From Paraguay to the Boston Ballet and Back: A Soloist Prepares for Life After Dancing

Diana De Ojeda started taking ballet when she was toddler in Asunción, Paraguay. She accompanied her aunt to and from her cousin’s ballet lessons. One day she, 3 years old at the time, asked if she could join.

“And I never left,” she said, with a wide smile.

It’s hardly a stretch to say the ballet world is better for it. De Ojeda studied ballet in Paraguay, as well as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and across the United States. She’s currently second soloist in the Boston Ballet, and was named one of El Mundo’s “30 Under 30,” as one of the most influential Latino leaders in Boston.

But Ojeda is no longer under 30. She’s 32. And, she said, most professional ballet dancers are considered past their prime by their 40s. So, she started considering new ways to express her artistry and her love for Latin America. A first-of-its-kind partnership between the Boston Ballet and Northeastern that helps professional ballet dancers earn college degrees and to prepare them for careers after dancing provided the answer.

Now, she’s launching Apartment No. 3, a home décor company dedicated to selling the handmade crafts native to Paraguay.

“Northeastern gave me the tools to be able to start my own company,” De Ojeda said. “The experience gave me the confidence to do it.”

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