Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is coming up and A Ballet Education’s Scholarship Fund: A Ballet Foundation is asking you to donate to our scholarship fund. Over the last 9 years we have given away over $400,000 through scholarships, pointe shoes, and fees associated with ballet. This year is our first official years a non-profit 501(c)3, this means your donations are tax-deductible. If you are in the charitable spirit, or would like to get involved with helping finance ballet dreams: please feel free to give. Click here to give today!

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Summer Intensive Guide 2023

It is that time of the year again; the time where everyone is overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, and juggling a million different things. Yes, the 2023 audition season is upon us, and it is more stressful than ever. It could be that this is the first year back of full in-person auditions since the pandemic restrictions. It could be that there are more dancers trying to find placement. Or, it could be that this year is your first year out. Who knows? Every year during the middle of Nutcracker rehearsals and premieres, ballet schools around the world announce their national summer audition tours. This tour is a series of dates that audition thousands of dancers around the world to fill spots at their summer course.

Every year since I started A Ballet Education, I have included a list of placed to audition for the summer. Sometimes it causes controversy, sometimes it causes fear and panic, and sometimes, I am bias. Then again, what review isn’t a little bias? As the audition tours have come out, I have been helping my students plan their auditions, travel schedules, trying to avoid conflicts with competitions, how to navigate everything, and where they might end up.

Here is the problem. Ballet is on a good one, and everyone is so desperate for money, the reality is: Ballet Schools have already started auditioning for their 2023-2024 season. Stressful I know. Most people who are serious about moving to a professional school next September have already started locking in their matches through auditioning. Whether you passed the San Francisco Ballet School pre-screening, or were invited to the Paris Opera Auditions, or National Ballet School’s first round, the reality is, major schools are recruiting a year in advance.

This has now caused schools to start pre-registration for summer intensive auditions as early as the end of October, but now the majority of schools have released their dates. If they haven’t– they are following the “old” way; and they haven’t kept up with social media, or the current trend of ballet.

If you don’t know what a summer intensive is, click here for all of the many posts regarding summer intensives.

Here is A Ballet Education’s 2023 Summer Intensive Guide

(None of these schools have paid for placement or review. These programs are not listed any particular order, sort of.)

  • San Francisco Ballet School
    Patrick Armond, Director (San Francisco, CA)
    As one of the most respected ballet companies in the world, The San Francisco Ballet School has become one of the most recognized schools in the world.
  • School of American Ballet
    Darla Hoover, Chair of Faculty (NYC, NY)
    SAB, the famed school to New York City Ballet and the official school Balanchine founded, this school is the direct line to join the ranks of city ballet. The School of American Ballet is now under a new director, so who knows what the new look of the school will be? However, you should audition, because if you get in, it looks nice on the resume.
  • Paris Opera Ballet School
    Elisabeth Platel, Director (Nanterre, France)
    The Paris Opera Ballet School, literally the OG of ballet schools. This famed institution can be quite difficult to get into, but getting into the summer course can be just as hard. This short program allows you to attend multiple summer courses, and lets you work with some of the most respected teachers in ballet. And let’s be honest… it is the Paris Opera.
  • American Ballet Theatre, New York
    Stella Abrera, Artistic Director (NYC, NY)
    While ABT offers numerous programs and a variety of different levels, you really want to get into New York, and if you get in, you might want to consider it. Another school with a new director, ABT JKO and ABT Studio company might be the future of American Classical Ballet.
  • Elite Classical Coaching
    Catherine Lewellen, AD (Frisco, TX)
    Arguably, Elite classical coaching might be the school to beat in America. This pre-professional school has established itself on the competitive circuit, the collegiate circuit, and has launched professional dancers.
  • Miami City Ballet School & The Choreographic Workshop
    Arantxa Ochoa, School Director (Miami, FL)
    Miami City Ballet School is literally on the beach. So, who wouldn’t want to go summer in Miami? However, it’s not just the location. MCBS has slowly gained momentum and worked their way up to the top, offering a top level Balanchine experience, but offering the technical rigor of Cuban or Russian pedagogy.
  • Master Classes in Prague
    Daria Klimentova, Director (Prague)
    What was once reserved for professionals, or budding professionals, this year, the master classes in Prague will host young dancers under huge names likes Patrick Armond (San Francisco Ballet) and Simona Ferrazza (Dutch National).
  • Princess Grace Academie
    Luca Masala , Artistic Director (Monaco)
    Two weeks in Monaco, who wouldn’t want that? Spending two weeks at the famed Princess Grace is not only a delight because it’s on the French Riviera, but it also allows you to do other summer courses. This two week program looks great on the resue, as the princess grace academy has established itself amongst the world of competitive ballet but consistently winning the PDL.
  • John Cranko Schule
    Tadeusz Matacz, Director (Stuttgart, Germany)
    This beast of a school is housed in their new facilities courtesy of Porsche. This school has always been well respected, but has really become a part of the international ballet scene as they have recruited some of the biggest names and winners. Keeping up with the ballet scene on the global scale is difficult for state run programs, but JCS really is keeping up if not leading the way.
  • National Ballet School
    Mavis Staines, Artistic Director (Toronto, Canada)
    Probably Canada’s most recognized school, this school has always been amazing. However, like others who have followed suit, is finally keeping up with the global recruiting scene, and with the competitive world of ballet. This summer course is also marketing as a four week long audition for their coveted year round program.
  • YAGP NERVI FESTIVAL
    Larissa Savliev, Artistic Director (Nervi, Italy)
    Even the YAGP is keeping up. For the last three years, YAGP Europe has hosted a six day festival in Nervi, hosting some of the biggest directors and choreographers. This week long program offers students the ability to work with multiple directors in a short timespan and sets you up for the competitive season the following year.

Other programs you might want to consider:

Houston Ballet School (Houston, TX)

The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive, Christopher Powney, AD (UK)

European School of Ballet, Jean Yves Esquerre, Director (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Cary Ballet Conservatory, Mariaelena Ruiz, AD (Cary, NC)

Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy, Dmitri Kulev, AD (Orange County, CA)

International Ballet Academy, Nadia Pavlenko, AD (Cary, NC)

Ellison Ballet, Edward Ellison, AD (NYC, NY)

Sarasota Ballet School (Sarasota, FL)

A&A Ballet (Chicago, IL)

Southland Ballet International Intensive (Fountain Hills, CA)

https://www.theballetclinic.com

More programs you might want to consider:

Harid Conservatory

Master Ballet Academy

Ballet West

Philadelphia Ballet School

The Washington Ballet School

Oklahoma City Ballet School

Tulsa Ballet School

Ballet Met

Juilliard

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet

You can now watch Harlequinade!

