Spinning into the Spotlight: Maria Cantony

Elizabeth Alton, President and Head Editor

For every student, one of the most immense struggles of high school is maintaining the perfect balance between school, family, friends, and extracurriculars. For Maria Conaty, a Sophomore at WESS, that balance has been critical since before she even started middle school.

Maria has been dancing since the age of three, and professionally since she was six. Today, Maria dances with the School of American Ballet, one of the best ballet schools in the world, and she understudies for the New York City Ballet. A few of the ballets that Maria has danced with the New York City Ballet include The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Firebird.

“Not many people know how crazy my schedule is and how much effort it really takes to become a dancer,” Maria said. She also touched on challenges like “having the right technique, having the right musicality and remembering three hours of choreography in a very short time period all while trying to battle many other things like school and eating right to maintain a proper weight for dance.”

For Maria, dance isn’t just a physical activity. It’s also shaped the person that she is today. Considering how demanding dance is, one can only imagine the type of mindset it requires from performers.

“My favorite dance memory is probably the first time I fell on stage. Right afterward I laughed it off with my friends,” Maria said. “It made me realize that dance is not all about getting everything to be perfect and professional but sharing the stage with others and letting mistakes happen no matter what because in the end you really realize all that you really accomplish no matter of a simple set back.”

Maria’s time at WESS has had an impact on her life outside of school, influencing her dance world as well.

“WESS has shown me that I can maintain a regular lifestyle alongside a professional dance career and be happy,” Maria said.