Student Opportunities

Ballet Classes At The Kennedy Center


In its 13th year, the Ballet Class Series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts allows serious ballet students to take master classes and attend select rehearsals with the companies performing there.  


“It’s such a neat opportunity to learn from the companies that come through the Kennedy Center and see how they work,” says Natalie Varnum, who, after two years in the program, is now a member of Houston Ballet II. “It gave me an idea of what each company is like, and after class I could ask the artistic directors questions, which was especially useful when I started auditioning.” 


This year’s roster includes American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. Also, for the first time, the program involves visiting modern dance companies, like Nacho Duato’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, an experience that is sure to enhance a ballet dancer’s range.    


Near the conclusion of the series, students are invited to a class/discussion with legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell, whose company is produced by the Kennedy Center.   

 
Applications are due by September 18, and the audition is October 10.  For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/students/ballet/
 —Elizabeth Gorgas

Genée International Ballet Competition


For dancers studying the Royal Academy of Dance technique, attending the Genée International Ballet Competition can be the pinnacle of their training. Started in 1931, the competition is RAD’s flagship event, offering top students the opportunity to work with world-renowned teachers and choreographers for five days before competing in front of a panel of distinguished judges. Past winners include The Royal Ballet’s Leanne Benjamin and American Ballet Theatre’s Stella Abrera.


“I loved how the coaching helped us polish our variations, giving us tips like where to look and how to finish,” says Pacific Northwest Ballet student Nicole Ciapponi, who received a silver medal at last year’s competition, as well as the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Award for Theatricality. “It became not about winning, but about performing. And it gave me more confidence to go on to a professional career and dance alongside company dancers.”


The 2009 Genée International Ballet Competition will take place in Singapore from September 3–12. The competition is open to student dancers ages 15 to 19 who have passed RAD’s Advanced 2 Examination in classical ballet with distinction or have been awarded the Solo Seal. The application deadline is August 3. Find out more at www.geneeballetcompetition.com. —Jennifer Stahl

Win A Scholarship From American Harlequin


Luck is all you need to be the winner of the American Harlequin Corporation’s $5,000 scholarship! “Because of the economic situation, this year we decided to make it 100 percent random instead of teacher-nominated, as we have done in the past,” says Claire Londress, marketing manager for Harlequin.


Any American or Canadian student dancer, age 15 to 21, is eligible. Twenty scholarships will be awarded, starting at $500 with a grand prize of $5,000.

Amanda Nazario, 17, won the $5,000 prize last year. The Long Island resident, who dances tap, ballet and lyrical, plans to use the money to help pay tuition this September at the University of Rhode Island. “Paying for college will be really hard on my family and me,” she says. “The scholarship is a huge, huge help.”


Interested students can apply online at www.harlequinfloors.com or call 800-642-6440 for an application. The deadline to apply is November 1.
—Amanda Silliker

TIP:How can you get the most out of each technique class?

Class is a chance to improve any weakness. Think about what steps gave you trouble yesterday, what corrections you got, and start figuring out what you need to do to improve.
What gives your movement value is how involved you are in it, not what your teacher thinks of you. Have your own agenda: You’re not just a student in class; you’re creating the artist within you. You have to enter the studio thinking “Here’s my opportunity, I can make things better.”
 —Finis Jhung, master teacher

Show Comments ()
Social media validates extremes over clean, solid technique. Photo by David Hofmann/Unsplash

The entrancing power of Instagram can't be denied. I've lost hours of my life scrolling the platform looking at other people documenting theirs. What starts as a "quick" fill-the-moment check-in can easily lead to a good 10-15 minute session, especially if I enter the nebulous realm of "suggested videos."

My algorithm usually shows me professional ballet dancers in performances, rehearsals, class, backstage and on tour, which I quite enjoy. But there are the other dance feeds that I find myself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by: the hyper-elastic, hyper-extended, gumby-footed girls always at the barre doing developpés to six o'clock. There are the multiple turners, the avid stretchers and we can't forget the endless balancers.

This parade of tricksters always makes me wonder, What else can they do? Can they actually dance?

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Ballet Chicago Studio Company in Balanchine's Square Dance. Ron McKinney Photography, Courtesy Ballet Chicago.

"You'll find people say that we're very demanding, but we're not mean," says Daniel Duell, co-founder of the Ballet Chicago Studio Company, a rigorous, Balanchine-based pre-professional training program located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Duell originally formed Ballet Chicago as a professional company, which disbanded after 11 seasons in 1998. Today, the organization is wholly dedicated to training and is one of the only pre-professional programs in the country entrusted with staging George Balanchine's ballets.

In addition to running the Ballet Chicago Studio Company (BCSC) and its affiliated school, former New York City Ballet principal Duell and his wife, Patricia Blair, who danced with Eglevsky Ballet, are répétiteurs for The George Balanchine Trust. The couple's investment in Balanchine's technique and repertoire has afforded Ballet Chicago a unique relationship with the Trust, giving BCSC dancers the opportunity to perform classic ballets like Concerto Barocco, "Rubies," Tarantella and Valse-Fantaisie.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Boon, Lauren Lovette's furry friend. Photo via @laurenlovette on Instagram.

