Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic, courtesy National Ballet of Canada

Greta Hodgkinson Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

The National Ballet of Canada star Greta Hodgkinson was born to be a principal ballerina: She's a classic beauty with captivating stage presence and impeccable technique. A Providence, RI, native, Hodgkinson trained at Festival Ballet Providence School and, later, at Canada's National Ballet School. She joined The NBoC in 1990 and was promoted to principal in 1996. This season, Hodgkinson is celebrating both her 25th anniversary with the storied company and her 20th anniversary as a principal dancer—she's one of only three ballerinas in the history of The NBoC to reach the two-decade mark as a principal. Catch her later this month in Onegin when the company performs at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. —Courtney Bowers

Dear Greta,

If there's just one thing that I can't impress upon you enough, it's to trust yourself wholly and completely.

You are strong, brave and daring. Although it's tempting, don't compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on being the best version of yourself. It may feel at times that you're not good enough—but know that everyone experiences these feelings. We all have something unique to offer and you're no exception.

Don't be shy or hesitate to rely on all the support you have around you. It's immense, and you're so fortunate to have all those wonderful people and mentors who love you cheering you on. It's important to remember there are many who can help show you the way.

Treasure each fleeting moment onstage—you've earned it. Stay humble. Having the opportunity to perform is an honor and a privilege. Do your best to enjoy every moment. It'll all go by so fast. There will be many times you're too busy, working too hard or feeling too anxious. But try to take a step back, smell the roses and truly appreciate where you are and what you're doing.

I hope you know just how lucky you are to be in this extraordinary art form.

With love,

Greta

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