Your Training: Summer Study Sleuth

At first glance, all summer intensives seem similar: days full of dancing. Yet the opportunities actually vary widely. The right teacher could plug you in to key directors. A prime performance opportunity could lead to a traineeship or even a company position. But how do you figure out which programs will really deliver? A fewMore »

How It’s Done: Perfecting “Paquita”

Paquita’s variations are some of ballet’s most celebrated examples of 19th-century classicism—and some of its most difficult. Interestingly, the solos we see today never existed in the original two-act ballet. Choreographed for the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1846 by Joseph Mazilier, the story centers on a Spanish gypsy named Paquita, who saves the life ofMore »

Your Training: Conquering Favoritism

The stakes couldn’t have been higher when Janessa Touchet joined Pacific Northwest Ballet School. It was her final year of training, and she’d moved 2,700 miles out of her comfort zone for an opportunity that, if all went well, could launch her career. But the experience soon turned sour. In a class full of outstandingMore »

Competitive Edge: Behind the Medals

BROOKLYN MACKCompany: The Washington BalletAge: 26Top prizes: Boston International Ballet Competition, Helsinki International Ballet Competition, USA International Ballet Competition, Seoul International Dance Competition, Varna International Ballet CompetitionPre-competition rituals: “Working my butt off! And before any performance, I try to get to a mental place that I call ‘home.’ Nobody’s there but me and the ballet.”BackstageMore »

Your Training: Leotard, Tights, Cap & Gown

The schedule at most summer intensive auditions is simple: Show up early, get a number, warm up, take a class and do your best. Merde!But trying out for a conservatory or Bachelor of Fine Arts program is a different ball game: Ballet class is only the first step of many. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancerMore »