While most little girls think of Wonder Woman or Xenia Warrior Princess when they think of superheroes, Victoria Watford saw the lithe and graceful ballerina as her Superwoman.
“It was really fun to see this super girly little girl with the pink tutu and the point shoes and the costumes, and also seeing the bigger girls with their beautiful costumes, point shoes and tiaras and all that fun stuff,” said Watford, a South Euclid, Ohio native who has been dancing for 17 years.
When Watford hit her early teen years, her parents asked her if she wanted to dedicate her life to the rigorous regimen that becoming a ballerina required. Watford immediately answered in the affirmative.
“I told them that I loved it, so they talked to my artistic director at the Cleveland School of Dance where I was taking lessons and she said, ‘she needs to be auditioning for summer intensives and going away for the summer,’” Watford recalled. “It turns out I had missed almost all of the auditions except for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. I did that audition and I got in and I came here for the summer and I fell in love!
“It was so different,” Watford said. “Cleveland is so small—especially during the time that I was growing up—it wasn’t much of a city. Pittsburgh was a city and it had a huge ballet company and you could see the company members taking classes, and there were several different teachers and five classes a day. It was so different but I loved it,” she said.
Watford instantly knew she had found a home in the Steel City and returned each summer for five years before joining the Pittsburgh Ballet Graduate Program in 2014. She joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a Corps de Ballet ballerina this year.