Yup. You can see Alexei Ratmansky’s Harlequinade this week via the Australian Ballet’s LIVE!

Benedicte Benet Photo by Jeff Busby, courtesy of the Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet is thrilled to announce that their global live stream series continues with Alexei Ratmansky’s Harlequinade, available for audiences all over the world to enjoy on Friday, June 24. Originally created more than a century ago but lost to history, Harlequinade is a rollicking comedic ballet by Marius Petipa, the father of classical ballet and original creator of The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, before his retirement.

Rediscovered by one of the world’s most in-demand choreographers, Alexei Ratmansky, Harlequinade is a co-production
between American Ballet Theatre (where Ratmansky is artist in residence) and The Australian Ballet. Ratmansky has
reconstructed the ballet by decoding the original notation of the steps and the resulting ballet is a living connection to the unsullied technique of Petipa.


Harlequinade tells the story of the young lovers Harlequin and Columbine, and their determination to be together despite the efforts of Columbine’s greedy father, who demands that she marry into wealth.Bursting with color, brilliant dancing, madcap characters and hilarious hijinks all the while tumbling from slapstick to joyous andfrom the absurd to the sublime with the greatest of ease, Ratmansky’s staging of Harlequinade is the perfect ballet for families,
balletomanes and all lovers of dance.

David Hallberg, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, says: “Harlequinade is a ballet people of all ages can enjoy – it’s
comical, colorful and full of vibrant adventure. This production encapsulates the transformative powers of ballet and the theatre.” The action is buoyed by a bright, melodic score composed by Petipa’s collaborator Riccardo Drigo. Inspired by the original 1900 designs by Orest Allegri and Ivan Vsevolozhsky, preserved in a St Petersburg museum, Robert Perdziola has created more than 250 exquisite costumes, including 172 hats. Audiences will recognize characters like Pierrot with his pom-poms and oversized sleeves, and the dazzling diamond pattern of the Harlequin suit. Perdziola’s picture-book sets perfectly evoke the village square and a grand, beaux-arts ballroom.

Tickets are now on sale at https://australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/live-on-ballet-tv. The live-stream will be available for viewing for 48 hours from the start of the show, and will include bonus commentary from Artistic Director David Hallberg and guests, as well as live interviews and behind-the-scenes footage exclusive to the livestream.

Help get these kids to their dream schools!

Hey guys! We are getting down to the wire! There are about six kids who have reached out to me who are trying to get to their dream schools.

You can donate individually via their go fund me or you can VENMO me at @davidjwking and the money will be split evenly.

Mia Patton – housing expenses at JKO year-round
Click the pic for her Go Fund Me
Joe Dufty – SFB year-round https://gofund.me/429634bd
Donate anonymously and equally via Venmo: davidjwking

David Hallberg is Back Dancing!

Yup, he’s making a comeback!

Well, sort of.

You heard that right. David Hallberg, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet and former principal dancer (ABT, Bolshoi) will be dancing with the company and you can view it from your home! Yes, the Australian Ballet is going LIVE with their new program: “Masterful” Kunstkamer on June 10, 2022. The program features works from Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite. Get your tickets here! (Only $25 AUD) Have a party at your studio, wine night with friends, or a dinner party!

The program info:

Choreography Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke Composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Arvo Pärt, Béla Bertók, Franz Schubert, Benjamin Britten, Henry Purcell, Joby Talbot, Johann Strauss Jnr, Christoph W Gluck, Chavela Vargas, Ólafur Arnalds Costume design Joke Visser, Hermien Hollander Original lighting design Tom Bevoort, Udo Haberland, Tom Visser Set Design: Sol León and Paul Lightfoot Film Rahi Rezvani World Première 3 October 2019, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague, the Netherlands Kunstkamer is generously supported by Joan Clemenger AO and Peter Clemenger AO, Linda Herd, Shane Lloyd and Alan Joyce AC.  Preview the program here.

Photo courtesy of the Australian Ballet, photo by Daniel Boud

Streaming live from the Arts Centre in Melbourne and available to audiences throughout the world on June 10th, The Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer, one of the most ambitious contemporary dance productions ever to appear as part of the company’s repertoire. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at http://www.australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/live-on-ballet-tv. Created originally for the pioneering dance company Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in celebration of its 60th anniversary in 2019, until now Kunstkamer had never been performed by any other company. The landmark production, hailed a “masterpiece” and a “triumph” by critics, was conceived by some of the most in-demand choreographers working in ballet today, former NDT Resident Choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and NDT Associate Choreographers Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite. In a rare appearance on stage by the company’s Artistic Director, audiences will have the opportunity to see David Hallberg perform alongside The Australian Ballet’s dancers in a solo role in the critically-acclaimed production. Kunstkamer, which translates from Dutch as ‘chamber of art’ or ‘art cabinet’, draws inspiration from The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a 1734 book in four volumes by Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector Albertus Seba. At the intersection of science and art, a cabinet of curiosities brings together fascinating objects from around the world, displaying seemingly disparate items in ways that give them new meaning. The result is a two-act contemporary ballet comprising many short movements, woven elegantly together with key dance motifs and recurring characters. This artfully arranged selection of pieces wittily interrogates the possibilities of dance, from the most poetic pas de deux to the mesmerizing, intricately choreographed group scenes involving the entire company of 80 dancers. Kunstkamer features music by Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Schubert, Arvo Pärt, Joby Talbot and Ólafur Arnalds, among others. Set design by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot places the action within a vast space enclosed by grand neoclassical-style facades, with dancers entering and exiting through many different doors on two levels. Elements of song, film, and spoken word add further texture to the world of curiosities created in this mysterious hall. Artistic Director David Hallberg said: “I chose to bring Kunstkamer because it showcases the rich diversity of the dancers of The Australian Ballet. “Kunstkamer will show audiences what else is possible in dance, seen through the most modern and compelling form of expression and I am thrilled to usher in a new style of dance with everyone on stage, in the theatre, and to audiences all over the world through our live-stream. It is a work not to be missed.” David Hallberg said. Kunstkamer streams live from Arts Centre Melbourne at 7:15pm (AEST) Friday June 10, and will be available to stream for 48 hours from the start of the live-stream. Tickets can be purchased at www.australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/live-on-ballet-tv

Photo courtesy of the Australian Ballet, photo by Daniel Boud

Susan Jaffe to be the next AD of ABT

So I called it… BOOM!

(previous article with me calling it)

NEW YORK, NY (May 9, 2022) — Former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Susan Jaffe has been named the Company’s next Artistic Director. Jaffe’s appointment, effective December 2022, was announced today by Andrew Barth, ABT Chairman of the Board of Governing Trustees. Jaffe will succeed Kevin McKenzie last spring announced his intent to retire after the 2022 season, following three decades of leadership.

