Dara Holmes is a mesmerizing dancer with a tragic past.  When she was three, she pointed to a picture of a ballerina and said, “Mama, teach me this.”

Dara was eager to dance, but formal lessons were out of the question for her cash-strapped family. That is, until five years later when Dara attended an outreach program at the Wilmington School of Ballet.

The school’s owner, Elizabeth Hester, took notice of Dara’s innate ability and awarded her a scholarship for as long as she needed. But several years later, a life-changing event threatened to derail all that she’d accomplished.

On a November night in 2004, she and her mother were driving  to a dance rehearsal when a speeding car struck theirs. Dara broke her collarbone. Her mother was killed.

Plagued with feelings sorrow and guilt, Dara poured herself into her craft,  treating dance like therapy.  She won a scholarship to train with the prestigious Harid Conservatory where she spent three years polishing her skills.

After graduation, she earned a spot with The Joffrey Ballet where she has since performed lead roles in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Paquita and Le Corsaire.

Dara Holmes, The Joffrey Ballet

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