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Steamboat Magazine

Visit Like a Local: Soleil Nelson

04/26/2019 10:15AM ● By Alesha Damerville

© Jordan Matter/Born to Dance/All rights reserved

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Soleil Nelson, 12, is already an accomplished dancer who won the regional competition of the Grand Prix in classical ballet and contemporary dance, an international competition equivalent to the Olympics. She is a student at Steamboat Springs Middle School. 

You are a talented dancer! Is it your passion?

Dance is everything!

What is it like to train in Steamboat Springs? On the one hand, not a big city. On the other hand, the birthplace of modern dance and the home of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. The town has a 100-year plus history of dance.

It is great. I have trained at Elevation Dance Studio since I was 3 years old. They have given me a solid foundation for dance. I spent a summer at Perry Mansfield and work with one of their teachers privately throughout the year. We FaceTime for my trainings. I was also in a film produced at Perry Mansfield when I was 8; it is called “Fledgling.” I also train in Denver, Los Angeles, Arizona and New York City.  

 What was it like to work with Jordan Matter (internationally renowned dance photographer)? Did he challenge you? Was there a lot of standing around?

Absolutely no standing around with Jordan Matter. He is high-energy, and his energy is contagious. Yes, he challenged me. 

Do you have a mentor who is guiding you in dance?

I have several. Ilana Goldman has been a huge support for me. She makes the time for me, although she is quite busy. She is the professor of dance at Florida State. She graduated from Juilliard, and she inspires me to dance there also. Meg Southcott is also one of my biggest inspirers; she never gives up on me. All of the teachers at Elevation inspire and mentor me. 

When you aren’t dancing, what do you like to do in Steamboat in the summertime?

We hike and camp and swim. We love to tube down the Yampa River, spend time downtown, go to the hot springs, sleep in tents and go to the free concerts.

What’s your favorite place to get ice cream?

Ciao Gelato.

What’s your favorite pizza?

Blue Sage and Domino’s.

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