The Next Step for A Ballet Magazine

A Ballet Magazine is making the bold move to A Ballet Education’s website. With September Issue fast approaching we here at A Ballet Magazine thought of sustainability. Sustaining something is not about holding on to the modes that no longer serve the overall community, but rather the necessary push for adaptation and change. David King created A Ballet Magazine as a labor of love that blossomed into 24 uniquely crafted issues. When he passed the magazine onto Elizabeth Weldon and Ashley Baker the world was in an extreme moment of flux and the ballet world was forced to go again into metamorphosis. Just like the industry we love to talk about the organization that is A Ballet Magazine must adapt. We believe nothing would be better than to transition onto the website you come to for your information . Elizabeth Weldon, Ashley Baker, and David King would each like to open this new chapter with a letter from the editor in chief , the creative director, and the founder.



Dear A Ballet Magazine Readers,
For over a year now, it has been such a pleasure to connect with you all through our digital publication. I have so enjoyed the opportunity to create content and to be able to share the wisdom and unique paths of so many incredible artists in our industry through the magazine. I am grateful to David King for entrusting me with the stewardship of A Ballet Magazine, knowing how deeply he cares for this publication, which was born out of his own love and passion.

Little did I know when creating “The Crossover” issue that it would be our last and that the magazine would be experiencing its own crossover. The internet, with free and easily accessible content, has made it difficult for the world of publishing. (For a sobering dose of reality, read William Deresiewicz’s The Death of The Artist: How Creators are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech) Like many publications, our magazine has felt the effect of this shift. Knowing what we were up against when I came on as Editor in Chief, I knew it was a risk. I wasn’t sure how long we could last, but I knew that whatever happened, it would be an opportunity to learn and grow regardless of the outcome. While I’m sad the magazine is coming to a close, I am grateful for the experience. 

I am continually reminded that change is the only constant and that we must continually evolve in life. Things will not always work out the way we hope, and artists, in particular, will experience many crossovers if we want to continue on in the arts industry. Always on the pulse of innovation, A Ballet Education will continue to share quality content and valuable insider information through the blog and other mediums. 

As always, I am grateful to David for his friendship, support, and belief in me as a writer and to Ashley Baker, as magazine co-creator, and incredibly talented, patient, and innovative Creative Director. I look forward to contributing to The Ballet Education Blog and continue connecting with you all there. 

Happy dancing and wishing you all many blessings

Xoxo 

Elizabeth Weldon 


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Dear Cherished ABM Readers 

Change is the only constant in digital media. In our digital age, we have all become quicker to create, faster to digest, and hungrier to explore the next nugget of digital content. The A Ballet Education brand has always been dedicated to delivering the relevant, timely, informed and thoughtful ballet-world images and analysis our supporters seek. It is from this commitment each word, image, and layout in an issue of A Ballet Magazine is crafted. As Creative Director, developing a forward-looking layout of the magazine and direction of the photography has been integral to delivering the most up to date content to our readers. 

The ballet world came to a screeching halt during the early stages of the pandemic. There was a steady stream of painful disappointment and heartache to report. In this time of disruption to our everyday routines, an understanding of what ballet was capable of enduring emerged and the answer rang out clearly; an intentional expansion into the digital world with more intention.  The ballet world’s institutions were bending to the next generation of dancers who found comfort in the connections we could make online.  Though jobs and acceptance may have laid dormant in this time the groundwork for ballet’s new relationship with media raged on. Stagnancy is in the past, and ballet is now moving forward at a lightning pace. There is such an abundance of rapid development and creation overflowing on ballet’s horizon, it has become clear that a quarterly publication of A Ballet Magazine is not the most efficient platform to deliver our content to you. 

We are excited to announce that beginning immediately,  A Ballet Magazine will continue to deliver the excellent, ballet-focused content you have come to expect on the platform you already know and love, A Ballet Education’s website, through a multitude of sub genres. This will allow us to deliver in real-time the ballet news, trends, analysis, fashion, and general beauty and appreciation for the art. You may have noticed that we have already begun the process of sharing past A Ballet Magazine creative work on A Ballet Education’s website and the response we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive! The immediacy of the platform is where ballet is headed, indeed.

