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By the time Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre soloist Gabrielle Thurlow reached high school, she knew she wanted to pursue a professional ballet career. But to do so, she had to make the tough decision to leave her local studio in Buffalo, New York, to train at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. "I wanted a school attached to a professional company, where I could train full-time," she says. With her parents' support, she approached her teachers a year in advance to begin talking to them about leaving. "It's a difficult conversation to have," she says. "They trained me, and we had this special relationship. But as former professional dancers, they understood where I was coming from."

Dancers often face this decision as they plan their pre-professional training. They are forever indebted to the teachers who molded them, and broaching the subject of leaving can seem like an impossible conversation. While it's normal to be nervous, there are ways to sensitively navigate the situation, without burning any bridges.

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Julia Cinquemani in Los Angeles Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Reed Hutchinson, Courtesy of Los Angeles Ballet.

Miami City Ballet just announced their official roster for the 2017-18 season, including some exciting additions to and promotions within the company. The new season, which starts on Oct. 20 in Miami, consists of a 53-member roster that was made complete thanks to six new dancers and the return of former longtime MCB dancer Katia Carranza.

Carranza will be returning to the rank of principal, a spot that she previously held from 2004 until 2007 before joining Ballet de Monterrey as a principal dancer. Other promotions for the upcoming season include Jennifer Lauren to principal, Lauren Fadeley to principal soloist and Ashley Knox to soloist.

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