Ballet dancer

The 15-year-old ballet dancer from Myrtle Beach performs in an international competition

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — A 15-year-old Myrtle Beach dancer is reaching new heights while pursuing her passion.

Earlier this month, Siena España returned to the Grand Strand from overseas in Finland after taking part in the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. The coveted competition only accepts the best of the best.

Siena started dancing when she was only 3 years old. It was a hobby she started playing with her parents.

“I started taking ballet lessons with my mother when I was at the circus,” España said. “My parents were traveling artists and I took ballet lessons with her and she was my teacher.”

Dancing became Siena’s passion, and as she got older she wanted to turn her hobby into a career.

“My goal is to dance in a professional company and to dance professionally in Europe, but to be able to dance anywhere professionally is truly an honor,” she said.

One of Siena’s performances at the Helsinki International Dance Competition. Courtesy of photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

Siena got a taste of that goal when she was asked to take part in the Hesinki International Ballet Competition.

“At 15, she’s one of the youngest in the competition,” said Liza Mata, Siena’s coach and general manager of the Coastal Dance Centre, of which Siena is a member. “So she brought honor not just to herself, not just to her family, but to the community here.”

Siena’s talent shone as she competed.

“There were three rounds in the competition,” España said. “The first round, I competed in two classic variants. In round two I competed with a contemporary piece and in round three I competed with two more classical variations.

Siena reached the end of the competition and was invited to participate in the gala, a prestigious privilege.

Siena played in three categories. She has experience in ballet, tap and jazz. Photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

“You give him a beating; she will take it,” Mata said. “She listens and she shows no attitude. If she does, it’s very rare.

Mata says Siena’s humility will take her far in her dancing career. Sophomore High School also balances online schoolwork and practice.

She has this advice for young dancers.

“If you have a dream and you want it so badly, you can achieve it with hard work and even if you like it, you can achieve it.”

Siena was invited to perform at the Helsinki International Dance Competition Gala in Finland. Photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

Next month, Siena will attend the Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam on a scholarship, but she will have other expenses. She set up a GoFundMe.