There's a serenity and ease to every one of Miranda Silveira's movements. Even in a lightning-fast classical variation, her port de bras is effortlessly liquid.

Growing up in Barcelona, Spain, Silveira excelled at everything from hip hop to tap to contemporary. She moved to Madrid at 14 to start getting serious about ballet at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma. At 16, she accepted a full scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School—with less than a week's notice. "It was hard moving 5,000 miles from home to suddenly start a new life," Silveira says. But she relied on ballet to pull her through: "The rhythm of everyday classes, and knowing it was a good step for my future, kept me going."

Silveira became an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet in 2013, and joined the corps in 2014. Since then, she's built a varied repertory, including featured roles in several full-length story ballets. In the future, Silveira wants to keep telling stories, bringing to life iconic roles like Onegin's Tatiana and the Alvin Ailey solo Cry. "Of course, there's been an increase in diversity in ballet—if we compare it to back in the day, it's amazing how many different dancers from all over the world are pursuing this professionally," she says. "But it's still a very narrow field, especially in terms of skin color. Change should start in the schools, with training. We need to go further to bring students from all over. If the dancers are diversified, the audience will be, too."

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