When I received the offer to train at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet as a Pre-Professional Division student in Philadelphia, I was speechless! The exhilaration of being accepted into one of the top ballet schools in the country was quite overwhelming, but I knew I had to go. I was finally given my “big break” as a student, and nothing was going to stop me from taking this opportunity. Within a week of my acceptance, I packed up my belongings and moved to South Jersey so I could immediately begin my training at the school.
In this blog post, I’d like to share with you my first day as a student at SPB and what training here means for me and my future as a professional ballet dancer. I’d also like to thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement of my dream. You give me inspiration every day!
By any means, first and foremost I’d like to say…
To attend a professional ballet school means to have opportunities, exposure, and choices.
The opportunities, exposure, and choices to be received from training at SPB are remarkable. “Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the premier ballet companies in the United States and with the unparalleled advantage of close affiliation the school has with the company”, the opportunity of job employment is greater than usual. Everyday, the students are exposed to world renowned faculty members like Arantxa Ochoa, the School Director, and Angel Corella, the Artistic Director of the company, both former Principal dancers in the United States. The professional environment created inside the school allows students to flourish in each of their daily classes which, in return, provides them with exceptional technical dancing abilities. Students with enough skill here have a good possibility of earning a place in a ballet company, either PA Ballet or another company in the United States or Europe. (paballet.org)
With all of that being said, there is only one word I can use to describe my first day at this school: overwhelming.
Monday, September 21st.
The day began with a 9:30 am ballet class. The Pre-Professional Division (my division) was taking class with PBII (Pennsylvania Ballet’s second company). The class was taught by Francis Veyette, the PBII Director.
Afterwards, my division was scheduled for repertoire. We learned the corps parts from Valse Fantasie, a George Balanchine ballet, and the second movement pas de deux from Western Symphony, another Balanchine ballet. We rehearsed until 2 pm.
What an incredible world to be thrown into so suddenly! I had never learned a Balanchine Ballet before, and that day I learned a section from two different ones. I also took my first professional company class. Two major accomplishments achieved in one day. Simply based on my first day, I know that the School of Pennsylvania Ballet will be the place to create opportunities, exposure, and choices for me. Besides studying ballet here, I also have the chance to live in a city (which has always been another dream of mine) and to live on my own for the first time. This entire experience thus far has been nothing but exciting for me and my family and I am so thankful that we could make this happen.
P.S. Nutcracker casting will be going up soon and I plan on keeping you all posted on that! I am hoping for the best!