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Daily Inspiration: Meet Nikita Boris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikita Boris. 

Hi Nikita, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born in Bergen County, New Jersey, and grew up in a very artistic family. My father is in the music world, and my mother is an artist, yoga teacher, and former dancer. We lived about 15 minutes outside of NYC, so even as a young child, I was often in the city watching my mom in dance classes, attending live performances, and being introduced to all sorts of art and culture. I feel very fortunate that my younger sister and I were raised to appreciate and understand the arts. I was in movement classes as a child and by age 5, began to focus entirely on ballet. As I became more and more serious about making this my career, I began commuting into New York City after school every day and training at the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York. I began to travel internationally for ballet competitions and regular public school became difficult to manage. For high school, I switched to an online school in order to finish my education while training for more hours and traveling more frequently. In these last few years of high school, I traveled with my coach Valentina Kozlova, and often one of my parents, to countries including South Africa, Russia, Italy, and Germany, for competitions and performances. I spent time during my junior year living in Saint Petersburg, Russia attending the Vaganova Academy, and returned to NYC for my senior year. Following graduation, I signed a contract with Boston Ballet II for the 2018/2019 season. I spent the 2019/2020 season with New York Dance Project and joined Cincinnati Ballet for the 2020/2021 season, where I am now dancing as a corps de ballet artist. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey has of course been full of ups and downs. The life of a young ballet dancer is full of sacrifice. I did not have your average high school experience. Instead of parties and prom, I was training. My social life was put on the back burner for my passion. However, these sacrifices were all worth it to me. I was lucky enough to have incredibly supportive parents, friends, and teachers who believed in me. I am forever grateful for their support in some of the more challenging times. The pressure of the ballet world can be daunting, and I have certainly experienced some hurdles- time between contracts, a global pandemic even! Despite all of that, the idea of quitting has never even been an option in my head. Dancing brings me the most joy out of anything in the world. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of being on the stage and expressing yourself through movement. I remind myself of this often- of why I love what I do- and it motivates me to continue on no matter what. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a professional ballet dancer with the Cincinnati Ballet company. I perform throughout the season with CB in all of their production- usually at Music Hall or the Aronoff Center. As a dancer, I have always been more of a performer. So much of the process for dancers is the time spent in the studio, taking daily classes, and rehearsing, but the place where I thrive the most as an artist is on the stage. It is where I feel the most myself, where I can express myself. I think my work on the stage is what I am most proud of. 

Any big plans?
I hope to continue growing as a dancer and artist, taking on new challenges and new roles. I have also been taking some online college courses on the side, which I would like to continue in pursuit of my degree. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rachel Neville
Yelena Reporyeva
Paul Dubois
Hiromi Platt
Cincinnati Ballet

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