Monterey County Dance Theatre
Chloe Arriaga, a senior at Soledad High School, was accepted into Ballet Arizona’s pre-professional division. (Miguel Serrano Photography)

SALINAS VALLEY — Five dance students from South Monterey County have been accepted into prestigious professional dance schools this summer.

Janette Harkness, artistic director of Monterey County Dance Theatre in King City, congratulated her students — Chloe Arriaga, Anahi Cervantes, Sara Godinez, Alicia Quintana and Makayla Ramos — on their acceptance March 17. 

“Across the United States and from abroad, students of classical dance have the opportunity to study with professional elite schools yearly,” Harkness said. “From East Coast to West Coast here in the United States, national auditions are held. It is extremely difficult to get acceptance.”

Arriaga, from Soledad, was accepted into Ballet Arizona’s pre-professional division with an opportunity to train year-round. Ballet Arizona is a professional ballet company in Phoenix, Ariz., and Arriaga will study from June 10 to July 19 in its summer intensive program.

She is a senior at Soledad High School with aspirations to dance professionally. Her parents are Fabian and Rosanna Arriaga.

“She began her dance training with us and has flown high,” Harkness said.

Cervantes and Godinez, both from King City, will attend Ballet West in Utah. Cervantes is the daughter of Edgar Cervantes and Laura Resendiz; and Godinez’s parents are Diego and Betsy Godinez.

Quintana, from Soledad, and Ramos, from Greenfield, will attend Joffrey Ballet’s program in Florida. Quintana’s parents are Oscar Solis and Anyeli Gomez; and Ramos is the daughter of Manuel and Josie Ramos.

“Your hard work has been recognized,” Harkness said in a social media post announcing the young ladies’ achievement. “Now go chase those dreams!”

Monterey County Dance Theatre
Monterey County Dance Theatre students (clockwise from top left) Chloe Arriaga, Sara Godinez, Makayla Ramos, Alicia Quintana and Anahi Cervantes were accepted into prestigious professional dance schools this summer. (Miguel Serrano Photography)
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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.

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