SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – A sophomore at Alamo Heights High School is dancing her way onto the world stage, one pirouette at a time. Kate Thomas, who recently turned 16, has been invited to joint the year-long program at the Royal Ballet School in London, which is a dream come true.
“The chance to study in London and expand my knowledge of ballet is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Thomas.
The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio student said she couldn’t believe it when she received the invitation, but those who have watched Thomas dance aren’t surprised by the recognition she’s receiving overseas. She was recently named a finalist in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“When I opened the email, I was running around my house crying tears of joy,” said Thomas.
She’s been dancing with Vanessa Bessler and the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio for ten years, and during that time, Thomas has received scholarships to the Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet West in Utah, Houston Ballet, and the Colorado Ballet Academy. She also has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York.
For the third year in a row, she’s landed the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio production of The Nutcracker.
“The first year I did it, I was so scared. There are some very challenging steps, but this is my third year,” said Thomas.
Her hard work is paying off.
“Just like any high-level athlete, you have to put a lot of work, time and dedication into it,” said Thomas. “That means a lot of training late at night and sacrificing our weekends for long practices and rehearsals, but I love performing for audiences and competing. That’s what I work for everyday because that’s what brings me joy and fulfillment in ballet.”
Learning to dance on pointe is a lot more difficult than it may seem. It’s the classical ballet technique that involves the dancer putting her body weight on the toes in pointe shoes.
“Eventually your feet will change and you’ll develop certain muscles that no other humans have because you’re doing something so unique with your feet and your body,”
COVID-19 has forced her to postpone going to London to study with the Royal Ballet. Because of the pandemic the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio won’t be performing The Nutcracker before live audiences, but Thomas is confident families will enjoy the virtual production.
“Even though they can’t watch it in the theatres downtown, I think being able to stream it online is a wonderful opportunity, and hopefully, it will bring the same joy,” she said.
The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio presents “The Nutcracker Dec. 18, 19, 25, and 26. Thomas will be dancing the role of Sugar Plum Fairy Dec. 18 and 25.
Bird Bakery will provide cookie decorating demonstrations during intermission.
Tickets are available here.