There's nothing more purrrrfect than some fabulous trinas and their feline friends. We're not kitten: these bonds are paw-sitively adorable! From hanging out backstage to working out together and more, these pairs will pas de chat their way straight into your heart.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III at Ballet Sun Valley in 2017. Photo by Steve Dondero, Courtesy Ballet Sun Valley.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


Isabella Boylston Curates Her Second Hometown Ballet Festival

American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston moonlights as artistic director of Ballet Sun Valley, which she founded last year. The second annual festival will run July 17–18 in Sun Valley, Idaho, Boylston's hometown. Boylston has created two programs composed of pas de deux and solo pieces from choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and William Forsythe, as well as Justin Peck's In Creases, the one work for a larger ensemble.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Boston Ballet II associate director Peter Stark takes a picture of the group after class. Stark often observes company class when artistic director Mikko Nissinen is teaching. "He'll take notes and give us feedback on what the artistic staff is looking for," says BBII dancer Caroline Buckheit. Photo by Liza Voll.

For the members of Boston Ballet II, Thursday mornings are a special treat. At 9 am, well before the company arrives, they begin their own class with BBII associate director Peter Stark. It's their chance to talk through corrections and dig into the details of their technique—a welcome break from the fast-paced company environment they're just getting used to. "I really enjoy our Thursday class," says Catherine Livingston, 19, who joined BBII last fall. "It's just the 10 of us, and Peter coaches us all individually."

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Cleaning is a daily procedure. Proper maintenance will help extend the life of your floor and protect its special slip-resistant surface.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
via YouTube

What do you do when you finally have some time off after a busy season? Well, if you're the dancers of New York City Ballet, you find new ways to dance, obviously. Ahead of the company's 52nd annual residency at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, corps members (and super creatives) Peter Walker and Emily Kikta teamed up with their fellow dancers to choreograph and produce a series of videos leading up to the mainstage performances July 17-21.

Keep reading... Show less
Editors' List: The Goods
Left to right: Via Elevé Dancewear; Via LeaMarie

Planning to spend the majority of your summer sweating it out in the studio? Don't worry, you're not alone. And while you're definitely going to want to save the warmups for the winter, you can still accessorize your studio look without adding bulk, thanks to the always-in-style ballet skirt. From bright florals to washed out pastels and wild prints, we rounded up our favorite short (and a few long!) ballet skirts for summer.

AinslieWear Limoncello Wrap Skirt

via AinslieWear

f you can't spend your summer in the Mediterranean under actual lemon trees, this skirt is a solid backup. Plus, it gives us serious Beyonce "Lemonade" vibes, which will help you feel more fierce and less sweaty-mess in class (hopefully).
ainsliewear.com, $50

Health & Body
Thinkstock

Monthly periods can be a huge hassle for anyone. But donning a leotard and tights or getting through a tough barre when you're having your period can make it even harder to deal with. Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, offers these tips for bunheads to ease pain and symptoms.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Photo by Amy Velasquez via Unsplash

Have you ever referred to your feet as biscuits or your pointe shoes as dead in front of a non-dancer friend or family member and seen a wave of confusion cross their face? Dance, like most activities, is chock-full of words and phrases used only by those in the know. In honor of their 90th anniversary, the Oxford English Dictionary wants to change that. They've put out an appeal to gather "hobby words," and dance is on their list (we know that dance is more than a hobby—try not to take offense).

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Screenshot via YouTube

Last summer, Mariinsky Ballet prima ballerina Uliana Lopatkina retired after more than 20 years as a principal. Adored in Russia and by audiences around the world, Lopatkina's virtuosity, elegance and humble presence have been sorely missed. Although best known for powerful interpretations of classical roles like Odette/Odile, Lopatkina also brought unparalleled drama to contemporary works, as in this clip by Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen. Lopatkina performed the austere, but emotionally fraught duet, titled Trois Gnossiennes, with her frequent Mariinsky partner Ivan Kozlov at the Hans van Manen Festival in 2007.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild. Photo Courtesy Trafalger Releasing.

An American in Paris, the wildly popular musical directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, comes to movie theaters nationwide September 20 and 23. Filmed in London in 2017, this version features the show's original stars: former New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild and former Royal Ballet first artist Leanne Cope. Based on the classic 1951 Gene Kelly film with a score of Gershwin standards, An American in Paris played on Broadway and in London's West End to rave reviews and numerous awards, including a 2015 Tony for Best Choreographer. This limited screening will bring the best of Broadway up close to the masses. For a full list of participating theaters and to purchase tickets, available July 12, click here.

Sponsored

Viral Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox

Sponsored

Win It!