Sascha Radetsky's Latest Role

As Von Rothbart in ABT's "Swan Lake." Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT.

Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky has been named the director of New York University's master's in ballet pedagogy program, which runs in partnership with ABT. The program, officially titled "Teaching Dance in the Professions with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy," prepares participants for a career in ballet research, or teaching positions at company schools or in higher education. Dancers who come through ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School are often noted for their unaffected, pure technique. Students in NYU's master's program study that same ABT approach to ballet education, but from the perspective of pedagogy rather than performance.

Radetsky had a notable onstage career, and achieved wider visibility than many ballet dancers thanks to his role as Charlie in the dance movie (and cult favorite) Center Stage. He also recently played the sleazy Ross on Starz's TV show "Flesh and Bone." He has written for magazines and websites and was awarded one of NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts' fellowships for an upcoming writing project. His talent for dancing, acting and writing is obvious—and it's likely he'll be successful as a program director, too.

Ballet Careers
Lenai Alexis Wilkerson. Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Lenai Alexis Wilkerson graduated from University of Southern California with a BFA in dance (dance performance concentration) and a political science minor in 2019.

As Lenai Alexis Wilkerson looked at colleges, she wanted a school that would prepare her for two totally different professions: dancing and law. "I knew, pretty much when I was 16, that I wanted to go to law school," she says. "So I wanted the opportunity to have a dual college experience, where I could have a conservatory training style within a university and I could focus equally on my academics." When she auditioned for the inaugural class of University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, she knew it was the right fit.

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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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News
Nicolas Pelletier in Carmina Burana. Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet.

Last week, Colorado Ballet interrupted Nutcracker rehearsals for an exciting announcement: Four dancers were being promoted. Though all made the jump from the company's corps de ballet, Nicolas Pelletier ascended directly to the rank of soloist, while Sean Omandam, Emily Speed and Melissa Zoebisch were promoted to demi-soloist. This news comes hot on the heels of last August's promotion of Francisco Estevez to principal.

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

While many of us are deep in Nutcracker duties, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet director James Payne has been looking further ahead, finalizing preparations for the school's summer intensive programs. In January, he and his staff will embark on a 24-city audition tour to scour the country for the best young dancers, deciding whether or not to offer them a spot—maybe even a scholarship—in the school's rigorous 5-week intensive focused on high-caliber ballet instruction. Though he'll be evaluating aspirants, he urges that as a student, you should be equally selective in choosing programs that could galvanize your training—and possibly even your career.

We got Payne's advice on strategizing your summer intensive plan before the audition cycle kicks in:

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