PRINCETON, N.J. (CBS) — The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancelation of so many special events. But a New Jersey teen is not going to let social distancing get in the way of his dream 3,000 miles away.
It’s been said that the art of ballet chooses the dancer. And that’s certainly true for 15-year-old Reed Henry.
“I realized that I wanted to do this as a career once I joined my new studio, Ballet Central New Jersey,” Reed said.
The teen, from Princeton, just became the youngest dancer to ever win what’s called the Grand Prix Award in Boston.
“During the awards ceremony, I thought I was going to place but I wasn’t expecting to get the Grand Prix Award, which is so cool,” Reed said.
Reed was headed to the Lincoln Center in New York for the final competition but that was cut short due to the pandemic.
But there is a silver lining here.
“It was like a rush through my body of chills but I was like ‘this is real, this is real life,'” Reed said.
The high school sophomore is invited to join the San Francisco Ballet to train with the most elite ballet students.
“I felt pretty good about the audition but I wasn’t fully expecting to get a full scholarship. I’m so grateful. I was in shock, that was so hard to get,” Reed said.
Now he practices for five hours every day.
“I have to do Zoom online ballet classes and it’s really cool how they use Zoom,” Reed said.
Reed’s goal is to eventually secure a main spot with the San Francisco Ballet and he’s certainly not going to let anything stop him.
“You have to find some self-motivation deep down because it’s easy to say ‘I’m not going to take class today,'” Reed said. “If doctors and nurses can go to work every day, the least I can do is keep dancing.”
Reed is hoping to leave for San Francisco in June, if possible. If not, he’s hoping to be there by Labor Day.
Either way, he will continue working from his home ballet studio until he’s headed west.