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Turlock woman makes strides toward ballet dream
Turlock ballet dancer Brittnie Cudo has been dancing with Central West Ballet for two years and is trying to raise funds for a summer intensive training program in Salt Lake City. - photo by Photo Contributed
Some gifts truly do keep on giving, no matter the passage of time. For Turlock’s Brittnie Cudo, 21, a gift she received as a little girl has opened a door of possibilities for her and helped her identify a lifelong dream.
Cudo was 3 years old when her grandmother signed her up for ballet lessons as a birthday present. She showed a natural talent for the dance and continued with her lessons. Over the years of donning pink tights and slippers and perching her leg up on the ballet barre, Cudo came to find a second home in the dance studio.
“Ballet is my first love,” Cudo said. “As a child it offers you structure and helps you find your core. Artistically, it’s the only form of art that you can completely express yourself with your body.”
Cudo has such an affinity for dance that she decided to audition for the hit FOX show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Cudo was one of the few selected to audition in front of the show’s judges. All the judges loved her performance, especially her ability to moonwalk on pointe, but felt she needed to hone her techniques.
“They told me I had all the tools and the full potential to be a professional ballerina, I just needed to fine tune my techniques,” Cudo said.
She took the critique to heart and when she returned to town she joined up with Central West Ballet, where she has been a dancer for the last two years.
Ballet has offered Cudo a new opportunity — a chance to attend a summer intensive training program with the Salt Lake City Ballet West, where dancers have the chance to work with world-class choreographers and directors.
“I don’t know what else to do with myself if I’m not dancing, but this is going to be a make it or break it moment for me,” Cudo said.
Cudo is attending Modesto Junior College, working towards a business degree and works full-time at Target. Additionally, she teaches a ballet class once a week and mops the floors at the dance studio to pay for her tuition.
“I don’t mind all the work,” Cudo said. “It builds appreciation and gives you time to think about what you’re really working for.”
Despite all her hard work, Cudo is struggling to find the funds to pay for the summer program and is hoping to find some sponsors.
“I have covered every angle, combed my room, and lifted all the seat cushions,” Cudo joked. “Every strong-willed independent person has to ask for help occasionally.”
Donations towards Cudo’s tuition can be sent to the Salt Lake City Ballet West care of Brittnie Cudo Summer Intensive at 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 or by visiting
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.