The dance is almost over!

I just need to enjoy every minute of it and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Dance Course 2013!

Doing a dance in Central ParkFriday I had ballet with Suki Schorer, and I felt like I had one of my best classes since being at SAB. I really like Ms. Schorer’s teaching style! Ashley Laracey, an NYCB soloist took our class. Ashley is engaged to our workshop choreographer, Troy Schumacher, and she helps us during the evening rehearsals. She has pulled me aside a couple of times and said really nice, encouraging things to me. I respect and like her a lot, and I love when she takes our classes. After ballet, everyone performing in the choreographic workshop got to go to the toe shoe room to pick out a pair of pointe shoes for free. Now I have another pair to sew!

Friday afternoon I had variations with Yvonne Borree, and we worked on the Raymonda variation from last week. Friday evening  we had rehearsal. After rehearsal, Troy had pizzas brought in for us, and we all sat around, ate pizza, and talked to Ashley and Troy about what it is like to dance with NYCB. It was really interesting to hear about it from their perspective!Post-dance class treats

Saturday I had my last pas class with Peter Martins. I really love that class, and I am going to miss it! After class and lunch, some friends and I went to a few stores in the neighborhood and beyond. We also walked to a place called Sugar and Plumm for ice cream. It was a lot of fun!

Post-dance class treatsSunday was a quiet day because a lot of people went to Six Flags for the day. I opted not to do that activity because I am not much of an amusement park person! Instead I did laundry in the morning and sewed my pointe shoes, then went with some friends to take dance pictures of each other in Central Park. It was a really pretty day, and we had a lot of fun. On Sunday evening  after dinner, one of my suite mates and I walked to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. I think I have had more than enough desserts for the weekend!

Monday morning  I went down to the fifth floor early to watch some other classes before my class started. I like to sit in the hallway and stretch and watch at the same time. I had ballet with NYCB principal Megan Fairchild. I really like her classes a lot. After ballet I had variations with Susan Pilarre. She is really funny, and I love her classes too! We worked on the variation from George Balanchine’s Mozartiana that we started last week. After a quick dinner, it was off to rehearsal again!

Doing a dance in Central ParkTuesday I had my last ballet class with Kay Mazzo. I am really going to miss her classes. She makes us work really hard, and she challenges me to push my limits as a dancer. I also had variations with Darci Kistler. We did a barre, then continued working on the female variation from the Tchaikovsky pas de deux and the Raymonda variation from last week. I always love Darci’s classes! Tuesday evening we had a long rehearsal. We finished the piece, and made sure we all know what we are wearing for the performance. I can’t wait to perform it on Thursday!

Doing a dance in Central ParkWednesday I had my last class with Jock Soto. His classes are mentally challenging, and I like the way he makes me think. It is also fun because we always do fouettés at the end of his class! After class the SAB School Store was open for the last time. I stopped by to see what they had left, and I picked up another SAB t-shirt. You can never have too many t-shirts, right?! In the afternoon I had my last pointe class with Darci. We ended up having a really short class because we had to grab a quick dinner and start rehearsal early. Troy made some changes to the piece, so we had a lot to do to make sure it was performance ready. Wednesday was a long day, so as soon as rehearsal ended, I headed upstairs to soak my feet and go to bed!

I can’t believe I only have a couple more days left. I am going to enjoy every minute and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Course 2013!

Ballet in New York City

It has been fun and exciting, challenging and exhausting, and very rewarding in every way!

Well, I am totally used to my schedule by now, and I am really enjoying my classes. On Thursday, July 11 I had ballet with Yvonne Borree and pointe with Kay Mazzo. Thursday evening all the School of American Ballet summer course students attended something called “The Cultural Program.” Olivia at the School of American BalletWe watched a really amazing video about the history of George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, who togaether founded the School of American Ballet in 1934. There were clips from many of George Balanchine’s famous ballets, including “Serenade,” “Apollo,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Theme and Variations,” “Western Symphony,” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” Not only was it interesting and amazing to hear about their history and see parts of the ballets, but we also got to see some of our current teachers dancing in the video, including Peter Martins, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susan Pilarre, and Darci Kistler.

Friday I had ballet with Suki Schorer and variations with Yvonne Borree, where we worked on another variation from Raymonda. Friday evening we watched a video of the 2012-2013 Winter Term students’ Choreographic Workshop. It was fun to see their performance, and I even recognized some familiar faces!

