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Center Stage

Orinda resident has a principal role in ballet documentary, First Position.


Miko Fogarty wants to be a prima ballerina, and she has the drive, the talent, and the love of tutus that it takes. She also has a principal role in First Position, a new ballet documentary that’s sweeping up film-festival prizes from New York to Vancouver.

With a decade of dance lessons behind her, including two years with Diablo Ballet, the 14-year-old Orinda resident is a homeschooler so she can train four hours a day. And like one of her idols, San Francisco Ballet’s Maria Kochetkova, she has won top honors at prestigious competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix, the subject of First Position.

“It’s really fun being onstage; I get so many emotions,” she says. Her poise in competition is astonishing: If she slips, she keeps right on dancing, unfazed and unflappable. “Nothing can stop her,” says her coach, the Vaganova Academy–trained Viktor Kabaniaev. “She doesn’t have doubts.”

And the best part about being in a movie? The star treatment. “Before the premiere, we got to get our hair and makeup done, and afterward, we got to have dinner at a really nice place.” Spoken like a prima ballerina.

First Position opens in San Francisco and Berkeley in mid-May; for details, visit balletdocumentary.com.


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