A Ballerina with a Mathematician’s Mind

. December 29, 2014.

For Findlay High School freshman Amy Barto, achieving excellence in the art of ballet and the science of mathematics has provided the perfect formula for both current and future success.

Through focus, determination, and patience, 15-year-old Barto has taught herself how to succeed in two high-demand areas, and how to carry this approach into everday life.

Barto’s teen life is busy. She is a Level 6 Ballet Dancer and student teacher at the Findlay Academy of Ballet, a member of St. Michael the Archangel Folk Group and member of FHS Key Club. She has performed with the NEOS Dance Theatre of Mansfield, TrideaDANCE modern dance of Tiffin, and Pointe of the Evening Findlay Academy of Ballet scholarship program.

An honor roll student, Barto has achieved recognition as the 2014 national winner of the AMVETS Americanism Essay contest, Camp Fire Northwest Ohio 2014 Incredible Kids winner, St. Michael 2014 Right to Life essay winner and member of the Junior National Honor Society.

Heading toward a math and science career

Barto wants to have a career in math or science and says learning patience and having an example of success in her family have kept her on track with her goals.   

“I learned a long time ago to use small amounts of time wisely,” Barto said. “Ten minutes is long enough to start an assignment and do a few math problems. I usually do the thing that will take the most time first.” Barto says her oldest cousin, Megan, has been a role model. “She has advanced degrees in math and is working towards being an actuary. She has shown me math can be an interesting and challenging career.”

Since Barto feels ballet has been the key to developing the discipline it takes to succeed in life, it will always be a part of her future.

“I have been in ballet since kindergarten,” said Barto. “I enjoy it. It has taught me the value of hard work. I don’t think I will ever stop dancing. I know a lot of adults who continue to dance while having jobs outside of dance, including several at the Findlay Academy of Ballet. I hope I can fit in a ballet class in college, depending on the demands of my major.”

Barto likes to spend her free time with friends and her family- mom, Rose, father, Vince, and younger sister Grace. She sees herself as a positive person who has never thought of giving up when the going gets tough.

“I don’t think I’ve ever come across anything in math or ballet that has made me want to give up,” Barto says. “In math, the answer is there- I just have to find it. I have fallen off pointe (in ballet), a couple of times and it was frightening, but I got right back up and went back on pointe. In ballet, falling is not failing. Failing is falling without getting back up.”

Amy Barto is the daughter of freelance writer, Rose Barto, who writes the monthly column, Family Planet, and her husband, Vince.