Professional ballerina returns home to Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — World renowned ballerina has made her way back to Wilmington, the home of where she started taking dance lessons.

“When I saw her I knew immediately that her talent was unparalleled,” Wilmington School of Ballet owner Elizabeth Hester said.

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At eight years old, Dara Holmes had a natural gift for dancing.

She started her career taking lessons at the Wilmington School of Ballet under the direction of Elizabeth Hester.

“It is such a joy to have her home on a personal level for me,” Hester said.



Holmes is back in Wilmington to perform in “The Sleeping Beauty” and Hester is excited to have her be a part of the show.

“To actually have the time slot to come back and do this, is a nice thing,” Holmes said.

Holmes grew up in the Port City and her successful career has taken her to Chicago, where she works with the Joffrey ballet.

“It’s all about hard work if you want to leave Wilmington, if you want to accomplish a lot then you have to make yourself do it, like no ones going to do it for you,” Holmes said.

Hard work that has made Holmes one of the top ten African-American ballerinas in the world.

Performing on big stages like the Lincoln Center in New York, but she still remembers her roots.

“I came here when I was 8 years old and did a summer program and it’s just funny to remember how big the studio used to be when I was that little and now it’s not as big as it felt then, but still just imaging my little self dancing around the studio here,” Holmes said.

Now she will be dancing in a spotlight that has special meaning.

“It’s something for all, but especially for our minority community to come out and see one of our own cities minorities that has accomplished amazing things,” Hester said.

The performance will be this Sunday at the Wilson Center.

Another special guest will be our very own Daniel Seamons, who is the master of ceremonies.