IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

For American Ballet Theatre's Stella Abrera, A Career Built on Determination, Passion

Stella Abrera discusses her journey through her dance career, from fighting through injury to becoming the first Filipina principal dancer at ABT.
Get more newsLiveon

For Stella Abrera, being a ballet dancer was an "unconventional profession" in her parents' eyes, but it was a path they were ultimately supportive of when they saw how driven she was.

Now, in her 20th anniversary season with the company, Abrera, who last year began her role as a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, is reflecting on her journey and the ups and downs that she's faced in her career.

"I'm really grateful to be doing my job still because it came close to not happening anymore," Abrera told NBC News.

RELATED: Stella Abrera Battles Back From Pain to Ballet's Ultra-Elite

Look for new "Life Stories" videos published on Thursdays beginning in May and through September. Episodes can be watched on, NBC Asian America's Facebook page, NBC News' official YouTube channel, and the NBC News app available on mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

"Life Stories" is part of "NBC Asian America Presents...," a new video channel that will feature documentaries centered around themes and voices found in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Catch up on more videos online at


Follow NBC Asian America on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.