Murrieta ballerina gets chance of a lifetime to dance on world stage

MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) -- After years of hard work, a teen from Murrieta is finally realizing her dream to dance in a world famous competition.

Keara Nichols is reaching a new height.

The 16 year old was just accepted to compete in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland next month.

"I was extremely excited and extremely grateful, and it was like a big dream come true," Nichols said.

She's the first dancer from Murrieta to ever make it to this competition.

"Everyone was just in shock and we were beyond excited," said Alyssa Chavez, a co-owner at the Academy of Ballet Arts.

"There were 84 dancers from the entire world invited and only six girls from the United States," Chavez added.

Nichols began dancing when she was just 5 years old.

"It just makes me feel free," she said.

Nichols has done her most rigorous training for the past few years, with the Academy of Ballet Arts in Murrieta

"I'm at the studio all day - sometimes I'm here like 9 in the morning until 9 at night," Nichols said.

Jose Chavez is also a co-owner at the Academy of Ballet Arts, and he says her success is a result of drive and dedication.

"The number one thing that makes Keara, Keara, is her desire. She'll physically fall over and faint, which she has, before she quits," Chavez said.

Nichols will compete against other 15 to 18 year olds, and it will be her first trip to Europe.

Alyssa Chavez says it's much more than just a chance to win a gold medal.

"It's an opportunity for the dancers to be connected with directors from all over the world," she said.

Keara's dream is to one day dance professionally with a ballet company.

And she says her parents gave her sage advice on staying in the moment.

"They don't want me to stress over anything or put too much pressure on myself," Nichols said. "So, I can just enjoy the entire experience."
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