Driven: Teen becomes Mobile Ballet’s first Black lead dancer


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s a moment that still doesn’t feel real to a 17-year old dancer who will do something the Port City has never seen. 

Victoria Blakely will make history this weekend as Mobile Ballet’s first Black lead dancer in ‘The Princess and the Frog.’

The Davidson High School senior is perfecting all her moves ahead of Mobile Ballet’s production of the Princess and the Frog, where she will star as Princess Tiana.

“Very excited. I didn’t have any words to say. My mouth was wide open when the cast list was outside on the board,” she said.

Artistic Director Katia Garza handpicked Victoria for the role and understands this moment.

“It was the perfect timing to cast her,” Garza said. “It makes me proud that I can change the life of somebody and maybe a bunch of kids out there that are watching her dance on stage.”

Garza said her vision to bring the Disney movie to the Saenger Theater stage is three years in the making.

The performance will have some Port City flare, with Victoria strolling through the streets of downtown Mobile to the tunes of a live band. 

It’s a lead role — Victoria said hasn’t quite sunk in yet. 

“I feel like it’s not going to hit me until the curtain opens on the first show. But I can’t let that get into my head.”

She hopes this moment inspires other young girls who look like her. 

“I feel like this gives many younger girls a big confidence boost in the ballet world specifically,” she said. “There will be many obstacles. But do not let that stand in your way. You will get past it.”

Victoria has plans to go to college where she will continue to train in hopes of becoming a professional dancer. 

Sunday’s performance is sold out, but there are still tickets left for Saturday. Click here for details.

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