Jaffe was appointed Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) in July 2020 and has since led the company in new artistic achievements, including choreographing a new Swan Lake (2022) and stewarding PBT’s presence during the COVID-19 pandemic and successful return to the stage. In addition, Jaffe joined PBT’s administration in the company’s renewed commitment to racial justice and equity with PBT’s Equity Transformation Team, prioritizing inclusivity on its stages, in its hiring practices, and in training programs.

“What a profound honor it is for me to come back home to lead the artistic helm of American Ballet Theatre,” said Jaffe. “I have experienced so many iterations of my career at ABT. I was a student, second company member, main Company member, teacher in the school, Advisor to the Chairman, and Director of Repertoire for the Company. The role of Artistic Director will be my seventh at this wonderful institution. To come back home is truly a dream come true! I am grateful to Kevin McKenzie for his passion, dedication, and stewardship of the Company over the last 30 years, and I look forward to working with everyone to bring ABT into its future. I would also like to take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed working with everyone at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. PBT is an outstanding organization, and the happy memories of working with the dancers, staff, and board will stay with me forever.”

Declared by The New York Times as “America’s Quintessential American Ballerina,” Jaffe enjoyed a career as a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre for 22 years. She performed on the international stage with the Royal Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, and the English National Ballet. Her versatility as a dancer brought acclaimed interpretations to ballet classics, such as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, and dramatic works by Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Ronald Hynd, and Kenneth MacMillan. She also worked with many prominent contemporary choreographers of her time, such as Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Merce Cunningham, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, Ulysses Dove, and Jiří Kylián.

After retiring from the stage in 2002, Jaffe taught in the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and served as an advisor to the chairman of the board of ABT until 2007. In 2010 she became a Director of Repertoire at ABT. Two years later, she was appointed Dean of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in Winston-Salem, NC, a position she held for eight years. During her tenure at UNCSA, Jaffe and her faculty implemented a syllabus based on the ABT National Training Curriculum and established the Choreographic Institute of UNCSA. Additionally, she raised $3.5 million in endowed scholarships and other scholarships.

In 2020 Jaffe was appointed the Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She helped to lead the company through the pandemic with digital programs, outdoor performances, and performances in museums. As audiences began returning to theaters, Jaffe curated programs that included classic ballets and diverse, innovative voices of today.

A choreographer herself, Jaffe has created works for American Ballet Theatre, ABT Studio Company, Grand Rapid Ballet’s Move Media, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Configurations Dance Theatre, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, among others.

“We are thrilled that we can extend an almost lifelong connection between ABT and Susan Jaffe with thisannouncement,” said Andrew Barth, Chairman of ABT’s Board of Governing Trustees. “We thank ABT Trustee SusanFales-Hill for leading our search committee through an extensive and comprehensive process. Susan Jaffe brings anamazing array of talents – prima ballerina, advisor, coach, mentor, teacher, and artistic director – to her new position atABT. We suspect she will use them all to respect the history and legacy of ABT while moving us artistically into thefuture.”

“I am so pleased that ABT will come under Susan’s care,” said Kevin McKenzie, current Artistic Director at ABT. “She’sa colleague I admire who always maintained a sense of joy and fun. She is a wonderful teacher and coach, bringing theexperience of an extensive and acclaimed performing career, working under three directors while at ABT. With her experience at UNCSA and PBT, Susan comes equipped with her own expertise and the ability to get the best out of those around her.”

The Swan Dreams Project

On May 1st, 2022 The Swan Dreams Project will hold its first New York City event! This is a free workshop for dancers of color in New York!

Open Session is an opportunity for pre professional Int/Adv ballet dancers of color to gather where they can learn, grow, and share experiences in the ballet world. All free of charge! While this is a first, be sure to expect much more from future Swan Dreams Open Session events. Although, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, as your voice will help to shape future Open Session events. Click here to sign up!

Come and learn from teachers in the field and join the discussion with other dancers of color.

Event Details: 

10:30am – 12pm – Class 

12:15pm – 1:15pm – Q&A

Address – Manhattan Movement Arts Center

248 W60th St. New York, NY 10023

When Switzerland is no longer Switzerland

Have you ever thrown your hands into the air and said, “I’m Switzerland?” As the saying implies that the country as a whole has always stayed neutral when it comes to war. The prestigious Prix de Lausanne has officially broken that ideology as an independent organization, with no reflection of their country as a whole. Just showing how global the economy of ballet is, and has become. I stumbled across the letters via dance critic Alastair Macaulay. See the full letter from Prix de Lausanne’s Kathryn Bradney and Vaganova’s Noklai Tsiskaridze.

For more information on Alastair Macaulay you can visit any of his socials

Website: https://www.alastairmacaulay.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alastair.macaulay

Don’t Miss Out This Summer!

Are you feeling left out? Everyone is announcing their summer intensive commitments and you don’t have somewhere to go? Did you miss audition season due to injury, travel restrictions, or just didn’t know? Don’t worry! We got you covered.

Every year from January to early March, ballet world becomes a little harder to navigate. This is also known as audition season. And yes, it also overlaps with the competitive ballet season, which makes it that much harder to navigate. But hopefully this will help you navigate your next steps.

Summer intensives are programs hosted over the summer for dancers to rev their training up. Because school is out, summer is the perfect time to accelerate training. Summer is also the time where young dancers will fly around the world to “test out” professional ballet companies through attending a summer intensive attached to a professional school. Here, dancers will see if they are ready to go away, build connections, and make impressions on future employers. But, summer intensive isn’t for everyone.

Sometimes, you just aren’t ready to go away to one of these major programs (check out the 2022 Summer Intensive Guide). You might be behind in technique, you might not want to be a ballet dancer, and sometimes, the cost is overwhelming. If you are interested in heading out to a summer course, check out these programs that are “affordable”, they offer amazing training, and are still accepting students!

TOP BALLET PROGRAMS FOR SUMMER TRAINING!!

Adeline Dunlap, Elite Classical Coaching

Elite Classical Coaching (Frisco, TX)

Elite Classical Coaching is offering 9 full weeks of summer training. Their flexible schedule allows dancers to either pick a week, or attend for all nine weeks. Founded and directed by award-winning Catherine Lewellen, Elite Classical Coaching has established itself as one of the premiere schools in the United States.

For more information you can visit their website:
https://www.eliteclassicalcoaching.com/intensives

Cary Ballet Conservatory (Cary, North Carolina)

Directed by YAGP finals Outstanding Teacher Award, Mariaelena Ruiz, Cary Ballet Conservatory will be hosting their summer intensive June 29 – July 30, 2022.