Elizabeth Weldon and I are beyond grateful for the support we’ve enjoyed from our readership over the past 5 issues of the A Ballet Magazine . I am excited to continue to provide visual stories that interest and inspire you, and I know that David and Elizabeth will continue to inform and capture you with written content that expands your interest in and understanding of the ballet world. We thank you for your readership and look forward to continuing to grow  with you on this journey that is A Ballet Education on our new platform! 

Xoxo, 

Ashley


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Dear ABM Readers,

A Ballet Magazine was my baby. It was the combination of my life in publishing and my life in ballet coming together as one. But, as every teacher knows and parent knows, there comes a time to let go. As we close this chapter of A Ballet Magazine, I am excited to see the future of publishing content.

I am also excited that all of the content for A Ballet Education is going to be FREE! This change is fantastic because now we can make ballet even more accessible to the masses. So, as we enter the new phase of A Ballet Education, A Ballet Network, and A Ballet Foundation, I hope you are patient with us as an organization as we work out the bugs. Ashley Baker will be taking a larger role at A Ballet Education. Elizabeth Weldon will still be writing for the website. We will also now be hiring freelance writers and photographers who would like their work published. 

I am also excited that all of the content for A Ballet Education is going to be FREE! This change is fantastic because now we can make ballet even more accessible to the masses. So, as we enter the new phase of A Ballet Education, A Ballet Network, and A Ballet Foundation, I hope you are patient with us as an organization as we work out the bugs. We will also now be hiring freelance writers and photographers who would like their work published. 

KATHRYN MORGAN LIVE TONIGHT!

While A Ballet Magazine’s Winter Issue features a plethora of holiday performances this season, we would be remiss not to also highlight Municipal Ballet Company’s upcoming film of River of Rosewater, their version of The Nutcracker. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and under the Directorship of Sarah Longoria (a contributor to our Summer Issue), Municipal Ballet Company has brought entertaining and affordable, if not free, performances to the city for the past nine years. This year’s filmed performance of River of Rosewater features the lovely Kathryn Morgan as Clara, and Christopher Sellars, her current boyfriend and former first soloist with Ballet West, as her prince. 

The performance is set in Salt Lake City’s historic McCune Mansion and accompanied by Pixie and the Party Grass Boys, a local band, who arranged Tchaikovsky’s score. The music, setting, and elegant costumes reflect the air of the 1920s. This version is a charming rendition of the classic Nutcracker and one where Morgan and Sellars are sure to shine. There couldn’t be a more perfect pairing for this unique holiday tale. 

Morgan, who has charmed followers the internet over with her resiliency and candor, continues to impress fans with her reinventions. I am delighted at the thought of seeing her timeless beauty and grace in this performance as she partners with her real life love. Sellars is not only a refined genuine gentleman but also a gifted partner. Together, they and the delightful dancers of Municipal Ballet are sure to sweep the audience off their feet!

Municipal Ballet Company is a collection of classically trained dancers who wish to continue sharing their love of dance. Sarah Longoria has created a beautiful and supportive community for adult dancers to keep dancing and have the opportunity to collaborate with local creatives.  

The filming of River of Rosewater is made possible by Social Antidote, a local nonprofit organization intent on featuring local creatives. Free streaming will premiere Wednesday, (TODAY!!!) December 23rd at 7pm on Social Antidote’s Youtube Channel and will continue to be available to watch. 

By Elizabeth Weldon, Editor-in-Chief, A Ballet Magazine

A Ballet Magazine | Issue 21: The Holiday Issue

IN THIS ISSUE

This amazing issue brings you amazing and beautiful content from Elizabeth WeldonAshley Lorraine BakerDavid KingEric Hipolito Jr  Jillian Verzwyvelt and more! So what is in our Holiday Issue?

