Profiles

2019 Stars of the Corps: Miami City Ballet's Mayumi Enokibara

Mayumi Enokibara in Miami City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy MCB.

As a first-timer in the corps of Concerto Barocco, Mayumi Enokibara exercised a basic tenet: to find joy in a challenge. Though in the end she felt exhausted by the nonstop, intricately entwined Balanchine steps, the Brazilian-born ballerina—in her fourth year, following an apprenticeship, at Miami City Ballet—calls that performance last season's high point. "I loved giving it my all!" she says.


A growing number of ballets have let this MCB School alumna reach for the top. Sparkling with personality, she brings individual gusto to action-packed works. Yet she never loses rapport with her dance companions. "In Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto, my eyes were everywhere," she says, stressing she drew special energy from the principals. Equally alert in Brahms/Handel, she tore through the Jerome Robbins/Twyla Tharp choreography, coming to relish its collective quirks.

While nursing a shoulder injury last fall, Enokibara gained a more holistic view of ballet. "Watching like an audience member," she says, "I appreciated the beauty in everything coming together." Sure, it felt great to return to The Nutcracker as a Marzipan Shepherdess—but now she understands better how every waltzing Flower perfumes the whole bouquet.

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Darian Volkova, Courtesy Shayer

After years of rigorous training, ballet dancers become accustomed to constructive and oftentimes harsh criticism. Being scrutinized is something that comes with the territory.

I myself spent the better half of my high school years in Russia, where political correctness does not get in the way of progress. We were trained to use criticism as fuel to propel us forward. Everything said in class or rehearsal was meant to help better ourselves and not to be taken personally.

But where is the line between helpful advice and offensive language?

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News
Greta Hodgkinson and Guillaume Côté in Margeurite and Armand. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

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Training
Students at Sun King Dance's Adult Ballet Camp. Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography, Courtesy Sun King Dance.

For adult recreational dancers, summer isn't just a time for swapping out warm-up sweaters for breezy tees—it's also about taking your training to the next level, and perhaps packing your bags for a ballet workshop. Why should teens and pre-professionals have all of the fun? Fortunately, there are scores of adult summer programs all over the United States, and even abroad for those of you looking to sprinkle in a little sightseeing after your final reverénce. (Can't wait for summer? Check out these spring workshops at National Ballet of Canada and Sarasota Ballet.)

What can adults expect from a weekend or a week of dance training? Everything from technique to repertoire to yoga. Most of all, it's a chance to just dig in and dance, without a pesky to-do list waiting for you after class. Here are some summer programs designed for adult recreational dancers to keep on your radar.

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