For more information you can visit their website:
https://www.caryballet.com/intensive.html

Classical Training Program at The Dallas Conservatory (Dallas, Texas)

A newly established program at the Dallas Conservatory, this new program is directed by George Birkadze and Ashley Ellis (founder of Rubia Wear) will be June 27-July 1, 2022.

For more information you can visit their website:
https://thedallasconservatory.org/professional-division/

Claire Wirrick, The Ballet Clinic

A Ballet Education’s The Ballet Clinic (Scottsdale, Arizona)

Headed by award-winning David King and Ashley Lorraine Baker, the Ballet Clinic offers two programs. No audition needed as we are interested in all dancers, levels, and body types. This boutique training course caters directly to the individual to achieve the fastest results for dancers ages 8-18.

Dates: July 10-23, 2022.

For more information you can visit their website:
https://www.theballetclinic.com/intensives.html

Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet (Laguna Hills, California)

From July 5-August 12, 2022, this many times over award-winning school and faculty will be hosting their summer course. Headed by Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev, this Orange County school is highly decorated in both classical and contemporary with numerous winners and finalists in almost every major ballet competition. This long standing school has established itself as one of the top schools in the United States, and the school of Southern California.

For more information visit their instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CbKlcx2LtQI/?utm_medium=copy_link

A and A Ballet (Chicago, Illinois)

This award winning studio company will be hosting 3 different summer courses this year. Headed by Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, A and A has established itself as a studio company force. Featured in Vogue for their costuming, A and A is a program you don’t want to miss out on. For more information visit their website:

https://www.aacenterfordance.org

Don’t worry, there are tons more programs out there!

West Met (Minnesota)

http://westmetclassicaltraining.com

Morning Star Dance (Georgia)

https://www.morningstardance.com

Denver Academy of Ballet (Colorado)

https://www.denveracademyofballet.com

Draper Center for Dance (New York)

https://drapercenter.com

Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (Florida)

http://srqcubanballet.org

Ballet Central New Jersey (New Jersey)

http://balletcnj.org

The Art of Classical Ballet (Florida)

http://www.theartofclassicalballet.org

Master Ballet Academy (Arizona)

http://masterballetacademy.com

International City School of Ballet (Georgia)

https://www.icsballet.org

Train with Evgenia Obraztsova this Summer!

Open World Dance Foundation is to host one of the most celebrated ballerinas of our time this summer: Evgenia Obraztsova. Train in Bulgaria this Summer!! You can either submit a video audition or audition LIVE in-person in New York City on February 20!

It is with immense excitement that we share the big news: EVGENIA OBRAZTSOVA, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre, will be one of many distinguished faculty members at our 2022 Summer Intensive in Bulgaria! One of many famous graduates of the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Evgenia Obraztsova studied in the class of Professor Lyudmila Safronova, who was a student of Agrippina Vaganova. Students and professionals at our 2022 Summer Intensive will have the rare chance to not only be in the presence of one of the world’s leading ballerinas, but be taught and coached by her!■ 𝐖𝐇𝐄𝐍: July 18 – August 6th, 2022⁣
■ 𝐖𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐄: Saint Vlas, Bulgaria 
■ 𝐖𝐇𝐀𝐓: Authentic Russian Vaganova ballet training with distinguished dancers of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky TheatresDon’t miss your chance to learn from the stars themselves! Attend our LIVE NEW YORK CITY AUDITION on February 20, 2022, or submit your video audition now!

To audition, click here.

The Stories We Tell…

Ballet Idaho is pleased to be bringing a mixed repertory dance program, The Stores We Tell, to the stage. We invite you to join us and experience dance from the classical to the contemporary at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, 2011 W Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, Idaho 83725 on Friday, February 4th, 2022 and Saturday, February 5th 2022.

This repertory performance highlights four unique works that emphasize the range and depth of emotion that dance can express; the stories that human movement alone can tell. These four works are George Balanchine’s Serenade, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Off Screen, an excerpt from Lar Lubovitch’s Concerto 622, and Ghost(Light) by Craig Davidson.

George Balanchine is often called the father of American Ballet, and his ballet Serenade (set to the music of Tchaikovsky and choreographed in 1935), is the first work he ever created in America. Serenade is both a historical treasure and a timeless display of neo classical ballet virtuosity.

Off Screen, by Pacific Northwest Ballet’s current  Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, is a charming nod to classic cinema with whimsical seamless movement combining gravitas and humor.

An excerpt from dance luminary Lar Lubovitch’s iconic Concerto 622 is a duet for two male dancers examining the solace of genuine human connection. 

Ghost(Light) by Zurich- based Craig Davidson is a contemporary ballet feast for the senses exploring light, shadow, and the side of the theater the audience seldom is able to see. This work was created on Ballet Idaho dancers in 2020, however due to pandemic-related cancellations, no live audience has yet seen this work in its full glory.

Tickets for The Stories We Tell are on sale and available online at: https://www.morrisoncenter.com/events/detail/the-stories-we-tell

General show information and a full list of performance times can be found at: https://balletidaho.org/the-stories-we-tell/

Those interested in purchasing season tickets that include Ballet Idaho’s The Stories We Tell can access them here: https://balletidaho.org/season_tickets/

Is this the end of live arts?

This is not about the politics, or vaccination policies, this post is just my personal thoughts…

Recently the Metropolitan Opera announced they will require proof of vaccine boosters to enter the world’s largest opera house… (click here for full article) Major shows, institutions, and opera have also withdrawn holding live performances this month… The world of art is shifting to NFTs… and dance is changing rapidly…

Ten years ago, there was a system to ballet, a flawed, racist, misogynistic system that still survives and thrives today, but there was a system. Within this system, dancers were limited, were held back by directors, and overlooked… This system created a formal process of hardworking, diligence, and rankings. But with social media, transparency, and people coming forward and sharing their experiences… this world, this system is disappearing…

Now, in today’s world of social media, celebrity power has created an entirely new version of ballet. This new process, this new system, has created an out of control generation oozing with talent. No one can deny that most of the young student dancers celebrated on social media can probably technically out-dance most professionals. Whether or not they can hold a full story ballet artistically, different question… HOWEVER…

We can clearly now see the trend that is happening all over the world- THE GALA DANCER and THE SOCIAL MEDIA SUPER STAR… It is not a secret, that the power of social media and ballet are now connected. Marketing teams are no longer needed, because a simple social media post can sell more tickets than a multi-thousand dollar campaign. Dancers, probably in the first time in history, now have more control of their career, have more say, and are more popular than the company themselves.