The Holidays Reimagined our coverstory featuring interviews with Houston BalletBoston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Dance and Media featuring New York City Ballet’s Emily Kitka and her business KW CREATIVE

The Perfect Black Leotard, finding the right leotard for you.

Menswear featuring amazing these amazing brands: Boys Dance Too, Barreto Dancewear, Lucky Leo  Elevé Dancewear, and Tightans featuring Ballet Arizona’s Serafin Castro.

Balancing College and Priouettes by Eric Hipolito Jr. Here he talks to dancers Kiara Felder of Les Grand Ballet de Canadian, Montreal, Andy Garcia of Boston Ballet, and PNB’s Genevieve Waldorf

Jillian Verzwyvelt talks about Transferable Skills You Can Take Beyond the Studio. Jillian talks to four amazing women who have transitioned from ballet: Miko Fogarty, Jessica Columbus, Melody Lynch, and Cristina Milanes.

And So Much More!!!

THE HOLIDAY ISSUE ON JOOMAG

The September Issue is Here!

The September Issue is here!
Our September Issue here and it is our largest issue ever! Our 20th issue is over 200 pages and the first issue in the history of the Magazine where I did not produce it and I couldn’t be more proud. This issue brings the news that I will be stepping down as Editor-in-Chief and handing over the magazine to Elizabeth Weldon and Ashley Lorraine Baker. The reasoning behind this? I want to make sure that women lead this publication, and that women are being represented in the ballet world as writers, photographers, editors, and are being the voices shaping the conversations in dance. This issue is beyond stunning and I couldn’t have been more proud to see my colleagues (who I am lucky enough to call friends) take control of this issue and produce a beyond stunning issue. We hope you enjoy it! You can read the magazine by subscribing here: www.aballetmagazine.com

Katlyn Addison, Gabrielle Salvatto, Ginabel Peterson, and Jazz Bynum of Ballet West photographed by Joshua Whitehead.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Ginabel Peterson, Jazz Bynum, Katlyn Addison, and Gabrielle Salvatto of Ballet West photographed by Joshua Whitehead.

COVER STORY
WOMEN: THE FUTURE: When the staff of A Ballet Magazine began brainstorming for our September issue,  the immediate thought that came to my mind was to feature these four beautiful women at Ballet West.: Gabrielle Salvatto Katlyn Addison, Jazz Khai Bynum, and Ginabel Peterson. Read an in-depth article and interview by Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Weldon photographed by Joshua Whitehead. 

Growing Up Black: Lauryn Brown Photographed by Ashley Baker

GROWING UP BLACK
By Lauryn Brown | Photographed by Ashley Baker
When I was younger, kids in my ballet class were awarded stickers for coming to class in the proper uniform with their hair in a neat ballet bun. My mom arranged my thick natural hair into individual braids that were nicely pulled back for class, however, I was the only girl who did not get a sticker for being in the proper uniform. I was always told my hair was not right for class. Read more of Lauryn’s personal essay.

DO THEY SEE US?
By Ashley Baker
Creating quality ballet choreography can come from anyone and anywhere. Ballet seems to be lacking in finding, or better yet, uncovering black women who choreograph ballet. Where are all the black female choreographers? Amy Hall Garner and Claudia Schreier unpack being choreographers, being black, and being women. 

THE VIOLENCE OF WHITE SILENCE
By Elizabeth Weldon
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, and the surge of Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, ballet dancers of color have taken to their social media accounts as a platform to express disappointment in their employers. One of the first of these dancers was George Sanders.

THE POINTE OF PIGMENT
Written and Photographed Ashley Baker
Some of the world’s top pointe shoe companies share in their mission to better represent the community that uses their products. This article features Freed of London, Suffolk, and Gaynor Minden. We had the chance to sit down and talk with the owners of these companies and talk about their contributions in providing pointe shoes of color. 

MASTER TEACHER
By David King
My first introduction to Andrea Long wasn’t in person. And no, it wasn’t because of the Covid-19 pandemic. My first introduction to Andrea Long was in 1993, sitting inside the local cineplex at six years old. Now, I have the privilege of calling this master teacher my friend. Here is a feature on this stunning and talented teacher.

