kelly will perform as Dew Drop as well as other roles for the various performances throughout the weekend, including the role of the Snow Queen alongside Boston Ballet soloist Jeffrey Cirio.
Born in Mexico, Kelly moved to Emerald Isle, NC when she was young with her twin sister, Maggie, and her mom. She began taking dance there and studied jazz, tap and lyrical dance.
One day, a senior level ballerina taught one of Kelly’s classes.
Struck by the teacher's grace, “I thought if I could change the way I dance, I could dance like her,” said Kelly. That was the defining moment that has led her to pursue a career in ballet.
When she was eight years old, she and her mom moved to Pompano Beach, FL so Kelly could study ballet with Magaly Suarez. She trained there for two years, then went to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for five years.
Now 16 years old, Kelly moved to Tampa in the fall to train here at the Patel Conservatory.
“I love how we’re exposed to the different arts here,” said Kelly of being a part of the Straz Center an NGB artist.
When she goes to class, it’s not unusual for her to hear opera singers in the adjoining studios. She also feels she has a vast array of opportunities here, such as master classes with guest artists from the Straz, and competitions.
In January, Kelly will compete for the first time in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) regional competition. The same weekend, she’ll perform in the YAGP Gala Stars of Today Meet Stars of Tomorrow.
“There’s so much going on here,” said Kelly, “It’s awesome!”