When we think of New York City Ballet, we associate it with Tiler Peck.

When we think of American Ballet Theatre, we associate it with James Whiteside, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, and Aran Bell…

Maria Khoreva has single-handedly redefined the Mariinsky in the west.

Natalia Osipova has taken it onestep further to create the first ever dance NFT… it sold for $59,424 (British pounds). Article here.

With everything constantly evolving at a rapid rate, more and more young dancers have taken to the world of social media. Through competitive wins, through ridiculously planned reels, and content that shows off flexibility, turns, and insane jumps… Ballet schools around the world are adapting…

But where do these kids go?

No one wants to spend their best years in the corps de ballet, hoping to be promoted because a director likes them…

You can’t argue pirouettes, if the dancer can turn… they can turn… and social media has proven… turns sell.

You can’t argue leg up… if adage is your jam, the world of social media… and the entire internet goes crazy.

You can’t deny it… Even I am struggling to keep up with the demand and evolution of dance. Between training, dance politics, running this business, I am having hard time seeing the future of ballet… something I used to be very good at. Between the pandemic, social media, and the online universe… even I have struggled to keep up.

Its is now more impressive to see an exciting reel that is 30 seconds than sitting through an entire 3 hour ballet.

It is more comfortable to sit at home and stream a performance with your family or friends with food and wine, and the ability to pause, talk, view a performance at your own pace via digital streaming.

It is more convenient to watch a ballet whenever you want than a 7:00 show downtown.

It is more affordable to watch ballet on instagram and social media platforms for free, rather than pay over $100 dollars a ticket.

The world is changing…

Will ballet keep up?

(photo: metropolitan opera called met at lincoln center in manhattan – new york / usa – december 4, 2018 / ADOBE STOCK)

In case you missed it…

This week has been full of ballet news… so, just in cased you missed it… here is a quick update..

Photo by Victor Llorente for The New York Times

The School of American Ballet has announced that Darla Hoover will succeed Kay Mazzo and Aesha Ash was appointed as associate chair. Jonathan Stafford remains the Artistic Director of SAB and NYCB. Meanwhile, NYCB just hired 7 new apprentices. (read more)

Joan Boada has been named the new associate director of Boston Ballet II. Peter Stark and Margaret Tracy both departed, and Mr. Boada was at the Kirov Academy. (read more)

The Radio City Rockettes perform onstage during the Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Steven Ferdman | Getty Images

New York is closing/cancelling numerous shows due to pandemic numbers…

Jorden Morris will be the new artistic director to Orlando Ballet. He was the resident choreographer, and acting artistic director after Robert Hill stepped down. A Ballet Education Covergirl Kenzie Thomas was promoted to the corps de ballet this week as well.

La Scala has delayed the opening of their season due to positive cases. (read more)

Les Grands Ballet cancelled performances due to cases. (read more)

Victoria Holland and Ricardo Rhodes in Peter Wright’s “Giselle”

The Sarasota Ballet opened Giselle instead of Nutcracker this Holiday Season.


Servy Gallardo’s trial date has been set for March 1, 2022. If you didn’t know, Servy was the Artistic Director at St Petersburg Ballet Conservatory in Gulfoport when he was arrested for numerous crimes.

Casting Male Ensemble for Musical

Immediate casting  for Henry in South Pacifica and a Male Ensemble in An American in Paris!

Production is looking for a 22-40 years old male: East Asian, Southeast Asian, Filipino, or Pacific Islander- Ballet Dancer & Must be a strong actor to play Henry in South Pacific, who is a Man Servant to Emile de Becque. Pay is $550/week.

Please email photo and resume to Alison.Franck@gmail.com. Write Henry in South Pacific/Ensemble in An American in Paris in subject line.

Sydney Upchurch, the Prix de Lausanne Candidate We Should All Be Watching

@dancing_sydney 

Prix de Lausanne, the equivalent of the Olympics for young dancers, is a prestigious ballet competition known for making future ballet superstar recently announced their list of 81 finalists. One of the finalists and the only African American selected to participate at the Prix de Lausanne, Sydney Upchurch (age 15), is a talented young dancer from Cary Ballet. Under the keen direction of Mariaelena Ruiz (YAGP Finals Outstanding Teacher), Sydney will be competing against some of the most gifted and ferocious young dancers of the ballet world. She will be going up against the crème de la crème representing 17 countries from around the world. This year Prix de Lausanne selected 49 girls and 32 boys to contest for the coveted top prizes over the first week of February 2022. 

Right before the selections were announced, Ashley Lorraine Baker was able to photograph Sydney in her hometown of Cary, North Carolina during rehearsal for  Balanchine’s Serenade, staged by the one and only Suzanne Farrell. 

 

Sydney and Nathan rehearsing Balanchine’s Serenade staged by Suzanne Farrell. Photo by Ashley Lorraine Baker

Here is a quick interview with the beautiful young American ballerina:

Click the photo below to help Sydney get to Prix!

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Snatching Us Back to Reality

For many dance companies across the nation, the coming of fall this year brings more than cool breezes and changing leaves. It marks the long-awaited return to the stage that has been dark – the end of an intermission lasting over a year in duration. For companies like Complexions Contemporary Ballet, as the summer swelter fades, the performance season is just heating up.

On Tuesday, November 16, the curtain of the Joyce Theater rose on Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the award-winning dance company known for blending technical ballet foundations, innovative choreography, and mesmerizing feats with artistic expression into a brand of dance uniquely its own. Founded by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, Complexions strives to bring fresh perspectives to dance styles steeped in the ballet tradition. With multidimensional performances like this one, it is no surprise that Complexions is blazing a new path in the dance world, one that cannot be confined to a singularity, as portrayed by the diversity of the company.

On display Tuesday night was an electric program filled with power, beauty, and hope. It featured two distinct works, which divided the performance into two acts. Opening the show was Rhoden’s world premiere, “Snatched Back from the Edges.” Originally intended as a dance film, “Snatched Back from the Edges” has been skillfully and artistically remastered for the stage, to connect with people directly. The second act featured “Love Rocks,” a work that was created last year and is making a bold return this season as an audience favorite.

Company by Steven Pisano

“‘Snatched Back from the Edges’ is meant to be a chronicle of the human spirit with all of its vulnerabilities,” says Rhoden. Set to a soundscape comprised of music by Beethoven, Jon Batiste, Shirley Caesar, Tye Tribbett, Jessye Norman, Le’Andria Johnson, and Aloe Blacc with hauntingly ethereal lighting, Rhoden says that the piece “celebrates the strength and resilience” of humanity. In an enthralling display of human interaction, the work features solos, partnering, and ensemble work, creating layers of movement that build upon and play off of one another. In the piece, Rhoden plays with timing and rhythm, capturing moments of stillness between segments of fast-paced motion. Breathtaking lifts, technical excellence, and abundant expressive capacity take center stage in this new work.

