TFC News

15-year-old Pinay lands lead in American Ballet Theater's Nutcracker

Steve Angeles | TFC News Costa Mesa, California

Posted at Dec 09 2022 09:25 AM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Trinity Mijares is only 15 years old but for nearly all of it, she's been focused on one passion: ballet.

It started with watching a video of San Francisco Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.

"I was maybe about two years old. After I watched it that first time, I would watch it every single day and try to mimic and learn the dances from the dancers," Mijares said. "When my mom noticed I would copy the dancers, she got me this DVD from the library, a dance class DVD. It had three classes: tap, jazz, and ballet. Ballet is the one I did the most."

Her mother Christina shared that Mijares "would mimic things so quickly. The music, she would know what's next, so I knew she had that love for ballet and I would have too. It made her so happy so we put her in classes."

From there, it was live performances  and classes, with Mijares travelling the country to learn and perform. Her skills and dedication landed her with the American Ballet Theater William Gillespie School in Costa Mesa.

"To be able to have the opportunity and to be in this amazing school, it's really unbelievable to see how far I've come from just taking DVD ballet classes to taking these classes in these amazing studios with these amazing help, supportive nurturing teachers," Mijares said.

Her father RJ noted that it took "a lot of sacrifice for us to make that happen but if we see our daughter enjoying what she loves to do and excelling in it, as parents, I think that is our calling to provide the best for our children."

For the second year in a row, Mijares will be dancing in the lead role as Clara in ABT's production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

"It was my dream and my dream role ever since I watched that live performance and to be able to do it and do it again with a major company, with American Ballet Theater, it's amazing and it's unreal. Even now, it's a dream come true."

Mijares spent the past summer training with one of the country's only principal dancers Stella Abrera, who was ABT's first Filipina principal and is now the artistic director at ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York.

Mijares said that while she rarely sees fellow Filipina dancers in major roles for big companies, she takes it upon herself to represent her Pinay pride.

"There's really not a lot of Filipinos in the ballet community and to be a Filipino, it really means a lot because I think representation is really important. Growing up, I didn’t see many Asian ballerinas and the few that are out there, I really looked up to and I’m really inspired and really hope to be like them when I grow up."

ABT's production of The Nutcracker will begin on December 10th and will run until the 18th at the Segerstrom Theater. Mijares is scheduled to play Clara for six of those days.