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Sonia Rodriguez celebrates 25th anniversary with the National Ballet

06/10/2015 01:26 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
When Sonia Rodriguez steps on stage at the Four Seasons Centre tonight, it will mark a milestone in her storied career.

Rodriguez will be reprising her role in Sleeping Beauty, a performance that will mark the National Ballet's Principal Dancer's 25th anniversary with the company. At age 42, it's unheard of for a dancer to continue at her level.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Rodriguez said that she feels "a real sense of accomplishment" and is "really proud" of herself.

Born in Toronto, Rodriguez moved to Spain with her family when she was five. She studied with Pedro de la Cruz in Madrid and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She returned to Canada in 1989, joined the National Ballet a year later and went on to become one of the company's most versatile performers. 

'Very committed' dancer

Karen Kain was a principal dancer at that time and recalls the first time she saw Rodriguez.

"She's very committed, she's very hardworking," Kain said. "That's easy to say, but it takes a very specific discipline to do this, day in and day out, year in and year out."

Rodriguez, who is married to World Champion figure skater Kurt Browning, is also a mother of two children.

Reflecting on her busy career, she said, "I wish I would have taken more time to absorb each moment.

"But that's life, right? You get caught up and just keep moving and moving."

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