Many of 18-year-old Miko Fogarty’s friends in Orinda, CA will be entering college in the fall. But not Miko. She is on her way to the United Kingdom to pursue a career as a professional ballerina for the prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet. It's the latest leg in an artistic journey that began 13 years ago when as a kindergartner she fell in love with classical dance. She spent years studying with prominent Bay Area ballet teachers and trained at the San Francisco Ballet school for a year.
Like famed American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Misty Copeland, Miko is of mixed race -- her father is English, her mother Japanese. Also like Copeland, she was not born with a so-called classic "ballerina body." Honing her technique to overcome these limitations, Miko was featured at age 12 in the award-winning ballet documentary First Position. Since then, she has become a social media sensation with more than 200,000 followers on Instagram and 7 million views on YouTube. Miko was also recently photographed for the popular Instagram site Ballerina Project.
Funding for KQED Arts is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Support is also provided by Yogen and Peggy Dalal, Diane B. Wilsey, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Helen Sarah Steyer, the William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, and the members of KQED