 At times, dancers take the stage alone, emphasizing their strengths as individuals. In a solo to an evocative rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” dancer Larissa Gerszke moves swiftly through sequences of precise and staccato footwork, mixed with a few more contemporary contractions and releases. As her feet still and her upper body contracts at the conclusion of her solo, she is swept off her feet by a fellow dancer. In a particularly captivating duet, dancers Jillian Davis (ABE covergirl Issue 10) and Jarrett Reimers move with ease and fluidity around one another, testing each other’s balance, yet always counterbalancing in support of one another. Each allows the other to move beyond their own capacity, underscoring themes of trust and celebration of the power of people working together. The duet showcases beautifully extended lines – développés and arabesques through fluid transitions – coupled with high levels of control and stability.

 

Larissa Gerske and Brandon Gray by Rachel Neville
Tatiana Melendez & Vincenzo Di Primo by Justin Chao

With gorgeous long lines and commanding height, the pair exudes a regal quality throughout the diaphanous movement. Fluid as water and as if floating on air, their choreography involves extensions in all directions. As the dancers elongate their limbs gingerly through space, articulating fully through the tips of the toes or fingers, the eye is drawn to the action, following it to its conclusion. Their presence is powerful, yet not overpowering – grounded, yet graceful.

Another section features the partnership between Thomas Dilley and Tatiana Melendez. In contrast to the leisurely extensions of Davis and Reimers, this duet follows a quicker pace with a rapid succession of movement. It is sharp and hard-hitting, and acrobatic in nature. While Davis and Reimers create beautiful lines with their feet on the ground, Dilley and Melendez dance together with intense clarity, slicing through the air with elegant shapes.

The second half of the program was “Love Rocks,” set to music by Lenny Kravitz, “the iconic Grammy Award winning singer, producer and songwriter,” that celebrates Kravitz’ “passionate storytelling through edgy, athletic, and theatrical movement.” In this concert dance meets rock-concert production celebrating music and dance, Rhoden portrays ballet and contemporary like you’ve never seen them. Throughout the piece, the company remains true to its inimitable style basked in fearlessness, edginess, and enchanting allure. The soloist, Tim Stickney, takes us through each vignette with his mature performance and musicality. In one section of “Love Rocks,” several dancers perform feats of great strength as they lift one dancer after another, creating the illusion of soaring through the air. Vincenzo Di Primo completes a pirouette, landing on a dime, before appearing weightless as the other dancers lift him toward the sky. This lift is just one of many in this section, and audience members would do well not to blink or look away and risk missing these glorious moments throughout the work. The dancing is reactive and highly emotive. Movement of one dancer initiates a response from others, leading to an incessant stream of motion and continual exchange of energy.

Company by Justin Chao

The works seem to offer a metaphorically cathartic release of energy stored throughout the pandemic in the absence of live performance. The dancing throughout the program is vibrant and electrifying. Davis describes the program as “visceral, raw, physical” and “a roller coaster ride from start to finish.” She hopes audiences will “come and experience the work and let it take you on a ride.” Whether the stage is covered with dancers or singularly occupied, the dancing fills the space and commands attention. Underlying the specifics of each piece is a broader theme of celebration – celebration of the company’s 27-year history, of the return of the performing arts, and of humanity. According to Di Primo, featured in “Love Rocks,” the cast is “hungry to be back on stage again,” noting “there is a bit of adrenaline, too.” Davis also mentions “the adrenaline rush” of performing and explains that “there is nothing quite like the feeling of being onstage in front of the audience.” In her words, “excited is an understatement” to describe how the cast feels about dancing for the public once again. Between the dancers’ attitudes and the energetic nature of the works themselves, the performance delivers a high-energy, provocative, and exhilarating night of dance.

 

 

Vincenzo Di Primo by Rachel Neville

Tonight’s performance reinforced Complexions’ brand as a leader in the world of contemporary ballet. Davis affirms that Rhoden is “always looking forward to the future and what it could be.” With that mindset, the world can only watch as Complexions Contemporary Ballet dances on, with all the strength, grace, boldness, and integrity that the company embodied tonight.

Tonight’s performers also included Emma Branson, Christian Burse, Jacopo Calvo, Brandon Gray, Terrance Matthews, Simon Plant, Zion Pradier, Jasmine Robinson, Miguel Solano, Eriko Sugimura, Candy Tong, and April Watson. 

Following the Joyce Theater premiere, the Complexions Contemporary Ballet will grace the stages of Israel, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, South Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, before wrapping up its tour on the West coast in Washington. Catch them if you can. For a full performance schedule see: https://www.complexionsdance.org/copy-of-performances

 

Follow Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Mosa Ballet School

© Fukuro.be

Launching September 2022

Website: ​​https://www.mosaballetschool.eu/en/

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Audition Information 

Mosa Ballet School has a strong vision for the future of ballet. The school’s mission involves reconciling the demands of excellence in ballet training, the humanity of their students, and impact – not only on students through ballet education but also impact on the environment and community. Scheduled to open its doors in September 2022, Mosa Ballet school is the vision of founder, Benjamine De Cloedt and will be located in the heart of Liège, Belgium.

The school will have a student-centered teaching style with the well-being of the students being a top priority. By offering resources for the students such as a ‘self-care program,’ as well as a positive learning environment focused on respect and justice, they are consciously focused on cultivating balance and nurturing students’ humanity. This approach could ultimately be a more sustainable training model the ballet world has long needed. Furthermore, the school is being sustainably built in the former National Bank of Belgium using cogeneration, solar photovoltaic system, energy recovery from greywater, and rainwater management. 

A Ballet Education had the privilege of speaking with Mosa Ballet’s newly appointed Artistic Director, Pedro Carneiro. Mr. Carneiro previously served as director of the National Conservatory Dance School (NCDS) in Lisbon for 14 years and has guest taught all over the world. Mr. Carneiro shares with A Ballet Education the vision of Mosa Ballet School and the opportunities for its future students and faculty. 

ABE: Will you start by telling us about the school and its vision?

