Two young Brookline dancers, Nikolia Mamalakis and Margarita Gladysheva from New England Movements Arts, recently competed among dancers of all ages in the World Ballet Competition, a prestigious international ballet competition in Orlando, Florida. Now in its eighth year, the competition was held June 8-13.

Participating in the World Ballet Competition is more than vying for the chance of receiving a cash prize; it’s a showcase of raw talent and art in the form of ballet. Dancers from all over the world come to participate in the competition. The girls, both 12 years old, trained for a year with NEMA under master instructors Cosmic Marculetiu and Kseniya Melyukhina.

Mamalakis and Gladysheva were excited for the competition and received recognition for their efforts with their art. Mamalakis’ piece for the competition won her a scholarship to study in Italy for the summer. Gladysheva intends to participate in a summer intensive course to enhance her skills.

These two young girls are so dedicated and love the art of ballet. You can see it in their technique, said NEMA studio director, Michael Change. They had an opportunity to perform in front of a thousand people on a stage, by themselves, and that doesnt happen every day.

While Mamalakis and Gladysheva spend a lot of time in the dance studio, they also find ways to balance out their schoolwork and dancing.

I try to finish during school and before I go to dance, said Gladysheva.

Because of their love for ballet, both girls said they would like to work with a dance company once they are of age. They also encourage other young people to work hard on their talents and turn them into a career.

Just enjoy it and put your effort into it. And know that it takes a lot of hard work and commitment, said Mamalakis.

By Morgan Brittney Austin