#ABESONESTOWATCH
NEW FEATURE: Each issue A Ballet Education and A Ballet Magazine will be selecting up and coming ballet dancers to be featured in the issue! We are kicking off this feature with six talented young women who are breaking onto the ballet scene with a punch. Featuring Maddison Brown, Adeline Dunlap, Bella Jones, Alexandra Owens, Destiny Wimpye, and Sasha Manuel.   

FALL FASHION: COLOR BLOCKING
Written and Photographed Ashley Baker featuring Mia Patton and styled by Berly Baray

STYLE: HERE’S TO HAIR
Written by Ashley Baker featuring Alexandra Terry

RESILIENCE & REPRESENTATION a profile on KIYON ROSS
Written by Eric Hipolito Jr.

AZ DANCE MED TAKES YOU THROUGH HELPFUL EXERCISES TO  PROMOTE A MOBILE AND SUPPORTED SPINE

RESOURCES: WHEN WILL IT BE WOMEN’S TURN?
Written by Jillian Verzwyvelt artwork by Ashley Baker 

PROFILE: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
STEPHANIE RAE WILLIAMS
Written by Isabella Costantino

PROFILE: PAVIELLE VERSALLES: THE WOMAN BEHIND CONCEPT PAVIELLE

AND MUCH MORE!

corps de ballet confessional: Elizabeth Weldon of Ballet West

By reputation, ballerinas are these willowy, elongated creatures that are unobtainable… That could pretty much sums up Elizabeth Weldon, a corps de ballet member at TV’s most popular ballet company, Ballet West.  With feet to die for, ideal body proportions and musicality that rivals most, she tops it off by being humble in her achievements, gracious in performances, intelligent in her choices and wise through experience. Not to mention she is a poster girl for Bloch.

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I first met Liz as a dancer through CPYB and worked together at Panera Bread. I just remember seeing these long legs hidden behind an apron and this great smile under this ugly khaki/olive colored hat. She had joined the school year later on, or maybe she was there since the beginning but I didn’t really know her or know of her until the later part.  LOL. Not sure, but regardless, our time was brief, but if there was one thing I remember, was how smart she was with the choices she made. So, for those who want to go to college, but people tell you, “You might not have a dance career”… Liz did it all…

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So, what is it like to be Elizabeth Weldon? Here we go!

Name: Elizabeth Weldon
Insta: lizaries13
Company: Ballet West
Company Position: Corps (official company position)
Years in the Company: 6
Previous Companies: Orlando Ballet Second Company
Ballet Education: Boston Ballet, CPYB
Age: 32
Height: 5’8

 

What is your favorite type of sandwich?
Probably a breakfast sandwich. Eggs, cheese, and sausage on an asiago or everything bagel.

You are sponsored by Bloch? Or a Bloch model? How does that happen? Especially as a corps de ballet member? (Don’t get me wrong, you are tall and gorgeous, but just so others know what modeling brings about) What pointe shoe do you wear?
This is an interesting story. A couple years ago I started having a lot of pain in my feet and discovered that my shoes no longer fit, my feet had grown. I was trying to find a shoe that fit my foot and contacted Bloch about being fitted for pointe shoes. They had me send pictures of my feet and after seeing the pictures I sent, they asked me if I would be available to come to NYC to do a photoshoot for their spring Mirella line 2015. It was such an incredible experience! I loved working with the Bloch team. I never would have imagined having the chance to do something like that. Everyone at Bloch was so nice and fun to work with. It’s an experience I will never forget.

I’m not sure what to include about my current shoe situation …. I currently wear Capezios. I am very lucky to have the feet I do, however sometimes it feels like a blessing and a curse. The shoes I currently wear don’t fit my feet and it’s been very frustrating because I feel like it’s the greatest obstacle in my career. I’ve been dancing on shoes that don’t fit for three seasons now. It’s very discouraging. ….   (Finding the right shoe is extremely difficult!)

