Minnesota Ballet's Suzanne Kritzberg Retiring After Season

By KBJR News 1

November 25, 2011 Updated Nov 25, 2011 at 12:22 AM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - From a little girl's dream to dancing years beyond many of her peers, one Minnesota Ballet professional will be taking the stage this holiday season in her last Nutcracker performance.

(To see Kritzberg dancing, check out the video.)

In a profession where the average retirement is 27, 41-year-old Suzanne Kritzberg, stands out.

"I started dancing at the age of 11 in Chicago. I trained at Ruth Page, and I spent summers at Houston Ballet and Pacific Northwest in Seattle," said Suzanne.

Before coming to Minnesota, Suzanne suffered a potential career threatening injury.

"We couldn't get a proper diagnosis. I have what's called an Os Trigonum, which is an extra bone in one of my ankles."

After what ended up being an easy fix, she danced her way to Duluth.

"I planned to come and get some experience and move to a bigger company and when I moved here, I liked it so much I just stayed."

She quickly became the face of the Minnesota Ballet.

"It's a small company, so I got to do lead roles right away, which is of course what every girl wants to do in ballet."

And lead, she did.

"As a little girl you grow up thinking, I want to be the Sugarplum Fairy one day or I want to be the Swan Queen, and I've done all of those numerous times and more."

"Each time you come to a role that you've done previously, it's a nice opportunity to try to make it better than the last and that's kind of how I've stayed so long at it I think."

Now, heading into the ballet she calls the bread and butter, the Nutcracker, she will take on two roles, but it's her position in the Spring ballet "Coppelia", her last dance, which will be the challenge.

"It's three acts. The ballerina gets very few breaks. She has every basic trick that ballerina has to do is in there somewhere."

Looking forward to no more sore feet, her last dance will be bitter sweet.

"I think it's going to take a while to sink in that I'm really done."

After retirement, Kritzberg plans to stay connected to the ballet and teach, but will also switch gears and focus on law school next Fall.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike