Having recently won a prestigious award at a renowned international ballet competition, Whitney Jensen can look forward to an exciting future filled with arabesque, pas de deux, and grand jeté. Find out a little more about her.
How long have you been dancing? I’ve been dancing since I was about three years old.
Ballet takes a lot of commitment. How do you maintain balance in your life? I go to seminary every morning. I’ve just had a lot of gospel focus in my life. I’ve never set that aside to do just ballet. It’s always been a good balance. It’s probably just the way I grew up with my family. We’ve always had strong gospel teachings at home.
Do you get a lot of peer pressure? None of my friends are Mormon. I just stick out. For example, I don’t see rated-R movies, and they know that, which is cool. All my friends are good at not pressuring me to do anything. So it’s nice, because I can set an example for people and build my own identity.
What motivates you to do what you do? What I enjoy most is being able to share what I’ve been given, because I know that my purpose is to show the talents that I was given. When I was in Bulgaria that was my main purpose—just to share what I have and what I’ve been working for.
What’s your favorite thing to do besides dance? I like to spend time with my family. My sister lives five minutes away, and I like to go over to her house. She just had a baby, so I hang out with my niece. And I like to go to movies.
What’s the most important thing for other LDS teens to know about you? I have discovered that Heavenly Father knows everyone, and He listens to everyone’s prayers. He answered my prayers while I was away. He took hold of me. And I could feel that everyone back home was praying for me. Prayer plays the most important role.
Name: Whitney Jensen
Location: New York City
Major accomplishments: Several onstage performances at venues in New York City; many local and international ballet awards, most recently the Special Distinction at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria—an award that has been given only four times in 44 years.
Photographs by John Luke