We could talk all day about Austen Acevedo’s textbook lines and feet, his velvety movement quality or his precise musicality. But the 16-year-old ballet dancer’s resumé speaks for itself. Austen has placed in the Top Six at the Prix de Lausanne, and was second place in the Senior Men’s division at the YAGP 2015 Finals in NYC, as well as the only American male in the division to medal. When he was just 15, he and his partner, Kenedy Kallas, danced in the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the Mariinsky Ballet Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia—making them the first American, pre-professional dancers to perform in the event.
"I feel like the true essence of ballet is hard to find these days because of the physical requirements and need to perform tricks, so I watch old ballet videos. Seeing how passionate the dancers were is so inspiring."
Birthday: November 24, 1999
Studio: American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School
Strangest thing in your dance bag: “I carry different crystals in my dance bag—for pain, energy and stress.”
Dream dance roles: “Solor in La Bayadère or Albrecht in Giselle”
Three words to describe your dancing: “Focused, energetic and honest”
Three favorite emojis:
Advice for DS readers: “Learn to admire the beauty of simplicity in classical ballet, like how you can express yourself using just your arms, or how a single movement can make the audience feel something.”
Acevedo at the 2015 YAGP finals in NYC (photo by Siggul/Visual Arts Masters, courtesy the Acevedos)