MBA Students - Dancing across the country (and the world) - Part 1

Emilee at the Great Wall of China

Summer always marks a change of pace for many of us, or at least a change in our daily routines. For the students at MBA summer means the opportunity to work intensely on improving their technique and artistry, allowing students to work without the stress of homework and academic responsibilities. MBA students have the opportunity to attend summer programs at other dance academies as well as attending MBA’s summer program. This summer six of our students (Emilee Alexander, Corinne Jarvis, Madison Massara, Luca Massara, Gabe Rajah, and Sierra Post attended programs at other dance schools nationally and internationally. Emilee Alexander attended the Long Beach Summer Intensive (which included a tour performing in China); Corinne Jarvis attended a 5-week intensive with Miami City Ballet School and two-week intensive at the Princess Grace Dance Academy in Monte Carlo, Monaco; Madison Massara attended 5 week intensive at the Pennsylvania Ballet School; Luca Massara and Gabriel Rajah attended a 3-week program at San Francisco Ballet School; and Sierra Post attended the Butler University Summer intensive program. Many of these students also attended partially or in full the MBA summer program. We asked them to share their experiences with our MBA families. Below is what they had to say:

How did you get into the summer program you attended?

Sierrra had to send pictures, and complete an application process. Emily and Corinne (for the Monaco program) did video auditions; Luca, Gabe, Madie and Corinne also auditioned in person at the scheduled auditions in Chicago. Luca, Gabe, Madie and Corinne auditioned for multiple programs and were accepted to many of them.

Luca and Gabe in San Francisco

What do you think was the best aspect of the summer session you attended (other than MBA)?

Sierra said she enjoyed the small size of the classes (abut 15 students) that allowed for individualized attention, Madie enjoyed learning Balanchine choreography as well as classical variations, Luca enjoyed making new friendships with other young people from around the world who share his passion for dance and enjoyed working with new and different teachers. Corinne indicated that from the Miami program she enjoyed working on Balanchine and classical variations, working on jazz technique, performing in the company’s costumes, and she loved trying different steps in pas de deux class and learning to dance with different partners. From the Monaco program she loved the amazing teachers and the individualized attention (12 students in her class with dancers from all over the world including students from the Bolshoi, Paris Opera, and La Scala). She also thought that the contemporary classes were phenomenal in which she learned two different choreographies from the Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s repertoire. Here is a quote from Corinne: “all the teachers were amazing because not only did they push your technique to the limit, but they did not allow the students to compromise by shutting down their face and arms and losing quality, expression, and artistry. They pushed everyone to maintain both technique and artistry as well as stressing the importance of musicality”.

Corinne at Academie Princesse Grace in Monaco

What did you NOT like about the program you attended?

For Sierra the program was too short (3 weeks). For Luca: “The dorm food, and the long, hot walk to the studio”, and for Madie, “The nasty food and having to get out of bed at 6am during summer vacation”.  Emilee loved everything about her program. Corinne felt the Miami program was not a good fit for her, the classes were very large (35 dancers in her class), and there was not much opportunity to repeat exercises or mark steps in the back. For the Monaco program she could not think of anything she did not like, except perhaps for the food and the hard bed in the dorm.

Sierra at Butler University