YUMA, Ariz. - In News 11's new weekly segment The Brightside, we take a look at local stories to brighten your day.
This week News 11 takes a look at the inspiring story behind a local 16-year-old who was selected to complete in a famous international ballet competition.
"No feeling can beat that, can beat what I feel on stage," Eric Snyder who's been practicing ballet since he was nine years old said.
Nothing may not be able to beat that feeling of being on stage but a moment Snyder will never forget is after being accepted to compete in the Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious ballet competition in Switzerland.
"I called my mom and told her I got into the Prix and then she started crying and then I started crying and that's where I lost it," he said.
Only 80 dancers ranging in ages and from all over the world are accepted to compete.
"The exposure could open so many doors for me," Snyder said, who is hopeful for what the future brings due to this competition. Dancing professionally is his dream.
Snyder explains how he got into ballet. His family has always been involved in the performing arts. He participated in local theater and his mother was an opera singer.
"It was something I thought maybe I want to try it because my mom was open for us to try things she was always open for us to find our passion," he said.
Snyder practices 24 hours a week, Monday through Saturday. He says he already feels like he's living the life of a professional ballet dancer.
And no matter where ballet takes him, his love for performing will never end.
"Even if it's somewhere in England or if it's still in Yuma, if I'm stuck here, just as long as I can perform for people, and as long as I can share what I love with people, as long as I can make them happy with my joy, that's what's most meaningful to me," he shared.
Snyder is taking online school through Arizona Western College to help devote more time to his craft.
"Ballet teaches so many life lessons for people and so many people become so successful because of what they learn from ballet," he said.
But the biggest lesson he has learned as he climbs this mountain to success is to be humble he shared.
"Especially, when it comes to having this great success. There comes a lot of people complimenting you, a lot of people giving you a lot of recognition, which is nice but you can't let it go to your head," he said.
The sky is the limit for this rising star.
"I just felt like I opened up a brand new door into a new adventure in my life so I'm very excited for it," Snyder said.
Snyder leaves to compete in Switzerland at the end of this month. We hope as he continues to live out his dreams that he always remembers his hometown roots here in Yuma.
This new segment is sponsored by Country Club Motors and RVs.