Dancer Meagan Selinsky’s striking poise, precision and presence are nothing less than arresting. On stage, she moves with a vibrant fluidity that embodies both the epitome of grace and a deeply expressive dramatic quality. Whether performing classic ballet or avant garde modern dance, Selinsky is a remarkably accomplished interpretive performer, a hard earned skill for any dancer but in Selinsky’s case it’s downright extraordinary — she overcame a debilitating condition so severe that, as a child, she was unable to walk.
Her amazing journey to the pinnacle of the dance world is a poignant, inspirational odyssey that began when she was just a toddler
“For the first nine months of my life I was like any other little girl,” Selinsky said. “But when I stood up to try and walk, my feet would immediately turn inwards and I’d fall over. My parents took me to the Shriners Hospital for Children, where they put me in cast-like corrective shoes to get me to be able to walk normally. For the next five years, the child struggled daily, facing a ceaseless adversity that’s almost unimaginable.
“If you’d asked the doctors at that time if I’d become a dancer or even learn to walk properly they would’ve laughed in your face,” Selinsky said. “Little did they know that with determination and belief in myself, I’d beat all odds.” This astonishing drive made it clear she was no ordinary y child — and Selinsky was training as a dancer before kindergarten.
“I always loved to dance, “ Selinsky said. “I started dancing at age 3 in a small local studio. I’d switch to ballet shoes from the corrective shoes during class and put them back on afterwards.
This formidable mixture of determination and self-possessed artistic discipline is the Canadian-born Selinsky’s defining characteristic. By the time she entered her teens, Selinsky had almost completely recovered — yet she still faced challenges.
“When I turned 13, I decided to pursue dancing as a career,” she said. “The teachers at the studio told me many times that I wouldn’t make it as a dancer and stopped helping me improve — I wouldn’t get any corrections or comments on my dancing.”
Characteristically, Selinsky paid them no mind, instead going on to attend her first summer intensive course at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
“Next, I joined the competition team and trained extremely competitively to be accepted into professional ballet schools,” she said. “I did have one teacher who was very supportive and helped me get accepted into Nutmeg Conservatory.”
At the prestigious Connecticut conservatory, Selinsky was immersed in far more intensive study and training than ever.
“When I was 15, I moved to Connecticut to attend Nutmeg,” she said. “After years of harsh words, hearing that I’d never make it as a dancer, I was on my way.”
She performed in various productions of ‘The Nutcracker’ and other ballets, in addition to work with the famed MOMIX company, an innovative troupe that combined choreography with acrobatics, gymnastics, props and multi-media theatrics. It was a bold new world for the ambitious young dancer and she reacted with appropriate audacity.
“I decided I wanted to pursue other styles of dance,” Selinsky said. “I then got accepted to Alvin Ailey’s certificate program and moved to the Big Apple.
The groundbreaking, world famous Ailey troupe represents the gleaming zenith of modern dance and was a highly significant career move, one which proved to be a dream come true for Selinsky
“The teachers at the Ailey School pushed you to become the best dancer you could be,” she said “They were very supportive because they wanted all of their students to succeed. I loved getting corrections at Ailey as they came from a place of caring, of wanting what was best for me — to help me improve, not tear me down.”
The restless, driven dancer avidly trained, with further study and experience at New York’s distinguished Joffrey Ballet, numerous summer intensives such as Tampa’s Next Generation and continues to enthusiastically embrace every type of dance discipline. As a result, Selinsky’s flawlessly ecumenical style and magnetic appeal continues to open unexpected new professional doors.
Since graduating from the Ailey School with a Certificate of Dance last year, the New York-based Selinsky has branched out to the world of mainstream entertainment.
“I’ve been performing so many amazing works,” she said. “I did a music video with the Broadway cast of ‘Chicago’ and will be featured in upcoming mystery movie ‘One More Photo Please.’ They filmed us doing a ballet and a modern class — I had lines as well as a dance solo. The movie is set to premier in Times Square this June and then will head to Netflix. And I was just offered a contract with the Disney Cruises line that I will be starting in July.”
Selinsky’s versatility is matched only by her fierce determination, resulting in an impressive and steadily ascending professional reputation. At her core, it all comes down to one thing — her lifelong passion for dance.
“I’ll never forget my first real professional performance with Les Grands Ballet Canadien,” Selinsky said. “It was a surreal experience. I got to perform for 3000 people every night at Place Des Arts- Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier theatre. I felt like this was my place, I felt inspired and I felt so passionate. I felt like I grew every night as a performer, and I feel the same today.”