Daughter of former Lightning player, Stanley Cup champ, performing ballet at Straz Center


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Her ties to the Sunshine State are strong but they have not kept her from dancing after her dream.

8 On Your Side’s Gabrielle Shirley would like to introduce you to a ballet student who will perform in the Next Generation Ballet Intensive Showcase at the Straz Center this week.

“My favorite part about dancing is the musicality,” said Dominika Afanasenkov, “because you can play with it in multiple ways. It is always different like every dancer interprets the same steps in a different way.”

Dominika entered into the world of dance when she was only 2 years old.

“My mom told me I kind of dragged her into a dance class,” she told 8 On Your Side’s Gabrielle Shirley. “I guess I just had an instinct that I wanted to dance.”

She wanted to dance but she did not want to ice skate.

“It is too cold!” she exclaimed.

Was her choice heartbreaking for her father?

“He did want me to play hockey but I just never thought of it. It wasn’t for me,” said Dominika.

Her dad, Dmitry Afanasenkov, was a forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won the Stanley Cup.

“My parents are both extremely supportive,” said Dominika.

However, she giggled when she said they struggle with the lingo of the dancers.

“They do not know any of the terms. I tried to teach them!”

Dominika did not have any success, an unusual concept for this 15-year-old dancer. She has actually been studying at The School of American Ballet in New York City.

“That is like a little step to getting into New York City Ballet so I am just hoping that that is going to happen,” she said.

Dominika will keep her fingers and her toes pointed toward that goal.

If you would like to watch her perform in the showcase, you can purchase a $15 ticket for the show in Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center. The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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