Student Opportunities

American Dance Competition

 

As a young dancer with Orlando Ballet, Audrianna Broad watched her former classmates from Harid Conservatory struggle—and fail—to  find work dancing professionally. “It takes a lot for dancers, girls especially, to make it in ballet,” she says. “But it helps if important people are watching them.” So, after earning a degree in economics from Rollins College (while still dancing full-time), Broad founded the American Dance Competition.

 

Now going into its fifth year, the annual competition is still evolving. Dancers first compete in a non-elimination preliminary round in which they learn two classical variations, one coda and one contemporary variation and then perform them—all in one day. “This puts everyone on an even playing field so the judges can see their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the other dancers,” says Broad. “Everyone gets the same amount and quality of coaching.”

 

For the second round, students bring as many solo or group variations as they’d like, although most perform two classical and one contemporary piece. The judges’ comments are recorded for dancers to listen to after the competition.

 

Each year, ADC awards about $25,000 in scholarships to 10 to 12 contestants. Directors of regional companies and schools (including Atlanta Ballet and BalletMet Columbus) often offer apprenticeships and traineeships. Starting this year, dancers who score high enough will be invited to the international final round in Shanghai.

 

Although most competitors are from Florida, any student aged 7 to 21 is invited to enter. Registration for the March 2010 competition begins November 2. Visit www.theamericandancecompetition.com.

—Jennifer Stahl

 

   
Twelve Schools, One Anniversary

 

Canada’s National Ballet School celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with an array of activities. One highlight will be the Assemblée Internationale 2009, a weeklong choreographic festival that will bring more than 120 students from12 NBS partner schools to Toronto. The participating schools (all of which already have a pre-existing relationship with NBS) are San Francisco Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School, Paris Opéra Ballet School, National Ballet School of Cuba, Royal Danish Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Hamburg Ballet School, Stuttgart’s John Cranko School, Dresden’s Palucca Schule, Rotterdam’s Codarts, Amsterdam’s National Ballet Academy and The Hague’s Royal Conservatory.

 

Each school will perform a traditional work that reflects the ballet legacy of their particular culture. A second performance will feature choreography by the students themselves—and each piece will be danced by a mixed cast of students from the 12 different schools.

 

Toronto-born Rob Binet, 17, will represent NBS with Surge, his work for seven couples. “I love choreography, and that’s what I want to do for a career,” he says. He’s excited for the unusual opportunity to set his work on an international group of dancers.
“The collaborative process during these joint rehearsals is what’s of real importance,” says NBS artistic director Mavis Staines. “In addition, the students will also get different techniques from a wide variety of ballet teachers.” The festival concludes with a student-centered conference that focuses on themes such as the challenges of becoming a professional dancer. The Assemblée Internationale 2009 takes place November 15–21 in Toronto. www.nbs-enb.ca/50th.

—Paula Citron

 

USAIBC Dance School

 

Even if you’re not competing in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, you can still participate, albeit offstage, through the affiliated International Dance School. During this two-week summer program, intermediate and advanced students ages 12 and up study with renowned faculty (including Rhodie Jorgenson and Tatiana Tchernova) and watch every night of the competition. “The combination of dancing all day and watching the ballet ideal we’re striving for was the best balance for my learning style,” says Aimee Long, a former participant who is now a freelance dancer. At the last USAIBC in 2006, a handful of the 296 students were selected to receive scholarships to summer programs at Boston Ballet, The Rock School and Joffrey Ballet. Applications for 2010 USAIBC International Dance School will become available in late November. www.usaibc.com/school.html

—JS

Latest Posts


Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Jeremy Kyle, Courtesy Laubacher

My First Month as a Professional Dancer in the Age of COVID-19

I moved to Eugene, Oregon, in August, brimming with nerves and excitement to launch my career as an aspirant with Eugene Ballet. After months of quarantining at home in Pittsburgh because of the coronavirus lockdown, transitioning to my new life on the West Coast marked a rapid shift. But in time, it granted me newfound feelings of security. For starters, the ritual of filling up my water bottle, packing my shoes and leotard, putting up my hair and walking into the studio reintroduced a much needed flow of normalcy into my life.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

"My Plate Is Full": Sofiane Sylve on Her New Leadership Roles at Ballet San Antonio and Dresden Semperoper

Sofiane Sylve had huge plans for 2020: Departing her post as a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet, she embarked on a multifaceted, bicontinental career as ballet master and principal dancer at Dresden Semperoper Ballett, and artistic advisor and school director at Ballet San Antonio—and then COVID-19 hit, sidelining performances and administrative plans at both companies. But ballet dancers are nothing if not resilient. In her new leadership roles, Sylve is determined to help shepherd ballet through this challenging time—and transform it for the better. Pointe caught up with her by phone while she was in Dresden.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks