Milford native Monica Starr recently enjoyed the privilege of entertaining the First Family and their guests during a Trick-or-Treat event at the White House hosted by the President and the First Lady. Children from over 40 local schools were greeted by President Obama and Michele as they handed out Halloween candy. The event included amusement from dancers, costumed characters and jugglers as they interacted with families. Starr entertained children as the Black Swain Ballerina as they waited on the lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for their opportunity to meet the First Family.
Born in Milford, DE, Monica started to dance under the direction of the Gail Gardner Dance Dimension in her hometown and the Zwaanendael Dance Academy in Lewes, DE under Michel Parisi. Participating in high school musicals, she also began dancing in performances such as Cinderella and The Nutcracker. After graduation, Starr decided to pursue a career in dance at the Virginia School of the Arts and has since been dancing for several professional companies including the Milwaukee Ballet and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland.
“It was the most personally satisfying career path,” said Starr. “It was a challenge, which I like, and I like being around creative minds.”
Starr received an invitation to the White House Trick-or-Treat event through the recommendation of a friend. She soon received a package in the mail stating that she had been hired to provide entertainment on the White House lawn for the event. Donning a black tutu, mask and gloves, Starr played the part of the Black Swain Ballerina. Performing various choreography from Swain Lake and adding character improvisation, she taught children how to curtsy and encouraged them to share their own dance moves with her.
“It was amazing, I was not prepared for how thrilling it was,” said Starr. “The kids were amazed as some of them had never seen anyone dance in pointe shoes before.”
Monica will be dancing next with the Delaware Dance Alliance as they perform The Nutcracker Ballet on Saturday, December 13 at 2pm and 7pm at Seafood High School. The Nutcracker Ballet is the story of a small girl who experiences an adventure in a dream-like world at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. Toys, ornaments and animals come alive as Clara attempts to rescue her nutcracker that was given to her as a Christmas present. Starr will be playing the lead arabian and corps de ballet of Snow and Waltz of the Flower. This will be her tenth year performing in the production of the Nutcracker.
“I love the show for the fact that it is a children’s ballet story, it is very magical,” said Starr. “ It brings a young audience to the ballet and gets them excited about theatre.”
Tickets are now on sale for The Nutcracker Ballet and can be purchased in person at the box office the night of the show or online at brownpapertickets.com Individuals can call First State Dance Academy at (302) 422-2633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.