Article by: Ina Nikolaeva
BalletCNJ’s 4-week Summer Intensive always pushes students of all ages to drastically improve their dance skills, learn something new and perform at a higher level. The intensive program combines jazz, modern dance, and character in addition to daily classical ballet, men’s, pas de deux and pointe classes. With the students in attendance this year, school founding directors Alexander Dutko and Thiago Silva, as well modern dance instructor Margaret Shue and guest teacher Edgar Clausse (Formerly of Complexions), taught classes and choreography, and led rehearsals culminating in an elegant, stylistic performance on August 26, 2017.
Additional opportunities presented to students during the summer intensive included seminars by experienced ballet dancers (which, over the years, have included topics such as stage makeup and career planning). Furthermore, students learn stretching and strengthening techniques in a customized conditioning class several times a week, and even get to experience hip hop and Yoga classes on occasion. Finally, students are offered services such as head shots and dance photo sessions, allowing them to add these to their resume. Each performance is recorded on video and can thus be used for students to critique their own dancing, or simply for the family’s enjoyment of reliving a student’s moment in the spotlight!
The show at the end of the 2017 Summer Intensive had a classical feel, with students in simple and clean attire (as opposed to costumes), and performing favorites from a plethora of ballets. These included the mazurka from Coppelia, excerpts from Giselle Act 1, the pas de trois from Le Corsaire, and dances of the Precious Stones and the Bluebird Pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, brand new choreography from the founders and teachers of BalletCNJ was featured in a contemporary ballet piece and a jazz number. Following enthusiastic applause from the audience at the end of the performance, Director Alexander Dutko expressed his pride with the students, and presented awards to the dancers who stood out throughout the intensive (including an award of encouragement to Rebecca Zou and a scholarship to next year’s summer intensive to Iris Foster). BalletCNJ’s constant focus on putting students first, pushing dancers to perform at their best, and rewarding exceptional effort shone through in the results that the students achieved at the performance.
Congratulations to BalletCNJ and all the students who completed the 2017 Summer Intensive!
In addition to the main summer intensive, BalletCNJ also offers a young dancer intensive for students under 12 years of age (although some students under the age of 12 can enroll in the regular intensive at Mr. Dutko/Silva’s discretion), and continues to offer open/adult ballet classes throughout the summer.
BalletCNJ will be hosting an Open House on September 9, 2017 from 11:00AM until 4:00PM (an excellent opportunity to have registration fees for enrollment waived!)
- By Ina Nikolaeva