Saturday was a long but awesome day.  Classes were cancelled for the day, and we took a coach bus to Saratoga, NY to see the New York City Ballet perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. They performed pieces from “Year of the Rabbit,” “The Garland Dance,” “Barber Violin Concerto,” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” It was a beautiful day and our only chance to see NYCB perform, and I am so glad we had this opportunity!

Sunday I had an easy day. I worked on sewing and Jet gluing pointe shoes and doing my laundry. Earlier in the week, some friends and I had made plans to do something. So in the late afternoon/early evening, we went to Times Square and out to dinner. It was nice to relax and enjoy the city with friends!

Monday I had ballet with NYCB principal Ashley Bouder then pointe with Susan Pilarre. After grabbing a quick dinner in the cafeteria, we had rehearsal for the Student Choreographic Workshop. From now on, I will have rehearsal every evening until we perform on Thursday the 25th. After spending 6 hours a day on pointe, my feet were definitely tired!

Tuesday morning before our normal classes started, we had an Injury Prevention seminar with SAB physical therapist. We learned about how to prevent and treat injuries, and we also gave ourselves a hyper mobility test. I scored a 7 out of 9! After the seminar, I had ballet with Kay Mazzo and variations with Darci Kistler, where we worked on yet another variation from Raymonda. I love every day at SAB, but I think Tuesdays are one of my favorite days! After class and a quick dinner, we had rehearsal again.

Wednesday morning I ran to Duane Reade with one of my suite mates in the morning before class. I had to get some more tape for my feet. I am going through things (like tape and pointe shoes) so quickly since we are spending so many hours on pointe! Then I had ballet with Jock Soto and pointe with Darci Kistler. Wednesday evening we had rehearsal again.

Thursday morning before class we has another seminar. This one dealt with mental fitness, and we learned about controlling our thoughts and staying focused in class. The seminars are very informative and a nice addition to the curriculum. After the seminar, I had ballet with Yvonne Borree and pointe with Kay Mazzo, then dinner and rehearsal. We added on to the piece a lot. It was really fun!

I can’t believe my fourth week at SAB is almost over. It has been fun and exciting, challenging and exhausting, and very rewarding in every way!

New York City Lights

. . . but I can’t believe the SAB Summer Course 2013 in New York City is halfway over. I guess it is true what they say: “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

Thursday was the 4th of July, so there were no classes. Instead, we boarded the school busThe Bronx Zoo in New York City and headed to the Bronx Zoo for the day. The zoo is really big! We walked around and saw lots of animals. My favorites were the monkeys, the turtles, and the petting zoo. We ate lunch at the zoo, walked around for awhile longer, then headed back to the dorm in the afternoon. That evening after dinner, my suite mates and I watched fireworks out our dorm window. It was really cool to see them exploding over the skyline of New York City!

Friday morning level 7 girls and advanced men had a meeting at 11:00. The meeting was to announce which students were chosen to participate in the Summer Choreographic workshop and performance. There will be two pieces, each choreographed by a member of New York City Ballet. One of the choreographers is Silas Farley, and the other one is Troy Schumacher. Both Silas and Troy had been observing portions of our classes during the previous week, and they had selected dancers for each of their pieces. Seven girls and two boys were selected to be in Silas’s piece, and seven girls and four boys were selected to be in Troy’s piece. I was so honored and excited to find out that I was selected to be in Troy’s piece, and I will be performing it in the New York City Ballet studios on Thursday, July 25 in front of two different audiences!

After the meeting, we had a regular day of classes. I had ballet for the first time with Suki Schorer, and I really enjoyed it. Ms. Schorer is very energetic and gives lots of corrections, which is a good thing! New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder took my class too. It is always exciting to take class with principals! After ballet I had variations with Yvonne Borree. We continued working on the Sugarplum variation from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker that we had started the week before. We also started learning George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15. I enjoyed that very much, since it is very different from anything I have ever done before. After classes I grabbed a quick dinner, then headed back to the studio because we had our first rehearsal for the Summer Choreographic workshop piece from 6:00-8:00 pm. I was supposed to see American Ballet Theater’s Sleeping Beauty Friday evening, but I wasn’t able to attend because of the rehearsal.

