Malvernite Carly Bottitta has spent the last few months training and preparing for the latest role in her ballerina career. Carly, 14, earned the role of Clara in the LEGGZ in Rockville Centre guild production of “The Nutcracker.” She will be performing at Madison Theatre at Molloy College this Friday through Sunday.
“It’s very rewarding, because I do work very hard with long hours every week,” Carly said. “And then with the schoolwork, sometimes it’s hard to balance it out, but in the end, it’s all worth it. The second you go on stage, you get a little nervous. But once you’re on there it all goes away.”
She started dancing at Tap to Pointe in Malverne under instructor Sara DeGennaro when she was 4. Her mothers, Josephine and Marisa got her into dance. Carly said that at first, she didn’t like it, but she warmed up to it over the years.
“She would dance around the house all day long,” Marisa recalled.
Josephine, who coached Carly’s tee ball team, recalled that during her first game, she ran down the third base line after hitting the ball. “I knew it was over from that moment,” Josephine said jokingly.
Josephine also said that people can’t just jump into this kind of role, and that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to perfecting her craft. Last summer, Carly attended the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in New York City for five weeks.
“It was an amazing experience,” Carly said. “It’s a great company and so to dance with them, it was really nice. There’s so many teachers, so you get to learn from different points of view.”
Last year, she also trained at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. Carly, who started training for this role in September seven days a week, said that each school has furthered her growth.
A freshman at Malverne High School, Carly is also a gold medalist as a vocalist in the NYSSMA competition. “A lot of the teachers for the arts have helped me with dancing, acting and singing, and making me more well-rounded,” she said.
In addition, her performances with LEGGZ also go towards supporting local charities on Long Island.
“I get to do what I love to do so it’s not hard,” Carly said. “It’s simple just to do the little things for other people.”
She hopes to go college for dance, and she would like to become a principal for any of the top dance schools in NYC.
Marisa, who took part in theatre and dance when she grew up, said that, “It brings tears to my eyes, and it’s really exciting to see what she’s accomplished. To see her doing what I love, there’s nothing better than that.”
“I thought for sure she’d be a pro-soccer player or a pro-softball player,” Josephine said, “but since that didn’t work out, I’d say that I’m very proud of her. She’s extremely driven, and to embark on this path, that’s what you need to be. She is my ultimate athlete.”