Mr. Carneiro: Well, this is a school first of all with incredible facilities in the heart of Europe in Liège. There is currently no big dance school in this French part of Belgium, so it’s something very important for this region. The school has come out from the dream and vision of the founder, Mrs. Benjamine De Cloedt, who had been thinking about this for quite a while, she said for about 15 years she had been thinking of this project and she finally found the right moment to do it. So the vision she has is to make Mosa Ballet one of the top schools in the world.  I’m very proud and very honored to have been chosen to lead this project. It will be a great school in terms of facilities, it will have 10 studios, and dorm places for 100 students. The school will start with 115 students, for now, ages 12 to 18. There is an incredible lot of room in this school because it used to be a branch of the National Bank of Belgium in Liège. So it’s a great building which is being renovated in order to accommodate this new function. All of the studios are being built from scratch, and they are very big and appropriate to accommodate class in the 21st century. 

My vision for the school is to make it try to make it one of the best schools. I’ll try to recruit very good students because we need good material to make a good school, and I’ll try to recruit the best teachers. I will also try to make a program that is appropriate for the needs of the students entering companies these days. 

It’s important that they have not only a classical education, but also a very strong and full contemporary education because nowadays almost all companies are very eclectic. So we all try to be up to date on everything that is needed. Ballet is international, and today’s students go to many places, for instance to America to find work, so we have to be global when we think about education. 

Another thing that is important is the philosophy and pedagogy of the school, which is that the students have the opportunity to have high-quality training, in a very positive and supportive environment based on encouragement and recognition. We want everybody that works in the school to have these common values. We want to have a place where new students feel well because we believe that an education in ballet is hard enough, and teachers don’t need to make it harder for students. Teachers have to be supportive and correct- pedagogically speaking. We want a school that is a good environment; where the students feel safe and encouraged because this will create future professionals who are creative, independent, and who have developed critical minds. We’ll also have subjects for self-care: yoga, tai chi, Gaga, and there will be a team of professionals that will support the students: psychologists, nutritionists, and physiotherapy. We will have people to support both the physical and mental sides of the students. 

This is an incredible opportunity. Of course, there is a lot to do because everything needs to be created from scratch. But, on the other side, it’s also a very good opportunity to form and create things how you think they will be useful. If I went to a school that had existed already for 200 years, it would be difficult to change things where they already have staff and teachers, because there I’d have to adapt to an already existing structure. Here, I have the opportunity to create something according to my experience and according to my vision that I think will hopefully work out well for the students and their education.

 © Fukuro.be 

ABE: Can you expand on what you mean by the conscious competition that is part of the values and mission of the school? 

Mr. Carneiro: This was chosen by the founder, but they explained to me what they mean. So conscious competition is like, of course, you know that you have to be competitive in order to be successful, you have to be demanding, you have to be putting things at a higher level, but the idea is to be competing with yourself. Conscious competition is when you are competing to make the best out of yourself and you’re competing with yourself. So you compete in a positive way and in a way that is respectful to everybody.

ABE: What resources and support will Mosa Ballet school offer their students that they might not get at another ballet school?

Mr. Carneiro: I’m not really aware of what each school is offering, but I think there is a conscious effort these days in education that schools are trying to focus more on the well-being of the students in general. I don’t know if all schools have this kind of physical and psychological support for the students. We are trying to make sure we have all these teams supporting the students. The students should be at the center of the educational process. This is not about one teacher or about one ego, it’s about the students. 

ABE: Will you be accepting international students?  What will the audition process be like over this next year?

Mr. Carneiro: There will be all kinds of auditions because we are recruiting all the students. There are not only a few vacancies, but we are recruiting the whole school. So of course we have video auditions for those students who are very far away. We are starting by having auditions in Belgium, not only for nationals but also for people from the neighboring countries that can easily come. We’re going to have a winter intensive from December 26th to December 30th, where the participants will also be able to audition from the school if they wish. And yes, and I’m currently working on organizing several auditions abroad. Some of the countries where we are planning to audition are Japan, Italy, and probably Switzerland, but I’m still working on these things. We’re also thinking about having some auditions in other cities in Belgium, not only in Liège but in some of the major cities where there might be interest.  

ABE: So the winter intensive will be this winter?

Mr. Carneiro: Yes, it will be this winter. It won’t be at the school yet because the school is being renovated, but it will be at the big studio of the Opera. Liège has an Opera Theater with a big studio and the winter intensive will take place there. We are planning on having around 70 students because there is only one studio, for students ages 12 to 18. 

ABE: How do you see ballet training and the ballet world evolving and how would you like to see it evolve for future generations of dancers? What do you want to create with Mosa ballet?

Mr. Carneiro: Well, I want to create an education where the students are adapted to the reality of the current ballet world. I would like to work with choreographers and have them make workshops and create pieces for our students so that they have an eclectic education. I did the teacher’s course at the Vaganova School and trained in Russia, so I want to use Russian training that is adjusted and evolved to reality and useful to the students. We also want the students to have contact with other schools [of training], certainly the French and Danish schools, so that the students get as many techniques as possible. Of course, we’d also like the students to have techniques from contemporary choreographers like Forsythe, etc, and if possible Balanchine. It’s always difficult to get a school to perform Balanchine pieces. I know the Balanchine trust is very strict about giving permission to their pieces, but I would love to have something also from Balanchine for our shows. 

As I told you at the beginning, I think the contemporary part is also very important. So the base will be Graham, but later, they will be in touch with other techniques like floor technique and of course Limón, and flying low… There are so many interesting new contemporary trainings that dancers need to know so that they’re fully ready to work professionally.

Where I’d like ballet to go, I think everything keeps changing, the aesthetics of ballet keep changing. I believe in ballet and I believe that ballet performances are still very popular – for me, it’s so passionate. I love to see good performances. But of course, you cannot stay back in time, you have to perform according to reality, and you have to use other techniques in education. But classical technique, ballet technique, is the base for most of the professional work.

ABE: Can you tell us more about the school’s intention to “break with the paradigm of ‘necessary’ suffering?”

Mr. Carneiro: You have to be demanding. You know that when you go for a ballet education that it will require a lot of effort, just like any sport. I remember as a student that I wanted my training to be demanding. I wanted to be able to evolve and make improvements. When it is something that you like to do, you don’t think of it as suffering, right? Of course, we know that it takes a lot of effort, but when we enjoy something, it doesn’t look like suffering. We want to take away the unnecessary suffering that students are sometimes confronted with – when teachers don’t treat them in a good way and make training more difficult for them; when there is a negative environment and not a supportive environment. So we want to focus on providing the students with a positive and encouraging environment. We want the students to feel good where they are and that means we have to be authentic. I think it’s very important that the teachers act in a sincere and authentic way to the students because it’s all about being honest with them and treating them well. So this is how we want to take the suffering away. We’ve all experienced teachers we loved in class because they made ballet so interesting and they were so nice and supportive to us, where we felt like we were treated in a fair way, and they would always never let us down. These are the kind of teachers I want to have around. 

