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Courtney Stohlton… Ballerina, Model, Miami's best kept secret.
Our Little Havana neighborhood is a melting pot of art, artists, artisans and the like. It boasts of galleries, schools, and events that highlight the areas culture and ethnic background. Venues like The Cuban Classical Ballet are resident to some of the area’s best kept secrets and we want to tell you about them here. As the editor of a Community Newspaper like Calle Ocho News I am exposed to many artists, talents, and organizations as well as people that are extremely talented and gifted. We cannot cover everyone but the ones that we do choose are by far VERY SPECIAL and hand selected.
In this edition of Calle Ocho News, we have chosen Courtney Stohlton as our artist to highlight. Courtney is a beautiful young lady that is full of charm, elegance, charisma, determination, and passion. I first heard of Courtney when I saw the picture of her flying in the air in front of Tower Theatre wearing a beautiful red dress. I knew then I needed to meet her. They say a picture can tell a thousand words and that is nothing short of the truth for this one.
I met with Courtney at the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center on a bright beautiful afternoon. We sat and talked about how she got started being the fabulous ballerina that she is.
Courtney started her ballet training at the age of three. Her training schedule has always demanded a lot from her, so in high school she applied and was accepted for an exception-based program offered only to special students at the University of Utah’s Ballet Department. This would make it possible for Courtney to meet the rigorous demands of time needed to dedicate to many practices a day. From the age of 15 to 19 she trained and performed with Utah Ballet also known asthe University of Utah’s ballet company Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 6PM.
Her first professional ballet job came from Orlando Ballet where she performed many different ballets including Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. From Orlando, she went to the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. Next, she joined Texas Ballet Theatre for two ballet seasons. From there, she was at the Madison Ballet in Madison, Wisconsin where she decided she preferred the warmer weather and then went to Alabama Ballet where she later suffered an ankle injury. This injury would teach Courtney some very valuable lessons about her career as well as patience since the healing took 6 months. Not pushing herself to her limits or realizing her new ones was the biggest challenge of all.
“As a dancer we push ourselves to the maximum, and MY maximum was now very different, and figuring that out took me some time but I managed to push through.”
Courtney has always been very passionate about the Hispanic Culture... As a matter of fact, being a part of the Cuban Classical Ballet at the Miami Hispanic Cutural Arts Center lead her to an opportunity at the very well-known Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico, the National Ballet company of Puerto Rico. She was there for a few years and was lucky enough to fly home before Hurricane Maria hit the island on September 16, 2017. It was in Puerto Rico that Courtney got the opportunity to get photographed by famous photographers such as Omar Z. Robles. It was also in Puerto Rico that Courtney left a life behind. She made very good friends there and she gets teary eyed thinking about the Balleteatro Nacional that is still left out of business and not operating due to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. After Hurricane Maria, Courtney decided to permanently stay in Miami and dance again with The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.
Courtney has decided she wanted to explore other artistic interests, so she got creative and turned to modeling. She decided to take this move to Miami as a fresh start and pursue other careers as well. Just another example of how she does not let LIFE get in the way of her dreams and possibly discovering new opportunities.
Courtney has begun modeling and she confesses her favorite shots are under water. She likes working with water because she can implement the artistry she has learned in ballet under water very well. She also currently performs at The Faena Hotel 5 Star Theatre in Miami Beach in a performance called Samsara Cabaret which is seductively entertaining and beautifully put together. Every Wednesday-Saturday (9 pm).
We asked Courtney what she could do without in her career, and this is what she said.
“I can do without the injuries... As a ballerina you have pain in your feet and neck for example. Then you also put yourself in danger by trusting you will not be dropped by your partners or stage props, but things happen and these things I can do without”.
We at Calle Ocho News also wanted to hear what advice Courtney has to say to the younger ballerinas in the neighborhood and here is what she said.
“I love being a ballerina because I challenge myself athletically and artistically so the best thing, I can say is work hard every day and continue to believe in yourself even during hard times”
Rosi Rosell Rodriguez
Editor in Chief