Madison (Maddi) Baptiste’s first experience with Pioneer Valley Ballet was auditioning for The Little Mermaid in 2007. She was a dancer at another studio since she was three years old; but after performing for the first time in a full-length ballet at the Academy of Music under all of the lights, the costumes, and makeup, she knew her future dancing career had to be with Pioneer Valley Ballet.
Maddi says, “My favorite experience with PVB is without a doubt performing in The Nutcracker every year. It has easily become one of my favorite traditions and my favorite time of the year. Through the years I have been able to watch myself progress and grow through the different roles. It is always really special to be cast in a role that was once performed by someone I admired and looked up to. Knowing that young dancers could be looking up to me the way I did when I was six years old makes all of the hard work and dedication worth it. Nutcracker is also a time where I get to spend a lot of time with my best friends. Yes, the hours of rehearsals in the studio, and then especially at the theater, can be very difficult. However, in all that time I’m in an environment surrounded by people who truly do love and support one another.”
Being part of Pioneer Valley Ballet has had a very big influence on Maddi’s life. She not only learned ballet, but also respect, discipline, and time management. Her experience has shaped her personal outlook on life, and she found a supportive, loving community at PVB.
As Maddi prepares to graduate from PVB, she is looking forward to holding all of the memories and lessons close. PVB has made her a goal-oriented person and she is always looking for ways to improve herself. She plans to attend college to study communications and public relations, and she will try to keep dancing. Her dream would be to work in public relations or advertising in the entertainment industry or for a popular dance company. She couldn’t imagine leaving the dance or arts community, as it has been her whole life thus far, so she will make it a goal to still be involved even if she is not on stage performing.