Ballet dancer balancing work and college graduates after 9 years

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A full-time ballet dancer finally earned her college degree from Providence College, nine years after professional and collegiate career began.

Like thousands of others across the state, Sunday was graduation day Kirsten Evans. 

“I started dancing when I was two, and I started more serious classical ballet around 10-11,” Evans said.

But her journey took a little longer than most, as she spent almost a decade splitting her time between studies and being on stage.

“I’ve been a full-time professional ballet dancer for the past nine years. Right out of high school I got hired into a company called Festival Ballet Providence, and I’ve been with them for nine years and part-time at P.C. trying to earn my degree, and here I am finally,” she said.

Balancing books and ballet was no easy task. On top of classes and homework, Evans spent about 40 hours a week training and performing with her company.

“Full-time job, yeah, and then we have shows on the weekends so it will be more depending,” she said.

Steve Maurano was Evans’ faculty advisor at Providence College, who helped her complete her senior project which combined her two passions of dance and writing into a book of Festival Ballet’s 40-year history.

“That’s a story of perseverance and dedication,” Maurano, said. “There is a sense of pride and a sense of joy when you work with a student like that who is so dedicated.”

Evans hopes to continue dancing for as long as possible but says her degree will open even more doors in the future.

“I feel like I’m kind of at the height of my career right now so I really want to see where that takes me and then from there, I absolutely love writing and we’ll see where it goes,” she said.

Evan hopes to write another book one day, possibly a novel. Anyone who wants to learn more about her journey can click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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