When it comes to your training, sometimes you have to ignore what people tell you. You need the courage and discipline to move ahead regardless. Our cover ballerina, Lauren Lovette (“The Charmer”), a relative latecomer to ballet, didn’t let a rejection from the School of American Ballet’s summer program set her back. She went to Carolina Ballet’s intensive, and became strong enough to get into SAB the next year.
That same determination shaped the decisions of several dancers in “The Private Lesson Debate.” Houston Ballet’s Melissa Hough, The Royal’s Meaghan Hinkis and American Ballet Theatre’s Skylar Brandt all chose to go outside their pre-professional programs to seek additional help. It can be a difficult—even fraught—decision. Many schools are reluctant to let students take privates because it can muddy technique and undermine a program’s approach. But for some dancers, it’s the boost they urgently need.
Privates can’t solve everything. You need to be honest about your weaknesses and dig deep inside to overcome them. This issue’s “Your Training” looks at ways to nail stage presence—that most elusive and essential element of artistry. As Alessandra Ferri explains, some dancers are born with it. But a conscious effort to develop it can yield real results.
So, be persistent even when someone says no. Don’t stop until you get what you need to become an artist.
Also In This Issue
Shifting her focus to international performances and teaching with husband Maxim Beloserkovsky, prima ballerina Irina Dvorovenko gives her final performance at ABT in May:
“I’m still nervous before every show—every second, every step. You are in front of thousands of people. If you try to do it all, it will be hard, and there is always surprise. Only dancers who don’t take it seriously aren’t nervous.” —Irina Dvorovenko
NYCB corps member Lauren Lovette with on-and-offstage partner Daniel Ulbricht.
“It can be daunting before you go into rehearsal. You watch a tape and think, How can I do that? Luckily, there are experienced dancers here who’ve done it before. I go to Danny for advice all the time.” —Lauren Lovette