By LaShaina Blair-White 
BELLEVILLE – Isabella Rapino has dedicated her life to dance.
Rapino is a Grade 12 student who attends the arts program at Centennial Secondary School. Rapino, who has been dancing since she was four years old, wants to become a professional dancer.
But in order to achieve her dreams, it requires a great amount of work.
Rapino starts her day early:
- class at 8:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
- ballet point from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
- work from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Her busy schedule leaves just enough time for her to come home and finish any homework she has before bed.
With such a busy schedule, Rapino explains it is hard to balance, “I’m terrible at balancing, I generally don’t have time for anything.”
But its her passion that motivates her, “You don’t dread any second of it, knowing what I want to do gives me a purpose,” said Rapino.
She tells QNetNews it’s mainly the fact that she’s progressing in her dancing that drives her to get even better.
Rapino tells the story about needing a new point shoe for one of her dance pieces. Rapino explained without the shoes she wasn’t able to practice her piece. Days before the show she was able to find a shoe that fit. However, it only gave her a few days to practice.
“I was freaking out, I was losing sleep over it. But I continued to practice.” She say it wasn’t until after the show that she realized how much she has improved.
“Looking at what I did last year compared to this year makes me motivated.”
As part of her studies at Centennial, Rapino has been a student at the Quinte Ballet School for the past two years. She says it has prepared her for her future.
“It is a professional environment, the schedule takes up most of my time in the day. It prepares me for the future. If I decided to be a part of a company, they require a minimum of six hours of dancing a day. This type of environment and professional training prepares me.”
Catherine Taylor, the artistic director of Quinte Ballet School told QNetNews that it was a unanimous decision to nominate Rapino for the Jacques Foesier Youth Dance Award. The award recognizes exceptional dancers under the age of 19.
“Her progress is outstanding,” said Taylor.
Rapino says she values the advice of Taylor.
“Stop comparing myself to others, just show others what I can do. There will always be someone better, there is no point of beating yourself down; it won’t help you progress.”