SPECIAL FEATURE

our nutcracker performance is this weekend!

our nutcracker performance is this weekend!

A Westport holiday tradition…

nutcracker 2017 is almost here

nutcracker 2017 is almost here…

our 2017-2018 season is in session

our 2017-2018 season is in session

Another Westport Academy of Dance season is rapidly approaching…

our 35th performance of the nutcracker (full-length video)

Watch our 35th anniversary performance of The Nutcracker here…

alice 2016 video trailer

alice 2016 video trailer

watch the video montage here

performance hair and make-up prep video

For tips and info on preparing hair and make-up for a performance, click to watch the video above Download demo video for iPhone by clicking here

we’re winners and other stories

As many of you know, last month Jr. and Sr. Company members participated in National Dance Week Foundation’s Kick It Challenge. After submitting our video, we were recognized as one of the winners of the 2nd Annual Video Contest in the category of dance studios! We are so excited to be recognized for our efforts and can’t […]

winter showcase video

winter showcase video

Watch the video montage, download video for your iPhone…

one dancer’s love of the nutcracker

Staples High School Sophomore and Academy student Jill Rappaport’s experiences as a dancer in the Academy’s… read more

rave reviews for the academy’s david fernandez and his choreography for joaquin de luz

David Fernandez’s “Five Variations on a Theme” performed by Joaquin De Luz, New York City Ballet…read more

GraceB

Huge congratulations to WAD alumni Grace Bergonzi, who has just been named an apprentice with Ailey II, the 2nd company of the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre!

Founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Ailey II embodies Mr. Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Under the direction of Sylvia Waters from 1974 to 2012, and currently under the direction of Troy Powell, the company has flourished into one of the most popular modern dance companies, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

Read more about Ailey II & the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre here

After training at Westport’s Academy of Dance thru 2013, Ms. Bergonzi received the Jogues Scholarship and the Alvin Ailey Artistic Merit Scholarship as she entered the  B.F.A. program at Fordham/Ailey.

She graduated summa cum laude in May of 2017, and we are so thrilled for her next chapter, as apprentice with this magnificent company!


Congrats, Grace!

This recital weekend we enjoyed several amazing performances and celebrated Miss Tollie’s 20th year teaching at the Academy. To honor her, we have created a video that highlights her incredible career. Thank you Miss Tollie for all that you do for the Academy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZISGu1xSb6Y&feature=youtu.be

Special thank you to Miss Caitlin for putting this wonderful tribute together.

 

Alice is this weekend! Check out The Inklings behind the scenes video interview and get your tickets today!

https://vimeo.com/216200064

Westport’s Academy of Dance is proud to announce that Miss Courtney’s piece ‘To this day’ will be performing in the 2017 Slam Jam. The Academy is supporting the anti-bullying movement in Westport and we are thrilled to be performing at such an important community event.

 

The 2017 SlamJam is a performance art showcase in which high school teens express their feelings about empathy and kindness as well as bullying, exclusion and their social world. Dance, music, rap, poetry, spoken word and song are all represented in this dramatic and powerful evening of exceptional talent. Teens from all over Fairfield County are participating.

Emcee’d by Poetry Slam award-winning artist CEEZ LIIVE, the 2017 SlamJam promises to move and motivate audiences of all ages. Inspired by events in Westport and surrounding areas, as well as by the Westport Arts Center’s “More Than Words” exhibit, SKATEmovement.org (K2BK Founders) presents the 2017 SlamJam – Teens with something to say.

For more information about this event and the link for reg tickets:

http://www.westportplayhouse.org/specialevents/communityevents#2017SlamJam

(If you would like to join us for VIP seating,  you need to call the box office at (203) 227-4177.  Includes pre-performance champagne “meet and greet” and post performance party)

more than words

11.15.16

Wishing a very special congratulations to Courtney Poulos and the WAD dancers for their acceptance into the MORE Than Words exhibition.

Be sure to stop by the Westport Arts Center to view all the wonderful works that center around such an important topic facing our kids and adults alike. The exhibit is open until January 7th, 2017.

MORE Than Words/#Iammore

The Westport Arts Center announces the MORE Than Words/#iammore exhibition, featuring selected works by the community at large.   The works were designed in support of the theme of the Arts Center’s previous exhibition MORE Than Words – courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying – featuring pieces by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time.

 If you would like to learn more information about please click here. #iammore

Want to see dance??? Miss Courtney and her sister Monica have created the company Tapperlesque and submitted their work to be performed September 17th, 2016. The NYC Choreographer’s Forum, produced by former Radio City Rockette Denise Caston, is an opportunity for choreographers to present their work to colleagues and peers. This inaugural event will feature styles including tap, jazz, theatre dance, and contemporary. Choreographers included in this diverse evening are Germaine Salzburg, Sue Samuels, former Tap Dog Anthony Locascio, Mark Albrecht, Kat Katona, Cooper Flanagan, Angela Morgan, Julia Kane, Monica Poulos, and more! Miss Caitlin is also performing with Miss Courtney’s Company.

