Local 15-year-old ballerina set to dance with London Royal Ballet

Spain Park Freshman is quickly becoming one of the country’s best
Freshman out of Spain Park is quickly becoming one of the country’s best
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 4:47 AM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Meghan Gutowski was introduced to ballet at the age of three. After her first class, she told her mother that she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue dancing. But it was her mother who told Meghan that she already paid for the class and needed to at least finish it out. Twelve years later, Meghan has blossomed into one of the best young ballerinas in the country.

In Pamela Merkel’s 27 years as the studio owner of the Alabama Dance Academy, she has never had one of her ballet dancers go off and receive an opportunity to dance with the London Royal Ballet -- until now.

Meghan trains nearly seven days a week for around four to five hours a day. When she’s not in school, she can be found at the studio. She has performed all over the country, in productions, in competitions, and trained with world famous choreographers. Oh, did I mention she’s only 15 years old?

“When I saw her body and I saw what she was capable of doing, she was very raw, unrefined, and I was like there’s a lot of raw talent here that can be developed,” Merkel said when she first saw Meghan dance.

There was once a competition in Houston with more than 700 entries for ballet dancers 15 to 21 years of age. Meghan went and won the whole thing.

“I buckle under pressure, I don’t want to be the center of attention,” Meghan’s mother Rachel said. “She seems to thrive on stage.”

Meghan has received a number of scholarships and dancing opportunities from around the country, but none may be bigger than her current chance to dance with the London Royal Ballet this summer. Out of thousands and thousands of those who audition, only a couple hundred are actually selected.

“I just try to relax in the moment and that can be very difficult sometimes,” Meghan said. “But I just try to think about what’s gotten me here and how hard I’ve worked for it. And just because of a little bit of pressure, not to let it all go.”

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