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Spotsylvania ballerina wins acclaim in Denmark
Date published: 2/16/2012
Nearly 20 years after she first stepped into Lisa Avery's ballet studio
Avery Ballet in Fredericksburg is where Watson, now 30, first fell in love with ballet.
"It wasn't like a choice," she said. "I really do think it was destiny--this really is my calling."
That calling, as well as talent and dedication, are what landed her a spot at age 15 to study at the prestigious School of American Ballet, home to the famous New York City Ballet, and then a role with the Royal Danish Ballet at age 18.
When she was hired by the Royal Danish Ballet, it wasn't the only offer she had.
She could have gone to Miami or Seattle, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to dance in Europe.
"It was the right company. I can't think of a different path," she said.
For the past 12 years, she has climbed the ranks of the company and is now a principal dancer.
She has a contract with the company until she turns 40.
And it was while performing with the Royal Danish Ballet that she caught the eye of the queen of Denmark.
Queen Margrethe II is a fan of ballet, and saw Watson perform in "Swan Lake."
Watson said she remembers meeting the queen sometime after the performance, and what the monarch said to her.
The queen said Watson's arms were "the most amazing things" she'd ever seen, the dancer recalled.
The accolades continued last fall when she received a letter in the mail informing her that she had been nominated for the Order of the Dannebrog, a medal awarded to those who work for the benefit of the country. A select few receive it each year.
She was floored.
Although she's fluent in Danish, she brought the letter upstairs to her boyfriend to make sure she wasn't reading it wrong.
The head of the Royal Danish Ballet told her what it meant and told her that she needed to pass a background check.
Of course she did, and learned again--through a letter--that she would receive the honor.
In a ceremony Dec. 3, Watson received a silver cross embellished with diamonds.