Summit freshman accepted to top ballet school

15-year-old Doug Parr heads to New York this summer

Summit HS student earns prestigious dance honor

BEND, Ore. - Bend 15-year-old Doug Parr can dance.

"I've always known I have a certain type of presence or natural talent," Parr said this year.

That talent landed the Bend teen a spot in one of the most prestigious ballet academies in the country -- The School of American Ballet.

"I can't wait to go," Parr said.

Maybe the most impressive part -- this young man's ballet career is only 18 months old.

"He has absolutely transformed. And the fact that he has been accepted to The School of American Ballet with less than two years of training, to me it's kind of unheard of," said Parr's instructor, Joy Victor.

After competing against thousands of hopefuls in Los Angeles last month, Parr got the good news he'd been hoping for.

"I was just at dance, and then my mom comes in and shows me the piece of paper. And I was like, "What?!" I just didn't expect it at all," Parr said.

This summer, it's five weeks of intensive ballet training, six days a week, for eight hours a day with some of the worlds best instructors. And Parr is going to New York City on a full scholarship.

"When he showed me the letter, I couldn't even talk," Victor said. "It's so rare that somebody gets this happening to them when they have not dedicated their lives since the age of 7 to ballet. He's received it, and it's an open door that's a beautiful opportunity."

For Parr's mentor, it's a mirror image of her ballet career.

"And the fact that he's going back to the same place I was exactly at that age is almost like magic," Victor said.

Parr practices ballet 2-3 hours every day. He then trades the leotard for sneakers and heads to his other dance classes, because he's also a master of hip hop.

"Even when good dancers come and stand on stage, you can't take your eyes off them. It's because of this radiance and it's obvious that Doug has this," Victor said. "I'm just delighted, even though I know I'm going to lose him. I just believe very soon they are going to say,,'Stay with us in New York, we want you 24-7.'"

Dance has become a passion for Parr that's taking him to world's biggest stage.

"I just love to dance," he said.

Parr said he hopes to make a career out of dancing and eventually, one day, dance for a company.

Joy Victor has a lot of young dancers looking up to Parr as inspiration. She'll be teaching them in a brand new, larger studio soon off Fourth Street and Butler Market Road called Victor School of Performing Arts International.

For more information visit or call (269) 876-6439

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