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Ballet Talk for Dancers

A young dancer taken in her prime


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I was notified by a member of this very sad news. We would like to extend our extreme sadness for the loss of a Carolina Ballet Trainee and NCSA graduate. Ms. Shapiro was killed by a drunk driver last night and we send our thoughts and prayers out to the family, friends, teachers and fellow dancers for the loss of this young talent in such a tragic manner. And may her family find strength and courage. Her mom is a dance teacher and her brother is/was a dancer as well who was injured helping another dancer home after a performance a few years ago. May they all feel our strength in their hour of need.


A loss too soon

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  • beckyb


  • Momof3darlings


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  • Beautiful Disaster


Thank you for posting. I heard about this earlier today but didn't feel it was my place to post.


My prayers are with her family and friends during this unimaginable time....

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Elena Shapiro, 20-year-old trainee with Carolina Ballet, was killed at 8:30 last night when she was hit from behind by a driver speeding through a residential area of Raleigh at 85 mph.


Her mother, Brantley Shapiro, is a former dancer who now directs the ballet program at Wake Forest University; her brother Sam, also a dancer, was with Boston Ballet and is now at NCDT. I'm sure the family would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.


Arrangements have not been announced. UNCSA friends, students, and others here in her hometown are stunned and grieving this tragic loss.

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becky--thank you for posting. I will leave it since you've given some additional information about the family. I appreciate your being willing to bring us the information.

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Elena's brother Sam, was the Boston Ballet dancer who was hit by a stray bullet from a fight across the street while walking to his Boston apartment late one night that was also reported on this board (as momof3 mentioned). My heart and my prayers goes out to this family. This is such a senseless tragedy.


Elena was a kind and sensitive young woman and a talented dancer. May she rest in peace.


Additional news story

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Devastating news. I pray that her family finds the strength to get through this horrible tragedy. Love and support to all of her friends as well. Just can't get over this news. So sad.

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So tragic. My heart goes out to all who knew her.

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A family member of mine know Elena. She was a lovely person inside and out. She was a talented caring individual who will be missed in every way possible, more than a dear and caring friend. My heart felt sympathy goes out to her family.

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Elena Shapiro's service will be at 12:00 on Tuesday at Wait Chapel at Wake Forest.

I conveyed everyone's condolences today; the family was grateful for your thoughts and prayers.

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This family has indeed been touched by another senseless tragedy. Please continue to support them with your prayers.

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My parents always told me that when you become a parent things take on a whole new meaning. The death of this beautiful young girl, caused by the careless actions of another is absolutly heartbreaking. And now as a parent myself I cannot even begin to fathom the heartbreak her parents and family must be going through. I hope the person responsible for her death, as well as all others who take a life when they choose to drive drunk, will be held accountable. I hope the family knows that the entire ballet community as well as every parent (sorry for speaking for all, but I cannot imagine it isn't true) feels their loss, even if we didn't know her personally.

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