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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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On her toes

Ballet is taking Mead’s Jordyn Richter to D.C., Pennsylvania and, hopefully, New York

Jordyn Richter, an 18-year old Mead graduate, was one of 31 chosen out of more than 1,000 dancers to participate in the exclusive Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell in Washington, D.C., earlier this summer.  (Rainey Coffin / The Spokesman-Review)
Jordyn Richter, an 18-year old Mead graduate, was one of 31 chosen out of more than 1,000 dancers to participate in the exclusive Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell in Washington, D.C., earlier this summer. (Rainey Coffin / The Spokesman-Review)

Jordyn Richter has been dancing since she was 7. Now, at 18, she is living every little girl’s dream of becoming a ballerina.

Richter was accepted for the third time into Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, an exclusive three-week ballet training program held earlier this summer at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Approximately 1,000 dancers from around the world, including Bulgaria, China, London and across the United States, auditioned to be a part of the program, and only 31 were selected. Richter was among the chosen few.

The Mead High School graduate has been dancing in summer programs since she was 12. Her first experience in Farrell’s program didn’t begin ideally. “My first day I called home crying, asking my parents to come get me. Suzanne had picked on my shoes,” she said.

She explained Farrell’s program is intense and that Farrell is very serious and focused, and seldom smiles or gives compliments. After her second experience in Farrell’s program, Richter was invited to be an apprentice with Farrell’s company for two weeks and was paid to dance professionally. She has also danced in the American Ballet Theatre summer program, the summer dance lab in Walla Walla and the summer program at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

In the fall Richter will dance at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, in Carlisle, Pa. The Carlisle school is similar to going off to college, except the classes don’t require books, but toe shoes and leotards. Richter’s mother, Michele, said that the training schools are “a great way for a (ballet) company to see what’s out there and also for a student to test drive a company as well.”

Richter’s first quarter will not just be at school. After she completed Farrell’s program this summer, she was offered a position as a core member in Farrell’s professional company. Richter will perform with the company through October. Along with her new positions as core member and student, she also has plans to audition for New York ballet companies while she is at Central Pennsylvania. “I would love to end up in New York. I love it there.”

In school she was on the dance team. “I used to play softball, basketball and track, too, but I ran out of time,” she said.

Richter earned straight As in school, “until I took college courses, but they were a little harder. It was an eye opener. Ballet helped with the discipline,” she said.

Richter’s goals will always include ballet. “I’ve known I’ve wanted to dance since I was 11 years old. After I retire, maybe I’ll go back to school and get a business degree and open my own studio.”

She has three younger brothers and is the daughter of Joe and Michele Richter, of Spokane.

Is there a Cool Kid in your life with an interesting hobby, unique achievement, or who is just an all-around neat kid? E-mail your suggestions for Cool Kids to feature to Rainey Coffin at raineyc@spokesman.com.

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