Training Ground: Student Opportunities

November 28, 2001

Try Out Cecchetti

Want to try out the disciplined, anatomically inspired, line-driven style of Enrico Cecchetti? Attend Cecchetti USA’s “mini-intensive” February 20–21 at the Huntington Academy of Dance in Huntington Beach, California. “We welcome people from all styles. We’d like you to see what Cecchetti is all about,” says Judith Hawkesworth, summer school coordinator for CUSA.


The workshop offers classes at each Cecchetti level of study, plus a conditioning class that focuses on abdominal and foot strength, flexibility and turnout. Says Hawkesworth, “Cecchetti is so simple, pure and clean that it’s a wonderful foundation for any type of ballet.” —Katie O’Connell

Taking a Cue from Reality TV

Inspired by the popularity of So You Think You Can Dance, Vasile Petrutiu started the World Ballet Competition four years ago. The WBC capitalizes on the drama of competitions: Dancers pick numbers out of a hat, scores are projected on a screen above the stage and unknown talent gains international recognition. The competition is broadcast live online—last year 300,000 people watched.


Over 15 schools, including Boston Ballet School, the Harid Conservatory and Juilliard offer scholarships to top competitors. Winners also receive cash prizes up to $10,000. And with so many people watching, dancers get a huge amount of exposure.



The 2010 WBC takes place June 7–12. Dancers ages 10 to 22 can enter as soloists, couples or in an ensemble. Competitors must be pre-selected through DVD applications, due February 15. —Jennifer Stahl

Become a Better Partner


If you’d like to improve your partnering skills this summer, try a weeklong pas de deux workshop with Sirius Ballet Company in Covington, Georgia. “Beyond the occasional partnering class, few students get to perform a pas de deux,” says artistic director Jaime Robtison. “Once given the opportunity, dancers often become more aware of their bodies.”


In addition to technique and pas de deux classes, dancers receive private coaching and perform a classical pas de deux with its accompanying variations and coda. The deadline for auditions by DVD is March 1. —Rebecca Ain

TIP: What should you focus on during your first professional auditions?

Unlike at a school audition, directors are looking for a perfor­mance, not just skills. Don’t worry about technique: That’s what you’ve been working on for the past nine or ten years, and it isn’t going to change in the span of seconds. It’s okay to be scared (that will give you an adrenaline rush to help get through class) but get excited about the dancing, too. You have to show them you enjoy it—that’s what you’re gonna be doing for a living.

—Michael Wozniak, first year corps member at Ballet Arizona