Nearly Supergirl


IMG_0077No, she doesn’t wear a red cape. She wears a tutu.

For everything she does, Madeline Houk, a company dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet, seems to possess more than just normal human powers.

In and of itself, being a full-time ballerina in one of the nation’s top companies is an intense endeavor. But Houk decided she wanted also to study part-time at UCLA. She’s graduating next year with a communications major. On the side, she sells Mary Kay beauty products.

And she’s recovering from a major surgery, her third since she was 16.

“I put in a lot of hours in the Los Angeles Ballet,” said Houk, 21. “But how you spend your free time is up to you. They way I was raised definitely contributed to the way I am. I guess you could say I come from a family of over-achievers.”

Born of ballet dancer parents, Houk was a “ballet school rat.” Her parents – retired from the Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet – launched the San Elijo Dance and Music Academy in San Diego in 2001.

“We really didn’t have a lot of students at the beginning, so my parents took me and my sister to every single class to make it look like we had more students,” Houk said. “That was my life. I would come home from school and go to dance school. I took ballet, tap, everything.” Read the rest of the article.

Editor’s Note: I never was a ballet kind of guy. But since a good friend dances for the LAB, he’s helped me get interviews for articles on the Santa Monica Patch. I’m drawn to human interest articles where the person overcomes great odds to achieve something noteworthy. I’m drawn to stories where the person lives out of passion for a cause much greater than money. Enjoy.

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15 responses to “Nearly Supergirl

  1. Oh my goodness, is that photo of Madeline Houk? Incredible athlete…and a lovely write up on your part. Happy Sunday!

  2. I absolutely adore ballet. Misty Copeland is another ballerina who really is inspiring to me. She overcame poverty and great odds in her ambition to become a ballerina.

  3. It’s “Mary Kay” without the “e” on the end…

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. I have big admiration for anyone that can do things like this. For me it is a full time job just being able to walk and take care of my self, home and family. Polio survivor from 1948. Proud of you.

  5. As a professional dancer, I can say that this is impressive. Inspiring !!!

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