Posted by Rebecca King on 05.25.2011
When dancers look back on their career, they can always identify one moment that changed everything. For me, that moment came when I moved to Miami. I had just graduated from high school and had recently undergone surgery. I was not yet ready to be released into the real world of professional ballet; I needed more training. I found a school that could not only prepare me for the real world, but found the people who wanted to help do just that. I became a student at Miami City Ballet School.
The students in the Advanced Level have two teachers. When I first read the schedule, I was worried that I would become bored without a variety of teachers. I could not have been more wrong. I found that having only two teachers made my education extremely consistent. I felt like I had gone back to basics, which was just what I needed. I could feel myself becoming stronger; I was improving and growing as a dancer.
In November of that year, the company asked me to learn Snow and Waltz of the Flowers for their upcoming run of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Shortly before the first weekend of shows, I was told that I would actually perform on stage with the company. I would be the only student that year to do so. The company was so wonderful; the dancers welcomed me with open arms and made me feel comfortable. I knew right away that someday I wanted to sign a contract with Miami City Ballet. After Nutcracker, I went on to dance Balanchine’s Symphony in 3 Movements in the next program. Program Four that year was Giselle. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a Willi.
When I first began learning The Nutcracker, I never could have imagined what was in store the rest of the season. It was a whirlwind; an absolute dream. I was lucky and I knew it. At the end of the season I was told that Edward Villella wanted me to join the company as a Student Apprentice. It is now five years later and I have just signed my sixth Miami City Ballet contract.
I would never be where I am today if it weren’t for my training. I received a wonderful education at Contra Costa Ballet Center in Northern California, but when it came time for more, Miami City Ballet School was there. I grew in ways I never knew possible. My teachers prepared me for professional life in ways I never knew possible. I owe my career to them.
Has your ballet school made a difference in your career or your life as a whole? Did your educators play a role in your moment that changed everything? Post your stories and show your appreciation for your arts education.
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