You Should Know Pint-Sized Prima Aviva Gelfer-Mundl

Photo by Mike Castillo/Studio West Elite, courtesy the Gelfer-Mundls

Thirteen-year-old Aviva Gelfer-Mundl has it all: picture-perfect lines, polished pointe work and a delicate port de bras that conveys maturity beyond her years. So it's no surprise she was the 2014 Youth America Grand Prix junior gold medalist. What is a surprise is the fact that Aviva has only been dancing for three years. Before that, she was busy being a two-time national champion in rhythmic gymnastics. In 2012, just seven months after making the switch to ballet, Aviva placed in the Top 12 at YAGP Regionals in L.A., and the following year, she took home the Hope Award at YAGP in San Diego. This fall, after spending the summer on scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School, Aviva moved from her hometown in Tustin, CA, to Toronto to continue her training at Canada's prestigious National Ballet School.

"People say I become a different person onstage. The moment I make my

entrance from the wings, I feel like I'm in a new magical world. I'm home."

Fast Facts

Birthday: April 13, 2001

Favorite Dancer: Lucia Lacarra of Bavarian State Ballet

Favorite barre exercise: “I love fondu combinations, especially when there are a lot of balances."

Favorite food: apples and cinnamon

Dream dance role: The lead in Giselle. “I even named my cat after her!"

Nondance hobby: “I like to listen to classical music."

The best advice she's ever received: “Never hold back, because you might not get a second chance."

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