In September 2004, a pair of siblings graced the Dance Magazine cover. Inside, the accompanying story wrote, "When the Cornejos dance, it's never merely a variation—it's a complete performance."


A Dance Magazine cover featuring the Cornejos leaping among illustrated planets and stars

The brother and sister from Buenos Aires were winning over American Ballet Theatre fans, garnering "fervent applause and almost as fervent reviews," wrote Hanna Rubin.

Erica was beloved for her musical phrasing and easy jumps, while Herman won over audiences with his technical brilliance and elegant lines. Both oozed charisma onstage.

But two years after the story came out, Erica left New York City to join Boston Ballet as a principal, and fans lost the ability to see the pair onstage together. Until now.

Although she retired from performing in 2017 and now directs Integrarte ballet school in Boston, Erica is making a special return to the ABT stage on October 26 to dance a pas de deux with Herman in celebration of his 20th anniversary with the company.

The piece holds extra significance for the two dancers: The Cornejos first performed El Chamuyo at a gala for Argentina held at the Metropolitan Opera House's grand tier in 1998. At the time, they were members of ABT star Julio Bocca's touring company, Ballet Argentino. So while in New York for the performance, they took company class at ABT—and were quickly asked to join the Studio Company. Now, their story is coming full circle, celebrating a milestone with the same work that brought them to the company in the first place.

The special evening will also see Herman dancing the title role in Apollo (his New York debut) and a leading role in Twyla Tharp's new A Gathering of Ghosts. We expect nothing less than "fervent applause."

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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