American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School has come a long way in the short decade since it was founded. So far, in fact, that it's part of a select group of schools invited to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy's celebration of its 240th anniversary.
Somewhere in the history of ballet, a rumor started that dancers weren't very smart. Luckily, there are plenty of brilliant ballerinas who prove that rumor wrong. Take, for example, Melissa Thomas, a former American Ballet Theatre dancer who just graduated from Columbia University with a degree in psychology. She's now planning to pursue a master's degree in social work and eventually practice clinical psychotherapy. But as she tells it, ballet not only gave her the discipline she needed to succeed in her second career, it also became a passion that will never leave her.
Mark your calendars: There's some great ballet coming into your life over the next couple of weeks—all of which you can catch from the comfort of your couch. Keep an eye out for these programs:
Wendy Whelan: "Restless Creature" The New York City Ballet superstar will preview her new project at the Guggenheim Museum. She'll perform excerpts from new duets created collaboratively with choreographers Joshuah Beamish and Brian Brooks, and show a solo by Shen Wei.
American Ballet Theatre just announced an intriguing transatlantic dancer swap. Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae will come to New York to perform in ABT's Le Corsaire this June and Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf will dance with the company in Sleeping Beauty this July. In exchange, ABT will lend principal Cory Stearns to The Royal Ballet in December and soloist Isabella Boylston to the Royal Danish Ballet for their Nutcracker.
Getting to attend the annual Dance Magazine Awards is one of my favorite perks of this job. The caliber of artists you get to rub shoulders with each year is kind of amazing, if a bit overwhelming. The first time I went, as a Dance Magazine intern, I remember seeing Alessandra Ferri float up the aisle to accept her award with the exact same effortless fluidity she moves with onstage.