16/12/2014 16:36 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Proof Confidence Is The Key To Success

City.Ballet S2:E7 | Where We Come From - Ashley Bouder

There aren't many people who their career goals at the age of 16, but ballet dancer Ashley Bouder is one of them.

She was 7 when she decided to be a professional dancer and 9 when she realised she would like to join the New York City Ballet.

MORE: Ballet is tougher than you think

By the time she was 16, Ashley had joined the company's corps de ballet and by 21, she had become the highest rank of principal dancer. Not bad for a girl who went to ballet classes in a converted sheep barn in Pennsylvania.


"Ashley Bauder does not remind me of anybody else," says NYCB's Ballet Master-in-Chief Peter Martins. "She's extremely versatile, she has an unbelievable technique."

Clearly, Ashley is special. But despite her busy training regime (which she balances with studying for a degree in Political Science) this is not the only root of her success.

Ashley's secret? Confidence.

MORE: A day in the life of a ballet teacher

"I had such confidence that this was going to happen," she reflects. "Now I look back and I think 'woah' I made it happen - but I think it's testament to the will power. If you know you want something, you can go get it."

Words of wisdom, or what?

See Ashley at work with the NYCB dancers in the video above and look out for more from the series as Sarah Jessica Parker explores life at the company each week.