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Ballet’s Biggest Matchmakers (Student, Meet Scholarship)

Cory Stearns was feeling cocky. It was 2001, and he was 15, competing in the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition. As he took the stage to perform a solo from “Swan Lake,” some students from his school cheered, and he winked back. Then the start of the music surprised him, and, as he remembers it, he “choked completely.”

In video footage, the performance doesn’t look as bad as that. But when it was over, he ran off and burst into tears.

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