Click here for more details and to purchase tickets: http://www.nycchoreographersforum.com

Today we are sending out Congratulations to former Academy Student Abby Merlis who has recently joined the 2nd company at Boston Ballet! To read more about this dancer’s experience, click here: https://06880danwoog.com/2016/07/09/abby-merlis-dances-with-the-stars/

360 dance video

02.03.16

 

We are excited to support “DANCEIMMERSIVE” – an ongoing immersive 360 dance video series that puts the viewer directly in the choreography – featuring the world’s most notable dancers in the most iconic locations and landscapes. Choreographed by our own David Fernandez – featuring Alexa Maxwell and Laine Habony (Members, NYC Ballet). Produced, shot,  and stitched by visual mercenary group, and noticed by Dance Informa Magazine as seen here.

nutcracker dad

12.04.15

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Photo: Rachel and Michael Wolfe

 

Ever wonder what it is like to be the Dad in The Nutcracker? Well here is a hilarious story that will give you the idea.

Click Here to check out his blog.

Et Tu, Ballet? A Father’s Attempt To “Participate”

NOVEMBER 19, 2015  by Michael Wolfe

Nutcracker funny

The email came forwarded with a short note from my wife, direct in its simplicity:

“You’re doing this.”

The email was a plea from Westport’s Academy of Dance, my daughter’s ballet school.  Their upcoming performance of “The Nutcracker”, the annual holiday blockbuster that had entertained and tortured parents for the last century or so, had had an unfortunate setback:  the gentleman who had volunteered for years to play the role of Clara’s father had a conflict and would be unable to perform.  Would anyone be willing to take his place?

I stared at the email for a few minutes, thinking about the implications, and a classic quandary emerged:  does the chance to engage with my daughter’s passion outweigh the outright possibility (or probability) of making a fool of myself?

On the one hand, I am not shy about public performance.  The stage doesn’t bother me, and I have absolutely no pride once the lights are shining down on me.  Anyone who’s been unlucky enough to have seen me scream David Lee Roth songs on karaoke night can attest to this unfortunate side of my personality.  I have a philosophy about performing, most likely born of necessity:  enthusiasm helps cover for an utter lack of measurable talent.  Scream into the microphone and act like you’re a rock star, and you are one (provided said rock star is surrounded only by inebriated friends as witnesses before the alcohol-fueled memory loss sets in).

But this was something altogether different.  I’d seen the Nutcracker dozens of times since my daughter’s first appearance 8 years before.  And I’d seen what the part of the father entails.  He’s only on-stage for a short time, and the demands are mostly cosmetic, but about halfway through his scene, as the music shifts to a slow waltz, it happens:  the dad dances.

Let me be clear: I am not a graceful human being.  I am lucky that I stay upright for long periods of time, considering that my lanky limbs often flail about in random directions.  I bump my knees into walls, chairs and various kitchen appliances at least three times a day.  I have perma-bruises over half of my body from smashing into our open dishwasher.  Our dog knows to clear a path for me when entering a room.  In general, things are better for everyone when I’m not moving.

But what could I do?  My daughter’s entire non-school life is centered around ballet.  She dances 6 or 7 days a week, allowing herself time off only to eat, study, and threaten to kill her brother while he’s sleeping. And it’s not an activity like a team sport that allows a ton of parental participation.  In team sports, parents can coach.  They can cheer their kids on from the sidelines.  They can spend quality time driving up and down the eastern seaboard on their way to a never-ending series of travel soccer games (…on second thought, forget team sports, that sounds awful).  With ballet, a dad tends to have two opportunities for involvement:  he can drop his daughter off at rehearsals, and he can come to her actual performance, which takes place in the dark and practically demands a good nap.  That’s pretty much it.  I can’t teach my daughter how to plie (I can barely spell it).

So this was a golden opportunity of sorts.  I could intimately involve myself in my daughter’s primary activity.  And I could do it before the inevitable teen-angst years to come, when her willingness to tolerate her dad’s presence is likely to drop by at least 50%.

And, in a way, it wouldn’t be my first exposure to the inner workings of a dance performance.  My mother actually ran a modern dance school (and later the foundation that supported it) for decades.  She was not an instructor, but as a child was such an eager and entranced student that she began working there as a young adult, eventually rising to became the studio’s Director.  You can imagine the boyhood joy I felt in being dragged to hundreds of dance performances on glorious weekends when my friends were playing baseball.  I always assumed it one of my mother’s great disappointments when I failed to show any interest in breaking the gender barrier at her school, so perhaps this was a chance to make amends.