Saturday I had a really amazing ballet class plus pas de deux (partnering) with Peter Martins! I was completely amazed and a little intimidated to be taking a class from the Chairman of the Faculty and Artistic Director of The School of American Ballet, but it was a really great class. There were a number of NYCB company members taking the class as well. Somehow I managed to stay focused, and I think I had a pretty good class!

After class one of my friends and I went out in the Lincoln Center area to run a couple of Fireworks over New York Cityerrands. SAB allows students (according to the restrictions set by their parents) to go out in the “neighborhood,” as long as they stay within the set boundaries, let the SAB staff members know exactly where they are going, and let the staff members know exactly when they will be back. We like to go places like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Duane Reade, or to get froyo. Saturday night we hung out in our suite and talked and played a couple of games. SAB regularly schedules in-house dorm activities for students every now and then, like craft night or spa night.

Newsies on Broadway in New York City Newsies on Broadway in New York City Olivia in New York CitySunday afternoon we went on a walking tour of Central Park in New York City. We had a tour guide who took us through and pointed things out to us. I had been through Central Park before, but it was nice to be able to take our time and enjoy it. Sunday afternoon my suite mates and I staged our own photo shoot at Lincoln Center. We all got dressed in leotards, dance skirts, and pointe shoes and took pictures of each other in front of the fountain and in other spots around Lincoln Center. It was really fun, and we plan on doing another photo shoot soon!

Monday I had ballet with Susan Pilarre and pointe with Yvonne Borree. I wore a pair of my new Freed pointe shoes that I bought and sewed last week. I am really happy with the way they feel and how they look. I am going through pointe shoes very quickly here since all my classes are on pointe. With rehearsals every evening starting next week, I will probably go through them even faster. I better start sewing my next pair soon!

My first class on Tuesday was ballet with Kay Mazzo. I really love taking class from Ms. Mazzo. Her classes are challenging, and I feel like I work hard and learn a lot in her classes. The more I have her, the more I am figuring out what she is looking for and how she wants things done! Tuesday afternoon  I had variations with Yvonne Borree. We worked on the female variation from the Tchaikovsky pas de deux, which I also enjoyed!

Wednesday was a busy day for me. First I had ballet with Jock Soto. Mr. Soto’s classes are challenging because he likes to do combinations with arms on the opposite counts as the steps. You really have to think during his classes. After class I grabbed lunch, then stopped by the “toe shoe room.” The “toe shoe room” is a room on the fifth floor where they store all the pointe shoes that are ordered but never used by New York City Ballet dancers. One day each week for one hour, they open the “toe shoe room” to SAB summer course students, and they have the opportunity to purchase pointe shoes for $20. Since I am going through my shoes so quickly, I bought another pair. In the afternoon, I had Pilates with Phoebe Higgins and pointe with Susan Pilarre. Pilates is a chance to relax a little, especially since it is my only class that is not on pointe! I really like taking class from Ms. Pilarre. She is funny and gives lots of corrections. Today we did a barre and worked a little bit on a variation. As soon as class was over, I hurried up to my room to change clothes for the evening. Then we boarded the school bus and headed out to see Newsies on Broadway. I had never seen Newsies before, and the show was so amazing! The guys were full of energy, and I loved all the singing, dancing, and tumbling!

I am loving my time in New York City, and I can’t believe the SAB Summer Course 2013 is halfway over. I guess it is true what they say… “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

Week 2 at the School of American Ballet

It is my second week at The School of American Ballet, and I am definitely getting in a routine. My classes start at 12:00  noon, so I have plenty of time in the mornings to shower and dress, eat breakfast in the cafeteria, and get stretched and warmed up for class. Monday I was stretching in the 5th floor lobby/student lounge, and I looked up to see New York City Ballet principal dancers Tiler Peck, Megan Fairchild, and Daniel Ulbricht! Although I tried to be nonchalant and keep stretching, I was completely star struck! Then, I was star struck all over again when I walked into the studio and discovered that Ashley Bouder (yet another NYCB principal) was going to be teaching my ballet class. It is so amazing to be in the presence of these incredible idols and role models!

