Pittsburgh Ballet school student to compete internationally
With her long legs out in front of her and toes perfectly pointed, Elenora Morris stretches and smiles while explaining why she loves ballet.
“I love how hard it is,” she says. “I love that you're always striving for perfection.”
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School pre-professional student has just finished practicing excerpts from two of the pieces she's preparing to take more than 4,000 miles away to Switzerland, where she will join 80 other dancers selected from around the world to participate in the 41st Annual Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.
Morris, 17, of Ben Avon is among only five other females competing from the United States.
“I feel really honored,” says Morris, whose 5-foot, 8-inch frame appears even more elongated when she's gracing the stage. “It's very prestigious. I'm a little nervous, but so thankful.”
The competition and educational workshop is held for pre-professional dancers, ages 15 to 18, of all nationalities. It launched the careers of some of ballet's leading performers, including Carlos Acosta, Julie Kent, Darcey Bussell and Christopher Wheeldon.
Morris' teachers know their student's talents are worthy of the honor.
“Since the time I have known her, she has been extremely thoughtful and dedicated,” says Marjorie Grundvig, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre school director. “She has a great combination of physical talent and emotion.”
Morris started studying at the school at age 8. She performed with the company in productions including “Coppelia” and “The Nutcracker.”
“She is very talented, very smart,” says Pollyana Ribeiro, who has taught Morris since her childhood at the school. “Every technique — she grabs it like a sponge. There are not a lot of kids like that.”
Morris is the third female Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School student to compete in the Lausanne competition in the past two years, following pre-professional student Aviana Adams and former student Anwen David.
Throughout a five-day selection process, candidates participate in daily classical and contemporary ballet classes with leading dance professionals and perform a classical and contemporary variation for the Prix's nine-member judging panel.
At the close of the selection period, a select number of candidates will receive invitations to compete in the finals Feb. 3.
Morris, the daughter of David and Karen Morris, attends PA Cyber School, and has three siblings: Jennie, 12; Hanna, 20; and Thad, 22.
At the ballet school, she dances four to five hours a day, so the pace of the competition does not daunt her. She does struggle, however, to explain which form of ballet — classical or contemporary — appeals most to her.
“I love the discipline and the way (classical ballet) makes me feel. Contemporary is very much a release and a different way of moving the body,” she says.
She does know that whatever her future holds, ballet will be part of it.
“I love performing,” she says. “It's indescribable.”
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ferrante prosecutor’s opening statement details Google searches
- Public’s help sought in identifying male remains found in Pittsburgh
- Student arrested at Shaler High School in roundup of 35 Allegheny County drug dealers
- New movie studio coming to McKees Rocks
- Woman taken into custody for fatal stabbing of male companion in Duquesne
- Ex-judge in Philadelphia charged with bribery, conspiracy in sting case
- World’s 1st carbon capture power plant switches on in Canada
- Penn commissioners forecast no tax hike
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Cops: Washington County surplus store sold stolen items