Many of 18-year-old Miko Fogarty’s friends in Orinda, CA will be entering college in the fall. But not Miko. She is on her way to the United Kingdom to pursue a career as a professional ballerina for the prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet. It’s the latest leg in an artistic journey that began 13 years ago when as a kindergartner she fell in love with classical dance. She spent years studying with prominent Bay Area ballet teachers and trained at the San Francisco Ballet school for a year.
Like famed American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Misty Copeland, Miko is of mixed race — her father is English, her mother Japanese. Also like Copeland, she was not born with a so-called classic “ballerina body.” Honing her technique to overcome these limitations, Miko was featured at age 12 in the award-winning ballet documentary First Position. Since then, she has become a social media sensation with more than 200,000 followers on Instagram and 7 million views on YouTube. Miko was also recently photographed for the popular Instagram site Ballerina Project.