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Alya Cogur: Ballet

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It’s peak ballet season, and as dance companies across the Bay Area stage holiday favorites like the Nutcracker, Alya Cogur shares how ballet has shaped her life.

It all started when I was 4 when I got up to my tiptoes and started twirling in the living room to Swan Lake music. Just me and the music. I would close my eyes and feel the emotions flowing through my little body.

Ballet, a captivating form of artistic expression, has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. From my first pair of ballet shoes to the exhilarating rush of performing on stage, ballet has given me a purpose and a sense of belonging.

My journey into the world of ballet began at a young age, as I watched mesmerized by the graceful movements of the dancers on stage. The structure of ballet drew me in, with its choreography and disciplined technique. I learned to be a part of this art form to experience the joy of moving in synchrony with the music and expressing myself through the power of dance. Endless hours of practicing pliés, tendus, and pirouettes became the norm. The structure of ballet lessons grounded me, providing a framework within which I could continually refine my technique and strive for perfection.

The discipline learned in the ballet studio began to shape not only my dancing but also my character. My personal journey with ballet has been an extraordinary one. Through its structure, discipline, and expressive potential. This art form has provided me with an outlet for creativity, a community of like-minded individuals, and a profound appreciation for the power of movement to touch the hearts and souls of both performers and audiences.


As I continue to develop and grow as a dancer, I am forever grateful for the structure of ballet, which has given me the wings I need to soar on stage and in life.

With a Perspective, I’m Alya Cogur.

Alya Cogur is a student at Independence High School in San Francisco. Her piece was produced with free curriculum from KQED’s Youth Media Challenge.

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