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Conversations with the Inspiring Megan Nicotera

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Nicotera.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Megan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am originally from Las Vegas where my mother and grandma raised me. It was always just us 3 when I was growing up. My grandma put me in ballet class when I was four years old and that’s when my life long journey as a dancer began. I spent the next 16 years in dance studios doing what I loved. When I was 20, my ballet company was going through internal changes and I was one of the dancers let go. I had decided that the fast-paced restaurant industry was a field I could place my energy, so I attended Culinary school and received my associate’s degree in Culinary Arts at 22. I spent two years working in an Italian restaurant at The Palms, but during that time, I began to realize that I needed ballet in my life again very badly. I spent all of 2011 re-training my body in order to audition for ballet companies the following year and was happily accepted to one in San Diego and moved here in 2012. Currently, I dance with California Ballet Company, teach ballet at two studios in Carmel Valley, and work at two restaurants. I also have been fortunate enough to pursue my love of gogo and character dancing for local nightclubs in Gaslamp, as well as local and international festivals. My journey is about spreading the love of dance and hoping to inspire someone that with enough passion, hard work and dedication, literally ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In my dance career, I have been told so many times, by people in positions of ‘power’, that they do not think I have what it takes. It has broken me a couple of times, but I will always stand up stronger and taller after. I know that the opinions of one or two people don’t mean anything when it comes to my drive and passion.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
The thing about being a dancer, or any kind of artist, is that you have to sacrifice so much in order to make the dream a reality. I am proud that I have put in the work for what I have. Nothing has ever been handed to me, and it’s always been a struggle, but I am more grateful and thankful because of it.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Women have a natural tenacity and an ability to understand and feel the people around. There is nothing more empowering than being able to live life as a woman knowing that anything is possible for us. I have been cooking in kitchens for ten years, and while I have definitely been the minority gender wise, all the women I have met in that field have all the abilities of the men, as well as an elegant finesse to the craft.


  • Private ballet lessons are 40 an hour plus studio rental fee

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ryan Beck, Kelly and Ian Kreidich, Ana B, Collin Worrel, Adrian Trotter

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