Pirouette: Globetrotting ballet dancer thankful for her Silverton roots

July 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People, School

She is a dynamic woman, a wonderful ballerina who has danced in galas on Broadway and across the world. Smart as a whip, charismatic as all get out, planning to major in biological science. Her work ethic is impeccable. Her favorite ballet is La Bayadere about the love of an Indian peasant for a princess. Last summer she was dancing in Alicante, a port city on Spain’s Southeastern Costa Blanca, and Prague in the Czech Republic. In a few weeks she is heading to Barcelona to dance at a gala, London, and Italy and earlier this year she was living in New York City.

As a world traveler, she has a lot of stories like being without money and a charged phone in a busy international airport and a date to dance the next day in another country. Wise beyond her years, and level-headed.

Jinjutha Cheepluesak of Silverton, New York, and points beyond, is an incredible woman on a mission.

“I love dancing and being on stage, and to make people smile,” she says. “Hopefully it serves to make their lives better. I love kids and hope to use my biology major in a pre-med program so I can become a pediatrician.”

This fall she will be at UC Irvine as a freshman while having a company position with Ballet Irvine.

She is only 18, just a few months out of high school (two years at Silverton High and two years on-line because of dance commitments) and has already lived a life many people dream of.

Her mother, Oratai Cheepluesak, is exceptionally proud of her daughter. “She is a gift from God. She works so hard and is a wonderful daughter. We are glad we raised her in this community, which has loved her and supports her a lot”, says Mom.

Jin, which she likes to be called, is the daughter of Oratai Cheepluesak and Manos Jantarasri, owners of the popular Thai Dish Restaurant on North Water Street.

What is particularly impressive? Her beautiful smile and effervescent personality light up when she talks about dancing, growing up in Silverton, and how her parents crack her up.

“I love to dance, of course, but growing up in Silverton was awesome. In New York, where I was alone at 17 and 18, I didn’t have friends. Just dance. But coming home, hanging out with my friends, is so much fun. And my parents – they are so hysterically funny. My mom outwardly so. My dad’s humor is much more subtle, but he just makes me laugh so hard.” She clearly adores her parents, who she says have been highly supportive of her chasing her dreams while being practical and taking care of herself. She is most proud of her work ethic, her drive, and how hard she has worked to get where she is today. What makes her happy is people from around the world telling her how nice she is when so much of the world can be cold, impersonal, cynical, and indifferent. She tells them she is from a small town where people are nice to each other. That makes them.

Dancing since she was two years-old, she is ready for her studies, performing with Ballet Irvine, and the next chapter. It is a safe bet it will be exciting, colorful, and filled with surprises. And accomplishments. My guess is this ballerina’s message is “on point” – “I want to make ‘em smile.”

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