 

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photo by Joshua, Liz in Nicolo Fonte’s Rite of Spring


What is in your dance bag?
Many, many, pointe shoes! Flat shoes, scissors, duct tape, a nail file, foot powder, and foam roller. I also carry a separate bag with snacks 🙂

 

What is your warm up routine, or process to get ready for class or show?
It changes depending on what we are working on or performing. Before class my warm up is very minimal, just simple stretching to loosen up, or exercises to activate certain muscles. I try to pay attention to my body and give it whatever it seems to need.

You went the nontraditional route… You went to college first. What was that like? Help or hinder?
The answer to this question is a little complex. I think in the big picture of life going to college first helped, but perhaps not for my dance career. However, I loved my experience at college. I made wonderful friends who are still in my life today. I loved learning, and having the chance to figure out who I was as an individual. It also helped me realize how much I love ballet and how much I missed having it in my life. After graduation was when I began to really pursue ballet as a career.

What do you want out of your dancing?
I recently saw a video of David Bowie and he said something that really resonated with me. “Always remember that the reason you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society.’

Dream role?
I want to do it all! Haha just kidding 🙂 I would love to dance the pas de deux from Wheeldon’s After the Rain. Kylian’s Petite mort is another dream ballet.

What is it like being categorized as a tall dancer?
Oddly enough at Ballet West I’m in the middle height range for the girls. I’ve become accustomed to dancing among so many tall people at BW that I don’t think of myself as tall. We have girls who are over 6’ on pointe and men up to 6’7 tall so comparatively speaking, I’m not very tall.

Was Ballet West your dream company? How did you get your contract?
It’s a little strange to say, but when I started auditioning for companies I just had a feeling I was meant to be at Ballet West. I did the open audition in NYC and eventually ended up at Ballet West on an 11-week supplemental contract. They needed extra girls for Swan Lake and a Balanchine program. I was so happy to be dancing with such an amazing company and thankfully at the end of my supplemental contract they asked me to come back for a full season. This is now my sixth full season with Ballet West.

Who are some professional dancers you admire?
I honestly have admiration for anyone in this career. It’s very difficult and we all have our own unique stories. No dancer has it easy. We do what we love, but there are definitely sacrifices we have to make. Like anyone in the arts, we aren’t compensated nearly enough for all the hard work. We move to whatever part of world we can find a job, and give up holidays with our families. It’s a very difficult career physically and psychologically. However I think we all realize how unique our careers are, and how special it is to be a part of the ballet world. It’s an honor to be part of a traditional art form that’s so much bigger than yourself.

 

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Favorite place to go relax and decompress from ballet world?
I spend most of my free time at home in my apartment on my couch with my pug, Mogli. He’s my best bud.

 

Favorite book?
Moon Palace by Paul Auster. He’s my favorite author. I love all his books.

If you could go back to you 16-year-old self, what would you tell her? What would you do differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently because then I wouldn’t be who I am today. Though I wish some things had perhaps been different, I value the experiences and life lessons I had to face along the way. There are things I have learned in my 30s that I don’t think my 16-year-old self would understand. Sometimes we need to learn through experience and all those lessons happen in the right timing in our life.  At least that’s what I believe.

What were some of the “negative” things you were told as a student? How did it affect you?
I think as a dancer it is inevitable you will hear negative things and it’s up to you to determine how you let it affect you. I remember being told I was too uncoordinated to be a dancer. I was told by a very well-respected physical therapist that my body wouldn’t be able to handle a career in dance – that I would always be injured. I was told that if I didn’t train for a career when I was young that I would never make it as a professional. I believe that you are the only person who can determine your limits. It’s your choice whether you’re a victim of circumstances or if you chose to make your own rules and live life on your own terms.

What is the biggest advice you can give aspiring dancers?
Follow your passion and do what feels right for you. Your life is your greatest gift and you can write whatever story you want. Always treat yourself with love and respect. Take care of your body and your mental health. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want, but very often our biggest challenges are also our greatest opportunities for growth.


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