Janaya Zimmerman- Dancing her way to the Top

By Madison Guccione, Camy Pierce and Hayley Alexander.


Janaya Zimmerman was four years old when she took her first ballet class at a local dance studio. At age six she performed her very first ballet solo and loved it. Six months later, she competed in Stars of Tomorrow, and won “Best Of Show”.  Then realized that she had a true passion for the art of ballet. When she was seven, she went to train with two very accomplished Ballet Masters. One from Russia, and the other from Connecticut. They both trained and thrived on ballet , as well.  When she reached the age of 8 1/2, her instructors began training her for The Youth American Grand Prix.

She trained many hours a week, but it all paid off. In 2010 and 2011 her solo variations took 1st place. As well she also competed in the Ensembles, where Janaya took 2nd place in 2010 and 1st in 2011. It was shortly  after that her instructors approached her parents. They told them they wanted to train Janaya for the World Ballet Competition. In order to compete she had to submit a video audition.

Months passed before she finally found out that she had made it in. Later, after almost 2,000 other auditions were submitted, she found out she was one of 1 of 37 that made it, and she was ecstatic.  She trained 3 classical variations and 1 contemporary. Jenaya was determined to not allow, blistery sore feet and frustration to slow her down. She had to put up a mental block to all of the pain. Time after time, she kept telling herself… “No pain, no gain.”

She worked very hard knowing there would be ballerina’s from different countries including: France, Italy, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Japan and Brazil. There was more to the Competition then she had realized. A week of Master classes, several rounds of competition and finally the closing ceremony. She thought it was all so amazing. She was very excited to be able to bring home a Bronze medal for the United States along with several scholarships.

She recently auditioned for a professional school and was accepted with a full scholarship for their Pre-Professional Trainee program. Janaya will be finishing the 2013 school year training at The Patel Conservatory, in Tampa, Florida, and she is very eager to continue towards her dream of being a professional ballerina.Zimmerman2