Small dancers, big stage

When she was 4 years old, Lilah DuBoff started dancing and doing impromptu shows for her parents in her living room. Now, she's nine and performing with a group of other ballet students from around the state at SPAC with the New York City ballet in July.

She fully understands how monumental her participation is for such a young dancer, she said, but she's also excited for a different reason.

When I heard it [the performance] was going to be from 8 to 10 p.m., I was like 'Oh my God' because I go to bed at 8, so it's a chance to stay up late and that will be fun, said DuBoff, who is homeschooled in Saratoga Springs.

DuBoff takes ballet lessons at Saratoga Ballet Academy and auditioned to be part of an ensemble of amateur dancers that will dance as bugs alongside the professionals. She's been to "a bunch of ballet shows" at the Egg and SPAC and while she has shows through her school, she said she's excited to have her own role in a bigger one this summer.

"Sometimes the music sort of speaks with the dancers and accompanies them. It helps you relax, it builds up your muscles and it's just fun," said DuBoff. "I like all the moves and don't have a favorite."

Her mother, Heather DuBoff, said she was surprised and excited her daughter has such an "incredible" opportunity so early in her dance career. Going into the audition, she said she put an emphasis on doing your best and having fun so there wasn't too much pressure or disappointment.

Lizzie Usack is only 11 but she's getting ready to dance on the SPAC stage for the third time. She'll join DuBoff, 20 other children and the NYC ballet this summer and while she's somewhat of a veteran, her biggest goal going into this year's audition wasn't even to be selected.

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