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Help Ophélia get to summer intensives 2016
$3,981 raised
61% of $6.5k goal
50 contributors
2 Years running
Ophélia continues to grow and advance as a dancer. She just wrapped up her Spring performance with The Portland Ballet, where she had the lead role in Mercury Half-Life. Summer intensives are just around the corner now and she needs your help!

Hi, I’m Ophélia Martin-Weber and I am pursuing a professional ballet career. Will you help me?

In the 2015-2016 school year I turned 17, punched through a challenging junior year of high school, experienced my first featured role in a performance (it was amazing!), and started to really recognize the person I’m becoming.

As crazy and upbeat as this year has turned out for me, there have been some down moments as well - I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pursue dance.

After the sudden loss of Mr. John Magnus, my mentor and teacher, I floundered for a bit and considered giving up on dance altogether. I struggled with depression and uncertainty about what I wanted in life. But I kept showing up for ballet class anyway, and every time dance would pull me out of my depression, if even for just a few hours at a time. As the one year anniversary of his passing approaches next month, I finally feel like I’m finding my footing again and now my dream of becoming a ballerina has grown into practical career goals as a professional dancer.

Last weekend I danced the lead role in Trey McIntyre’s “Mercury Half-Life” at The Portland Ballet. The opportunity to work with such a high caliber choreographer renewed my focus and being given a role originally intended for a professional male dancer boosted my confidence in my own ability.

I am not leaving dance, I am honing my skill and seeking professional opportunities.

But more importantly, I am beginning to grow in my confidence to do so.

So I honor Mr. Magnus even as I miss him by working on believing in myself - the one thing he wanted for me most of all.

Unfortunately, I’m coming to this place of renewed focus late in terms of summer intensives. During the crucial audition season I was crippled by insecurity and indecisiveness. Even though I was still accepted into several summer programs, I struggled to make a decision and reach out for financial help when there was still plenty of time.

But I want this. So I’m going after it even though it’s so last minute.

For my summer plans this year I want to go to Milwaukee Ballet’s summer intensive program - a program that feeds directly into their company. My parents were able to put a deposit down to secure my spot and plan on covering my airfare, but the remaining cost for the six weeks of training comes to $6,500 including room and board, and the deadline to pay is May 16.

I so wish that I hadn’t been struggling to work through some emotional experiences when I should have started this fundraiser. But having taken the time to work through them has brought me to such a stronger place. I have realized how much I’ve grown up as a dancer and it’s not just about becoming a ballerina anymore - it’s succeeding in having a professional career.

Even though I need to have $6,500 to turn in by Monday, May 16th to be able to go to Milwaukee Ballet, and common sense says I should give up, I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen - including putting myself out there even though it’s so late, and getting on the phone with the ballet company and to request for an extension.

All the support I have received for the past few years has blown me away. I am deeply grateful and influenced by all everyone has done for me, and I am excited to share this next part of my dancing journey with you.

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