So I sent an email to the ballet school director, and I was in.  I managed to pass some kind of audition without tripping over the instructor’s torso, and was awarded the role of Clara’s father, party host and elegant man of the hour. Even better, my daughter seemed excited about my involvement, and looked forward to my chance to peek behind the curtain of her favorite activity.

And I shared her enthusiasm…until my first rehearsal.

I was, to put it mildly, a prancing wreck.

To be fair, my predecessor had been occupying the role for nearly a decade.  He had been drafted while his daughter was a ballet student, likely with similar motivations to share a meaningful experience with his young girl.  But as I fumbled through the rehearsals, it was clear that I was in a different league.  He was tall, elegant and coordinated, and understood all of his marks and moves.  I looked like a drunk muppet in the midst of a seizure.

And to make matters worse, no one seemed to care.  The teachers were rightly focused on the girls and their performances, and had clearly grown accustomed to not worrying about what the hapless and possibly spastic adult in the scene needed to do.  But I was lost, an old guy in sweatpants trying to remember whether to turn right or left, bend down or arch up, or hold hands with the tall girl in heels or the short girl with the hair braids.   Actually, no one wanted to hold my hand.  I was sweating like a marathon runner in August, and my hands were dripping buckets.  Most everyone kept their distance, a smart play for sanitary reasons.

The weekend of the performance fast approached, and all of a sudden it was the Friday night dress rehearsal before the series of official shows, three in all over the two-day weekend.  I arrived at the theater nervous, and immediately made two discoveries that only served to boost my confidence further:  one, the video I had been studying for direction and pointers was from the wrong year and of absolutely no benefit, and two, my costume was at least one size too big and could not be properly altered in time for curtain call.  So I had the dual pleasure of not only failing to know my part but also of having a strong likelihood of a Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunction that would expose my private parts to a large group of parents and children.

I stumbled through the dress rehearsal, vaguely aware of where I was supposed to be at any given time and managing to find that perfect midpoint point between being an actual asset and screwing up the entire production.  Keep in mind that the part of the father is hardly a main role.  Stand here at this point, open this box at that point, fake some dialogue at this moment, etc.  I’m basically being asked to play a glorified extra, not reenact Baryshnikov’s Greatest Hits.  But there was that one dance scene, where I was required to perform specific body movements to keep in time with the other dancers.  And let’s just say that I wasn’t quite in sync with the ensemble yet.  I looked like Joe Cocker dancing with a team of Beyonces.  Thank god for the patience and attention of the young woman playing my wife in the scene.  She noticed the terror in my eyes, pulled me aside for extra help (like a math teacher in high school, only our ages reversed), and practiced our moves until I had a reasonable amount of confidence that I wouldn’t throw up. But was I properly prepared?  Absolutely not.

The next day came, and I arrived early to the theater to get my head together.  I was immediately escorted to the men’s dressing room, where I met an assortment of professional ballet dancers who were playing the larger male roles to accompany the serious student dancers.  Changing into my oversized costume in front of these impossibly muscular physical specimens of human perfection did absolutely nothing to improve my confidence.  These guys looked like they lived at an Equinox, and hadn’t consumed a trans fat in years.  I looked like I lived at Wendy’s.  This boost was furthered by their choice of legwear.  Professional male dancers wear male leotards, which serve no actual purpose other than making one’s genitals appear to be the size of basketballs, and on the verge of bursting through their thin fabric at any minute.  Having reduced my masculine self-esteem by at least half, I quickly escaped the dressing room and sat down backstage to await further instructions while wondering how I found myself in this mess.  I sulked a bit more when the mother in charge of cast makeup turned to me and exclaimed “can I do something about that forehead?” and started pounding makeup on my face like she was beating a dusty pillow.

And then, salvation arrived.

My daughter emerged from the kid’s dressing area, she and her fellow cast mates moving somewhere backstage to continue their preparations.  I had never seen her before a performance, and she looked ethereal in her wispy snowflake dress, her face in angelic makeup and hair tied tightly in an elegant bun.  She saw me dressed in my overflowing costume, and beamed a smile as wide as I’ve ever seen from her.  “Daddy, you look awesome!” she said, her friends giggling at the site of me transformed into a 19th century aristocrat.  “Let me help!”  She quickly sat down next to me, grabbed the box of makeup that had been cast aside and started dabbing bits of blush and who knows what else on my face.  I smiled and let her have her way, her compliant subject in this backstage rite-of-passage (again, our roles completely reversed and yet utterly satisfying).  As she laughed and performed her makeup magic, my nerves subsided.  “Are you ready?” she asked me, an exaggerated look of worry on her face that couldn’t mask her excitement at having me here with her.  “All set”, I replied, with a wink.  She laughed, and as she walked away to join her castmates, she turned back towards me and shouted “Good luck!”.  I just about melted, and realized how lucky I was to be present in this perfect moment (albeit in a puffy shirt and ballet shoes).

