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David Samson, Published January 24 2011

Portraits: Rachel Wells

Rachel Wells has wanted to dance for as long as she can remember. The North Dakota State University junior is now one of the three principal dancers at Gasper’s School of Dance in downtown Fargo. “I remember watching the Olympics when I was 3 and attended a performance of ‘Swan Lake’ at the Detroit Opera House when I was 6,” Wells says. From then on she was hooked and has been involved with ballet since she moved to the area 10 years ago. With perfection comes hours of practice for Wells and her fellow dancers. “People in Fargo-Moorhead have this set idea what ballet is, and sometimes it is difficult to convince them to take another look. It is really very physical. The hard part is to look perfect when really you are dying on the inside from the pain. But we are strange people and like that sort of thing,” she adds with a smile. Wells will audition around the country to land a spot with a summer program, and no matter where her journey takes her, she says she has found a home in downtown Fargo.