CCA student finds balance managing school and her passion for ballet
CCA senior Lucia Erickson performed as Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan” with The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
From balancing her high school course load to balancing on her toes as a trainee with The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Lucia Erickson, a senior at CCA, knows a little something about trying to find balance in all aspects of her life.
Lucia was inspired by her older sister to start dancing at the age of 3. Lucia began her dancing journey at the Academy of Russian Ballet. She also played soccer and ran track, but in seventh grade she needed to make a choice between playing sports and dancing. She chose dance.
After moving from Minnesota to Philadelphia two years ago, Lucia danced at night, after a full day of academics, for one year before acceptance into the School of Pennsylvania Ballet trainee program. She trains every day with the distinguished school and company from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., often until 6 p.m., all while working toward her high school graduation.
“I am fortunate to have the option to attend CCA,” Lucia said. “The school is very flexible for me, and the teachers have been very nice and supportive as I work toward my dream of becoming a professional dancer. I chose to apply to CCA based on the school’s reputation.”
After completing the trainee program and graduating from high school in June, Lucia will join the second company – PBII – under Artistic Director Angel Corella in the fall. She also has applied to a variety of colleges – including the University of Pennsylvania, Fordham University, Drexel University and the University of Sciences – to pursue a career in STEM. Lucia was accepted to Drexel's School of Biology, where she will defer for a year.
“I have a passion for math and the sciences,” Lucia said.
Her mother, Michelle, is no stranger to education and charter schools. She was a teacher and administrator at a charter arts high school in Minnesota and is a teacher at an independent school in the Philadelphia area.
“I can’t say enough about CCA,” Michelle said.
Michelle said CCA has excellent teachers and it’s convenient for her family that the Family Service Center in Philadelphia is just blocks from the Academy of Music and the company studios.
“The fact that Lucia can do what she loves and also maintain a terrific education is very important to her father and me,” Michelle said. “All children need balance in their lives, and CCA gives that to Lucia. We couldn’t be prouder of everything Lucia has achieved so far.”
Lucia had a leading role as Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan,” The School of Pennsylvania Ballet’s annual end-of-year performance. The performance was presented in May at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia.
This year, Lucia has danced in 21 of the company’s performances of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker®” in the roles of Snow, Flowers, Hot Chocolate, Tea and one of the maids. In March, she performed with the swan corps of the company’s production of “Swan Lake,” one of the most celebrated classical ballets of all time.