Classical dance training helped lead Zoë Saldana to movie roles, including Star Trek XI.
Saldana, thirty-one-years old, took classical dance for eleven years and her classical dance training led to her first movie role as a ballet dancer in 2000’s Center Stage, a movie about twelve young dancers hoping to be chosen to join the American Ballet Company.
“I was a classical dancer for 11 years,” said Saldana. “I went to boarding school in the Caribbean even though I was born in New York. So when I came back to the US, I was graduating from high school and didn’t want to dance any more. My mom gave me a year off, but I took two. Then I started auditioning, doing commercials and little plays.”
While doing one of these plays, Saldana was noticed. “I was doing a play and a manager was watching the show and I got signed up,” she said. “You go from Burger King commercials to a Coca-Cola campaign to Law And Order. Every New York actor does Law And Order.
“From there, I was booked for a movie called Center Stage. If it had not been for my ballet background, that would have never have happened.
“That was the first vehicle that got me an agent and then, you know, Uhura in Star Trek. Now I’m here. I can’t believe it myself sometimes!”