While most of us topple on our journey, Franceszqua Ward, a promising ballet dancer, discovered her path at the early age of two—and all it took to spark for her passion is an adorable Hello Kitty tutu. Since the day she received it as a gift, she would often be seen charmingly dancing in front of the TV and imitating professional ballet dancers, with her clumsy and chubby feet.
All of these happened years ago. Now at 11, the pretty Filipina dancer has grown into a young lady, conquering various ballet stages and pirouetting her way to success. Dancing lightly and delicately on the ends of her toes, she has impressed audiences in and outside the United Kingdom, slowly making a name for herself and immensely making both the Filipino and UK communities proud.
Among Franceszqua’s many awards are Theatre Dance Council International Regional Champion in Ballet, Modern and Tap, Youth American Grand Prix European semi-finalist 2018 in Paris, and Royal Academy of Dance East Midlands. She was also the youngest dancer to win a double title in a year from the British Champion in Ballet and All England Dance gold medallist in Ballet at eight years old. In addition to competitions, Franceszqua did special performances at Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s 20th-year celebration and at the premiere of the film ‘Ballerina’, among others.
Because of her performances that leave many amazed and astounded, Franceszqua often receives words of appreciation, and she is extremely grateful to everyone who has been with her in her journey. However, amidst all the praises from other people, it is her parents’ encouragement and supports she value most.
The first person to believe in Franceszqua’s potential is, of course, her mother, Juvy Ward. Since day one, Juvy has always been very supportive of her kid’s dreams, always finding a way to ensure that her little ballerina receives the training that she needs to fulfil her goals however difficult circumstances may be at most times. “Words aren’t enough to express how proud I am. Franceszqua’s hard work, dedication, and love of dancing inspire not just the people who know her but she inspires me to keep believing and never give up,” Miss Juvy Ward told Yes Philippines Newsmagazine.
Dancing Is a Sanctuary
In the eyes of the audiences, Franceszqua is a dancer trying to tell a story through graceful and eloquent performances. For the young ballerina, however, dancing is what makes life more interesting—a way to create her own place of happiness. ‘I love dancing and I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t dance. It’s the only way to keep me happy’, Franceszqua professing her love for the craft.
A Filipino girl born and raised in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, England, Franceszqua has had her share of dealing with uncalled comments from her peers at school. This is particularly because of her looking ‘different’ from everybody else. As a result, this makes her a favorite for bullies.
Instead of falling back, she uses all the horrible experiences thrown her way to fuel her love for dancing as well as to prove to herself that she deserves better. Truly, Franceszqua has found not only her passion but also the place where she could take refuge in during difficult times.
Whenever she faces struggles and personal issues, she reminds herself constantly why she started dancing in the first place which subsequently keeps her going. Young as she is, Franceszqua always finds the strength knowing that nothing good comes to people who do bad things.
‘When I dance, all of my troubles melt away and everything is put into dancing. When I dance, I feel like I can get away from all of the bad things, and I feel like I’m not drowning in regret, sorrow or anger. I always believe that dancing is the closest thing to flying; when I dance, I’m free!’, she honestly confessed.
The Ballerina’s Sophisticated Dreams
Franceszqua is a little kid with big dreams. In the future, she aspires to become a principal dancer in the Mariinsky Ballet. The young ballerina, while often seen light on her feet, knows that getting from where she is to where she wants to be would take hard work and discipline.
Aware that every performance gives her an opportunity to get closer to her dream, Franceszqua religiously practices her routine to get better at her craft. ‘I usually stretch, work on my technique, and I zone out quite a lot so that helps me too. I like to sleep a lot as well, it’s important to get rest!’, the young ballerina said.
On stage, in her soft tutu, Franceszqua has touched people on a deep, abstract level as she pirouettes and leaps on the tips of her toes. However, beyond giving otherworldly performances and bagging awards, she hopes to inspire people to become the best they can be so they are confident enough to follow their dreams.