Chance to dance

  • Keith Ketchum / Special to TGIFR!DAY

    Sadie Sanson, 17, is gearing up to go back to Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC for her senior year.

  • Contributed

    Sadie Sanson is a 17-year-old Kilauea ballerina who has spent the last year studying at Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. Here she becomes one with the trees in a forest on Kauai.

Sadie Sanson has spent the past year dancing at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and on Saturday, Aug. 24 she’ll be showing off what she’s learned at the Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion.

The 17-year-old is the oldest of five children, and has been dancing since she was a toddler, training with Kauai Dance Center.

She took advantage of a summer intensive ballet opportunity on Oahu in 2017, and was taking classes from local instructors Andrea Gardener at Kilauea Studio and Daniel Nelson before she was invited to join the Kirov Academy’s year-round training program.

In 2018, Sanson raised enough money to take that offered spot at the academy. The cost for tuition and travel is around $55,000 per year. She says the year was one of immense growth for her as a dancer and a person.

Spending a year away from home at the Washington boarding school made her a more independent person and has helped prepare her for the “real, professional world.”

“The world-class teachers at Kirov have given me so many tools that have helped me to improve my technique and my artistry,” Sanson said. “They have taught me how to work hard and strive to produce my best work every day.”

Sanson studied under Marianna Rozanova at the academy, and says she was fortunate to have the same ballet teacher for the entire year. The lessons will linger forever.

“I owe so much of my growth and improvement to madame Rozanova, who was willing to take me and my classmates under her wing, work and sweat with us every day,” Sanson said.

It was a year of new friends and sharpening her work ethic, and now, Sanson is gearing up to go back.

“Judging by how much I have grown over this past year, I have no doubt that Kirov will be able to prepare me for success in the future,” Sanson said. “I can’t wait to see what the coming year will have in store for me.”

The Aug. 24 event, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., is a fundraiser for her tuition, and will also feature performances from dancers from the Kilauea Studio.

Food trucks, a silent auction and drinks will be available. Tickets are available at Healthy Hut, Kilauea Studio and at the door. Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for keiki ages 12 and under.

“I’m really looking forward to performing at the fundraiser at Anaina Hou. I have faith that we will be able to raise enough money so that I can go back to Kirov next year,” Sanson said.


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or


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