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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Year round programs?

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I've been searching for year round dance programs to join and I'm looking for a contemporary and jazz filled repertoire and classes. I would, however, want to make sure they still taught ballet as the foundation of their training.

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I'm not sure how old you are or what geographical area you are looking in...but, you could try looking at schools that are affiliated with contemporary ballet companies. Also, some colleges with strong dance departments have programs for teens or open classes for adults.

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If you are in Southern California, check out Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in Laguna Hills. Over the past couple of years, they have expanded their contemporary offerings in addition to a continued emphasis on classical ballet training following the Vaganova syllabus. Last year, they brought Jessie Riley on board with Westside Dance Project. She has brought in Norbert DeLa Cruz III, Patrick Needham, Lauren Adams and Peter Chu to name a few in to teach Master Classes. The philosophy seems to emphasize giving dancers a solid classical foundation but also allowing them to embrace contemporary which may be a little more "forgiving"as far as body types. Not only do their dancers participate in IBC and YAGP but they also do well at Conventions. The philosophy seems to be working last year at the Music Center Spotlight Awards they had a Classical Dance Grand Prize Finalist and the Non-Classical Dance Grand Prize Winner as well as 5 out of the 15 Classical Dance Semi-Finalists.

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