Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Natalia Alonso dances with fluidity and strength, but it’s her fiery presence that makes her hypnotizing onstage. A native New Yorker, Alonso trained at Fedicheva Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, The Ailey School and with Irena Lebedeva. She joined Ballet Hispanico in 2001 and became a principal before leaving for Complexions in 2008. Alonso has commercial cred, too: She has danced on tour with Aretha Franklin and in several Telemundo programs and independent films. In addition to her impressive dance resumé, Alonso has a BA in economics from Wesleyan University and is a certified Gyrotonic instructor. Dying to see her dance? Complexions will perform in Brooklyn, NY, this August. —Gretchen Schmid
Dear Teenage Me, OK, so you’re not perfect. You have to work on your turnout, your teacher keeps yelling at you for swaying your back and your left leg just doesn’t go up as high as your right. And all that makes you afraid you’re not going to make it as a dancer.
Alonso as a teen
In the meantime, continue to work hard and improve your technique and artistry. Don’t force your body to be something it’s not. Focus on training correctly to avoid future injuries and develop the best version of yourself.
Listen: I know things seem a little scary right now. But trust in yourself. Keep working hard. You’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.