“It’s amazing that people might be looking up to me like they would Misty Copeland.” Kaeli Ware

Kaeli Ware is part fireworks, part discipline, part soul. This sixteen-year old is as bright as they come, funny, and is a fresh, focused and sought-after multi-talented dancer who also represents world famous modeling agency Wilhelmina International Inc., as well as Bloch(R) and Jo + Jax. Built for ballet, Ware studied at world famous American Ballet Theatre from age nine to 11. She has travelled the competition circuit, ventured across the reality television world appearing in Lifetime’s Dance Moms and just last month, walked her first red carpet at the World of Dance Industry Awards. Those steps, and all of those in between have landed her right back at the doorstep of ABT, where she’ll be headed on June 26 for Summer Intensive.

A legend quite possibly in the making, she’s danced for Ms. Debbie Allen and met Misty Copeland, trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, appeared in commercials, and racked up countless awards. Polished, poised and ready to take on the world, Ware is sixteen going on stardom.

Here are a few excerpts from our interview with her.

Congratulations on your decision to go to ABT! Tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to go for their Summer Intensive.
When I was nine, I went to the ABT school until I was 11. I was really homesick, and really young and decided I wanted to go back home. Now that I’m older, I know that if I want to do ballet seriously and for real, I need to get back into that circle and do their Summer Intensive. Hopefully, I’ll get asked to stay year-round. Eventually, I want to be in their Company.

How has Misty Copeland been a role model for you?
I met her when I was eight, so it’s kind of crazy. She’s been able to see me grow up. When I was younger, my ballet teacher and my Mom always talked about how amazing she was. She was one of the first ballerinas I knew when I was little and after I met her, I realized what an inspiration she was. She’s literally changed the face of ballet.

You’ve had these amazing experiences working with your role models. How does it feel knowing that young dancers are now looking up to you? That you’re becoming in a sense, their Misty Copeland?
I think that’s insane. It’s amazing that people might be looking up to me like they would Misty Copeland. It’s one of my goals really, to have people look up to me and know who I am, and be a good role model. I have the best fans and know the best people around me – I know that they’re going to support me no matter what I do.

Does the Dance Moms experience feel like a lifetime ago?
It does, I was 11 and 12, I think, and I only did a couple of episodes, but people still remember me from that which is kind of crazy. It was so long ago!

Dedicating so much time to dance and being homeschooled, do you feel you’ve missed out on being a kid, or has it all been worth it?
I think both. I stopped attending school in seventh grade, so I’ve never gone to homecoming or prom. I don’t have many friends outside of dance, so I think that’s one of the hardest things. But now I realize, that I really couldn’t go to school with my schedule and what I’m doing. I love shopping. I love doing hair and makeup.  But, whenever I’m not at dance, I’m still focused on dance. Even if I’m home doing nothing, I’m watching videos of ballerinas! Dance is just in my brain!

Kaeli’s Key Pointes

  • Dream Role: Kitri in Don Quixote or Odette/Odile in Swan Lake
  • Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy
  • What’s in your dance bag? Pointe shoes, tap shoes, Bloch warm-up booties
  • Favorite food: Cheese pizza with basil
  • Starbucks order: Strawberry Refresher
  • First talk show you want to do: Ellen
  • Best Advice: Take class with amazing people!
  • On Insta @kaeliware5678
  • On Twitter @kaeliware
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Cover Photo: Jay Sullivan, Special Thanks to Jo + Jax
Additional photo credits; Chris Reilly, Action Moments