MIAMI (CBS4) – At the age of 14, Mayumi Enokibara left her home in Brazil on a scholarship to study full-time with the Miami City Ballet.

Her passion for plies and pirouettes has led this teen far from home and all she’s known.

“This opportunity is so good for me because I want to be a good dancer,” Mayumi said.

Enokibara juggles full-time studies in ballet with her academic studies in high school. She left Brazil wither family’s blessings to make her dreams come true.

“We are taking them out of their homes, we are taking them away from their families, therefore we need to provide some kind of embrace,” said Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Edward Villella.

“I’m so close with my family and it’s hard. I’m only 15, this is hard for me,” said Enokibara.

Hard is an understatement. She arrived in Miami Beach without knowing anyone, much less having mastered English. At 15, she’s learning how to take care of herself and her journey has just begun

“It takes 8 to 10 years to train a dancer,” Villella said.

But she is certainly off on the right foot.

At the Annual Student Ballet Showcase next weekend, Enokibara will have a starring role in George Balanchine’s “Serenade” which will be presented on Saturday evening, May 19th at 7 p.m. and again Sunday afternoon, May 20th at 2 pm. Enokibara will perform the role of ‘Waltz Girl’.

The program will feature MCB students, from beginning-intermediate through advanced, performing original jazz pieces choreographed by faculty members Rafi Maldonado-Lopez and Liz Malm. For many students these performances will be their grand finale before entering careers as professional dancers at ballet companies around the nation including MCB.

For more information on the showcase and to purchase tickets – Click Here.


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