(Above: Kaci stands helplessly in the back of the class, barefoot, not realizing toe shoes might have helped. Watch to see what happened next!)
SEATTLE — Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of the most well-respected ballet companies in the world, known for its many amazing productions that include The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition now in its final year. But how do the professional dancers train at that level? To find out, I took a few classes at the prestigious PNB School during their recent Summer Intensive.
The School offers classes year-round for nearly all ages, but the Summer Intensive gives dancers from ages 12 to 18 the chance to train like a pro. Students from all over the world audition for the opportunity to be a part of the five-week program, which includes classes in ballet, modern and character; as well as classes in overall wellness, like nutrition and injury prevention. The highly competitive program is made up of dancers ready to take the path to being a professional; and yet they let me try it out. (I think I may have said “sure, whatever!” when asked if I had “ballet experience.” Note to self: the correct answer is “half a year of beginners jazz, and no.”)
This is the last year of PNB’s The Nutcracker, so to find out how to see it and the many other shows of the 2014-15 season, head to their website; parents, you will also find information on signing up your little ones (or not-so-little ones!) for the PNB School. Click HERE.