Monday afternoon I had pointe with Susan Pilarre. This was my first real class with Ms. 2Pilarre, since I only had her for my placement class the Monday before. Ms. Pilarre was very direct and very funny, and she was not afraid to tell it like it is. The teachers at SAB are incredible, and, although they are all very different, they teach the same concepts. For example, in class they emphasize the importance of a deep plié and rolling through each part of the foot. There is also a heavy concentration on fast footwork and clearly defined positions. I am learning so much about the Balanchine style and technique from all the teachers here, and I take away something different from every class.

Monday evening , we had one of the activities I had really been looking forward to. We

Wicked is one musical I think I could see over and over again and never get tired of it.
“Wicked is one musical I think I could see over and over again and never get tired of it.”

went to see Wicked on Broadway, and it was absolutely amazing!! I had seen it before in Indianapolis, but nothing compares to seeing it on Broadway! Wicked is one musical I think I could see over and over again and never get tired of it.

Tuesday morning  I woke up early and got ready for the day. SAB provided us with another wonderful opportunity, so a group of us boarded the school bus and headed to the Freed of London store for one-on-one professional pointe shoe fittings. Since Freed of London is the “Lead Sponsor of The School 5of American Ballet’s National and International Audition Tour,” we were given the chance to have individual pointe shoe fittings and purchase pointe shoes (and other merchandise) at a discount. I was able to find a newer model of pointe shoes I really liked, so I bought two new pairs. They are Freed Classic Pro 90s, size 5.5 X.

We got back to SAB in plenty of time for classes. My first class was ballet with Katrina Killian, and then I had variations with Darci Kistler. In variations we continued working on the Raymonda variation we started last 1week. After classes and dinner in the cafeteria, I spent Tuesday evening  doing two things I had never really done before–sewing my own pointe shoes and doing my own laundry. Laundry was easy, but I can tell it’s going to be awhile until I am good (and fast) at sewing my own pointe shoes!

Wednesday was a regular class day. I had Jock Soto for ballet, then Phoebe Higgins for Pilates, and Darci Kistler for pointe. I love taking classes in the beautiful SAB studios. They are bright and spacious. The ceilings are high, and there are high windows that let in natural sunlight.

Wednesday evening  was a free evening for me. It’s a good thing because we have a lot of awesome activities scheduled for the rest of the week and weekend. It’s going to be busy and fun!


My First Week Of Classes . . .

Olivia is wearing Motionwear's 2149 in 505 white cotton.
Olivia is wearing Motionwear’s 2149 in 505 white cotton.

My first week of classes is over, and I had a great week. Thursday I had ballet with Yvonne Borree and pointe with Kay Mazzo. We also had a nutrition seminar in the morning that focused on balanced diets. Megan Fairchild, who is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, took my ballet class Thursday. It was amazing to take class with her, but it was hard not to want to watch her the whole time! Then Friday  morning, Ms. Fairchild actually taught my ballet class.  It was really cool to take class with an NYCB principal, and then take class from the same principal dancer!

Friday afternoon I had variations with Yvonne Borree, and we worked on the Sugarplum Fairy variation from “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”. Saturday I had my first adagio, or pas de deux, class with Jonathan Stafford. We had an hour barre with the advanced men, then we worked on partnering for the second hour. There are 16 boys and 25 girls, so there was one boy for every 1 or 2 girls. I am not used to having so many boys to dance with, so partnering was really fun! 3

  Friday  evening  we went to see ABT perform the ballet Sylvia. The lead roles were danced by Polina Semionova and Robert Bolle. I had never seen Sylvia before, but I definitely recognized some of the music. It was beautifully done, and I really enjoyed the performance. We are so lucky to be living right in Lincoln Center. The David H. Koch Theater, home of the New York City Ballet, and the Metropolitan Opera House, the summer home of American Ballet Theatre, are literally a few steps away from our dorm!

Sunday was a day off from dance. Since all of my classes are on pointe, my feet were glad for a break! We took a bus and went across town to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First we had a guided tour; then we were allowed to walk around and explore on our own. We saw lots of famous works of art, but my favorites were the paintings of dancers by Degas. We took lots of pictures of his artwork! We also got to go out on the roof of the museum, where we had a beautiful view of the city.

4I can’t believe my first week at SAB is already over. It has been so awesome, and I am loving all my classes and teachers. I have gotten used to dorm life, and I am making lots of new friends. I can only hope each week will be as great as the first one!