My Inner Ballerina

Post by Toby Lerner Ansin, Founder of Miami City Ballet

Since the age of 6, when I put my hand on the ballet barre and did my first plié, I have had a passion for the art form.  I studied seriously until the age of 12, when I realized I had neither the talent nor technique for a professional dance career and decided I had better start thinking about going to college!

But even after I earned my bachelor’s degree, dance remained in my heart and I continued to study ballet and take class for my own enjoyment until the age of 40.  Although I no longer don pointe shoes, I still feel a special connection to all students who work hard every day to express themselves–and touch the hearts of others–through the medium of dance.  Ballet was, and always will be, one of the greatest loves of my life.  In my soul, I am a ballerina.

It gives me such pleasure to provide an opportunity for young people who share my passion for dance, and possess both talent and a good work ethic, to train with a world-class ballet school like Miami City Ballet School.

My greatest joy is watching the dancers with the School become members of the Company, like Jeannette and Patricia Delgado. I remember when they started at the school I said to myself, “keep an eye on those two, they are going to be special!”

Now, they are principals with the Company. Jeannette’s performance at City Center was named by The New Yorker as one of the top ten cultural events of 2009 and they have been photographed by Bruce Weber for W Magazine.  I want to be a part of making sure that others with talent like theirs have the means to reach their goals and make their dreams come true. My inner ballerina will continue to dance through the students.

My family knows me very well, and they gave me the most wonderful gift by creating this scholarship to honor me.  Nothing could have made me happier! The entire Ansin family is especially proud to follow the rising careers of Miami City Ballet School’s talented dancers.

I also want to give a special shout out to Andrei Chagas, the first Toby Lerner Ansin Scholarship recipient. Congratulations and keep up the great work!  I look forward to watching you on stage.  Bravo!