ABE: Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have? Or anything else you want to share? 

Mr.  Carneiro: I’m very excited about this challenge and new work. It’s really a great opportunity. I’m very grateful that Benjamine De Cloedt had this vision and wanted to do this school. She has the ambition to do a very good thing and she’s providing this school with such great facilities, all the best. So I’m up to this challenge to really give the best of myself and my experience to make this a great school.

copyright © Lorraine Wauters

Mosa Ballet is actively recruiting students and faculty for its opening in September 2022. If interested, please contact: hello@mosaballetschool.eu

DADA ON POINTE

Wow. Just Wow. This past we had the privilege of having our first audition for DADA ON POINTE’s new full-time day program for the Los Angeles Community, and it was beyond inspiring. I am so excited for this new program. But, I wanted to take a second and reflect on the craziness that happened that day.

I woke up a little 6:00 AM, texted Eric and Ashley, and laid in bed for a bit. Around 6:03 we all got messages saying that our 10:00 AM flight has been delayed by 3 hours… putting us in Los Angeles after our audition was supposed to start. In a flurry of panic, we started looking at earlier flights… and the only earlier flight was at 7:20 AM. So, basically my entire morning got thrown off, I didn’t even shower… I grabbed my to go bag kit from LULU Lemon, threw on clothes, and hopped in a Lyft. Ashley and Eric were both struggling to get to the airport. Mind you, I live like 30 minutes from the airport…. Yes, so the chaos begins, and luckily for Ashley and Eric they live sort of close to the airport.

So, Ashley and I were able to get our tickets changed, as I ran through the checkin, I could see Ashley going through security. In my head, I was thinking, “Well if Ashley can get to the Audition great.” Luckily for me, I got waived through security, and literally was one of the last people to board. Unfortunately, Eric couldn’t get on the flight, so he had to change his flight to the first flight to Ontario Airport, and then uber all the way to Los Angeles. Yes… Chaos.

This was followed by a series of miscommunications only to end up at a Chipotle at 10:00 AM.

But, we made it! And the audition happened. And it was beyond amazing! But, during the audition, I was reminded why I am doing this. I asked how many dancers in the room wanted to be a professional ballet dancer, and only students I have previously worked with had raised their hands. I thought to myself, “Why are they even here then?” After the tendu combination I asked how many wanted to be contemporary dancers, and they all raised their hands… After the jeté combo I asked, “How many dancers are trying to be a contemporary dancer because that is what they have been told they will be?”

They all raised their hands.

To which I lost it…. No one can tell you what you are or aren’t going to be. As ballet teachers we are not offering you job, so we don’t know. At best, we can advise you what companies to look at, but at the end of the day, we are not offering you a contract, so how can we say what genre of dance you will enter… If you want to go for ballet, go for ballet. And if you turn 18 and told no, give it another year and try again. And if that doesn’t happen, then look at other things. Don’t look back and have regrets because someone told you what you could and couldn’t be. Someone very prestigious said I would never work in dance, and that I wasn’t going to amount to anything in ballet… And now look at me…

So, I guess I am saying… Don’t listen to anyone. Find the right coach who believes in you and go with it.

If you want to work with me, we have 8 open spots left for the program. You can audition by emailing me your dance videos (anything… ballet, contemporary, dancing in your living room) because I want to find 8 more dancers who I want to work with and help mold, and help them launch into the professional world of dance.

You can send me your dance stuff to David@debbieallendanceacademy.com

Because I do, I do want to work with you, I do want to help you find your next step, and I want to make ferocious ballet dancers who can do it all. I’m serious… I want to help you all find your journey, so if you want to work with me, please don’t be afraid, you will never know. Remember ages 9+, but if you are 8 and you are focused, take a chance, and throw your hat into the ring.

Happy National Dog Day

Happy National Dog Day! A famous instagram account (109k Followers @dancersanddogs) created by Kelly Pratt & Ian Kreidich created an entire series and a book featuring some of the world’s best dancers and their dogs! Check out some amazing photos created by this powerful duo.

Here is Rubiawear Celebrating National Dog Day!

And NYCB’s Tiler Peck Celebrating the day!

Here is Sarasota Ballet celebrating all of their dogs!

Here are some more amazing captures from DancersandDogs

Here is just a cute toxic with a ballerina mom!

Grishko Girl Ava and her cute dog!

BRB’s Cesar Morales and his cute dogs

Harris from Cary Ballet

Emanuela hanging out wit her dog in Italy

Dani Moya hanging out her dog!

Photographer Hasselblad_Ballet (David Tran)

Dalmation Marley has their own instagram account, it’s ran by Carolina.

This is just too funny….

Okay to dogs loving dance…..

Haru the Maltese also has his own Insta!

This is just too warm and fuzzy…

Dancers and Dogs photographing Alexandra from Colorado Ballet

and finally: One of the most noted ballet’s that will use live animals is Giselle, specifically for act 1 and the hunting scene. Here, Reddit user: r/Greyhounds shows off his wonderful dogs on stage with Ballet West!

BIG NEWS! A Ballet Education is coming to Los Angeles FULL-TIME!

Wow. We are beyond thrilled to announce that The Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) will be launching a new full-time day program for pre-professional ballet that will be directed and ran by A Ballet Education and The Ballet Clinic! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought this would be a thing, but here it is! DADA on Pointe brought to you by A Ballet Education! Working for the legend, Kennedy Center Award winning, dance icon Debbie Allen is mind-blowing.

ATTENTION LOS ANGELES!
DADA ON POINTE! A new full-time ballet day program brought to you by Debbie Allen and A Ballet Education‘s David King and Ashley Baker at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. We are looking for 24 dancers to join this new elite program in Los Angeles starting this fall!

AUDITION LIVE IN PERSON via DADA & A BALLET EDUCATION MASTER CLASS!

NO PRESSURE! COME AND LEARN!
SATURDAY August 28, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
All ages, ladies and gentlemen welcome.

Audition fee $25. For dancers advanced on pointe, please take the entire audition on pointe. 
For dancers with intermediate skills, please take barre on pointe.
Beginners, don’t worry about pointe shoes!

To sign up or if you have questions please contact David King at david@aballeteducation.com Payments will be collected by DADA on the day of.

SIGN UP FOR THE AUDITION & MASTER CLASS!

What does the DADA ON POINTE program do?

This new program at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy is an all inclusive program to help young dancers of color excel in a career in classical ballet. This program covers everything from dance history, variations, pointe work, boys/mens class, stretch and conditioning, competition preparation, collegiate preparation, career counseling and includes 5 professional photoshoots (European audition photos, American audition photos, beginning of the year photos, exam photos, and graduation photos).