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Millcreek Journal

Dancer finds her fulfillment on the stage

Jun 11, 2020 12:31PM ● By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | [email protected]

Mariam Roe has been a dancer since the age of 5 ½, though she wanted to dance as early as two years before that because her siblings were in dance.

When she kept pestering her mother, Roxann finally caved in.

Mariam began jazz dance. But her love for dancing didn’t end there.

“There was something about classical music,” Mariam said. “The moving in ballet was intriguing to me.”

By the time she entered Salt Lake Community College, taking college early as her siblings had done, her desire for dancing had grown even greater.

She wanted to go to Russia.

Though money was tight, and it was a challenge to get the training she needed, Mariam stepped up to the barre as a teacher’s assistant at age 12, assisted in dance classes, cleaned the ballet studio, and even babysat to trade or earn the money she needed for a trip to Russia in 2015 with her grandmother who also “works for the airlines.”

“Mariam has a lot of discipline and drive to do what she wants to do in life,” Roxann said. And this includes balancing all of the things a typical teenager enjoys. And the challenges.

Mariam, who has asthma, takes an inhaler with her to dance. As a child, her doctor couldn’t believe she continued to dance. When her daughter would come out of practice “red-faced” it was hard for Roxann to keep quiet. This was her daughter after all. “I tried to make her aware of her inhaler. She felt like she was more behind because of it than the others in class.”

Fortunately, for Mariam and her mother, “the condition has gotten milder. She uses her inhaler as needed,” Roxann said.

As for Mariam, she admits that even today, “daily ballet classes are hard, but it’s important that I improve my performance by working every day. And nothing is like studying in Russia.”

In 2016, Mariam studied ballet at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy,” Roxann said, but, according to  Mariam, she stayed only three months though she’d been accepted for one year.

“It was wonderful. Hardcore. I wasn’t used to it six days a week five hours a day. The teachers were strict. It was really an honor, and it left an impression on me. I was inspired by training there, but I had to leave because of tuition and expenses.”

At home, Mariam continued college at Southern Utah University in Cedar City until she graduated in fall 2019.

“College was trying at times. Fortunately, I got credit for training in Russia,” she said.

Her favorite role has been as a gypsy in the “Don Quixote” ballet. “The audience. Sharing your talents. I love the feeling ballet gives me on stage. A feeling of fulfillment,” Mariam said.

Though injuries have occurred as she has danced, Mariam wouldn’t discuss the specifics. “Knowing you can go on stage makes it all worthwhile,” she said. And she talks for a moment about those who have a desire to dance but aren’t sure if they should do it or not. It’s “worth it if you’re wanting to take it up,” she said.

Mariam recently auditioned at SLC Ballet in Millcreek and was accepted to tour with the St. Petersburg Classic Ballet of Marina Medvetskaya. The Ballet is still in line to be touring in California from September through March 2021.

As for the future, “I want to be dancing in a good ballet,” Mariam said. “We’ll see where things go.”

Mariam is currently studying online at the Ballet Conrad Institute.