Students from the Vail Youth Ballet Company recently traveled to New York City to learn from experienced, professional performers and choreographers while absorbing the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.
These technically proficient ballet students from Vail Valley Academy of Dance range in age from 13- to 18-years-old and welcomed every correction and detail directed their way.
Anne Powell, owner of Vail Valley Academy of Dance for 29 years and artistic director for Vail Youth Ballet Co. has encouraged New York enrichments since the first trip in 1990.
"The students in VYBC are classically trained with incredible discipline to achieve high levels of technique," Powell said. "Through instructional training at VVAD, master classes and programs such as the New York enrichment, VYBC dancers are well prepared for elite summer programs, college dance programs, as well as a company training program that will lead into the professional world of dance."
TAKING IT ALL IN
Every other year, the youth ballet company offers the New York City trip to students and instructors as well as hosts fundraising opportunities to help pay for their travels. This year, 11 students and four chaperones traveled to New York and immediately met with their Laurent tour guide. From the moment they arrived, the dance classes began and were scheduled every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. throughout five days. Most classes were held at the Pearl Studio.
"Ballet with Jennifer Tinsley-Williams was a favorite," said Morgan Flahive-Foro, instructor at the Vail Valley Academy of Dance and chaperone.
Tinsley-Williams is a teaching artist with New York City Ballet's Education Department and a faculty member at The Studio in Norwalk, Connecticut. She trained at The School of American Ballet and danced with New York City Ballet for 18 years, nine of them as a soloist.
Students also loved shaking up their routine at the infamous Alvin Ailey School and The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance with a dynamic class led by Tadej Brdnik and a musical theater dance workshop led by Matthew Williams.
In between classes, they visited notable sites such as Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock and The John Lennon Memorial in Central Park. Evenings were filled with performances on Broadway and at The Metropolitan Opera. Shows included "Aladdin," "Bandstand," "Come From Away" and "The Golden Cockerel," featuring ballerina Misty Copeland.
The goal of these trips is for students to return to the Vail Valley with a new sense of excitement and passion for dance as they begin their summer dance intensive programs, whether in the valley or in other parts of the country.
Vail Youth Ballet Co. is supported by Vail Friends of Dance and members have been accepted into dance programs with the American Ballet Theater, Ballet West, Burklyn Ballet Theater, Colorado Ballet, Indiana University, Jillana School of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Nutmeg Conservatory, Vail Valley Dance Intensive and others.
These well-trained and proficient dancers will be featured in lead roles in the upcoming community performance of "The Nutcracker" in December at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
For more information about the Vail Youth Ballet Company, contact Vail Valley Academy of Dance at http://www.vvad.net or 970-926-2820; or Vail Friends of Dance at http://www.friendsofthedance.org.