With her hair perfectly coiffed, Ingrid stepped into her ornate pink costume and slipped on her pointe shoes. Today, she wasn't a 17-year-old battling Dermatomyositis, a life-threatening medical condition. She was a professional ballerina thanks to the kindness of the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) who agreed to grant her wish to meet and dance with male dancers at a pas de deux photo shoot.
The wish experience was more than just a day in this aspiring and talented young dancer's life. "It was life-changing," said her mom, Jennifer. "To watch her was just breathtaking. It was like putting the last six years in reverse ... the experience has restored so much hope. It just made us feel like things are possible."
Her wish experience began when a stretch limo picked her up from home. The first stop: Ben Bridge Jeweler in Seattle to select a piece of jewelry to help make her sparkle. After selecting her favorite necklace, bracelet and earrings, Ingrid was presented with a few gifts from the Ben Bridge staff as part of the Jewelers for Children partnership with Make-A-Wish.
The magic didn't stop there! Ingrid was then chauffeured to PNB, where she was given a tour of the studio and school. She met with three of the female dancers who helped her transform into a ballerina with a hair and makeup lesson as they chatted about ballet.
Before heading to dance practice with her male counterparts, Ingrid was taken to wardrobe where she chose a beautiful pink dress to wear during rehearsal. Upon her arrival, she was elated to find out that she would be dancing with not just one male dancer, but four! She participated in an hour-long class with principle dancers, Seth Orza, Batkhurel Bold and Karel Cruz, as well as PNB soloist, Benjamin Griffiths, and was taught by Ballet Master, Otto Neubert. After class, she watched the dancers rehearse a number for Coppelia and chatted with the female dancers again.
Her perfect day concluded with a trip to the observation deck at the Space Needle and dinner and entertainment at Teatro Zinzanni.
"She was so shocked and surprised by so many things," said her mom. "It was much more than we could have expected... It's the wish that keeps on giving. The experience, emotions, contacts she made and people that she met, it's all so incredible."
Special thanks: Wish granting volunteers Whitney Walker and Fiona Peterelli; Adopt-A-Wish sponsors, Jewelers for Children, Ben Bridge Jeweler; Pacific Northwest Ballet and professional dancers, Batkhurel Bold, Karel Cruz, Lindsi Dec, Benjamin Griffiths, Kylee Kitchens, Seth Orza and Sarah Ricard Orza; Bayview Limousine; The Space Needle; Teatro Zinzanni and Trudy's Flowers