And, as fate would have it, the shows went off without a hitch.  My mind rebooted to its proper settings, I clicked into gear and somehow retained the directions I was given.  I hit my marks.  I bowed at the right times.  And, come the moment of truth, I danced as properly as could be expected from a man of my age and suspect abilities.  I even heard cheers from the crowd during our curtain calls. These may have been leftovers meant for the line of dancers before me, but I took them for my own and am not giving them back.  Thinking back to the decades of dance performances I had sat through as a boy, I remembered the beaming smiles of the girls onstage, knowing that their loved ones were watching and feeling proud of what they had accomplished.  I couldn’t help but smile myself.  Mom may have known what she was doing after all.

Alas, my mother was not there to see the moment.  10 months earlier, she had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.  Six difficult and trying months after that, she was gone.  She died far, far too young, robbed of the chance of seeing her grandchildren grow and see herself reflected in their bodies and faces (or, in the case of my daughter, her jetes and arabesques).  I’m not a believer in afterlives and spirits, but for a brief moment I imagined my mother’s satisfaction, looking down at the sight of her son and granddaughter on stage together, knowing that her life’s passion was being passed on.  My smile widened a bit more at the thought of it.

The next year, and in the three years that followed, additional emails arrived from the school, only these times directed solely to me with the subject line: “Reprising Your Role”.  Needless to say, I’ll be appearing again in this year’s performance, my fourth in a row. No rush to come see me this December, as I expect I’ll be playing this part for a few more years until my daughter graduates.  The school tends to lean towards the comfort of the known entity in their volunteers, however hapless they may be.  I’m already stumbling through rehearsals and fearing for the maintenance of my public dignity.  But I can hack it, for my daughter, my mom, and truthfully, maybe a little for me too.  And my daughter’s got this amazing new blush she can’t wait to try out on me.  Who am I to say no?

Michael Wolfe

We had a very Spooky Halloween week at the Studio…30 Zombie Children showed up to Miss Caitlin’s Jazz/Hip Hop Class. Very Scary…

Please come join Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and several other dancers from our production at the Westport women’s club Nutcracker Tea on Saturday, Nov 29th from 2-4pm.   Mary Ellen Marpe, wife of first selectman of Westport, Jim Marpe, will be doing a live reading of the Nutcracker, followed by appearances by many of the cast members!   Dancers will take pictures, sign autographs, and delight your little one in their dazzling costumes.   Sweet treats, cakes, tea sandwiches, hot chocolate, and tea will be served, and attendance of the event will include automatic entry to win several holiday raffle gifts.  Tickets to this event are $40. All proceeds will go to support the performing arts program at the Waltersville school in Bridgeport, CT.  Please visit http://www.westportwomansclub.org/ for information and to buy tickets.

Nut770

Also this year, Westport’s Academy of Dance will be partnering with the longstanding children’s charity Al’s Angels, by holding a holiday Toy Drive at each performance of the show.    Please join us in supporting this wonderful by cause by bringing a new, unwrapped gift with you when attending the performance.   All toys will be wrapped by volunteers at Al’s Angels and distributed to children in need, battling cancer, rare blood diseases, and those in severe financial hardship.   During this magical time of year, please help us to provide children who are less fortunate with a token of love and the holiday spirit!  And please visit http://www.alsangels.org/ to find out more about Al’s Angels and what you can do to help their wonderful efforts.
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Ever wonder what your teachers are doing when they aren’t dancing in the studio. In Miss Caitlin’s case she continues dancing outside. Here is a video of her most recent dance escapades.

pointe shoe info

09.26.14

color point

Each year a new group of students at Westport’s Academy of Dance begins their adventure in learning the art of Pointe work. Besides all the glamor and beauty that is most often associated with pointe shoes, there also requires a lot of work. Careful preparation is taken to make sure each student to physically capable to take on this dance style.

To better understand all that goes into this beautiful art form, check out these various websites.

1. Are you ready for Pointe shoes? Click here to see how your teachers determine your readiness, http://www.danceadvantage.net/pointe-readiness/!

2. What kind of pointe shoes should you wear? Click here to find out your foot type, http://pointeperfect.com/learn-your-foot-type-pointe-fitting/

3. Want to see how pointe shoes made? This video shows how the Freed Company makes Pointe shoes. Click here to see the video, http://digg.com/video/how-ballet-shoes-get-made?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

We are in our third week of summer camp at the Academy and having lots of fun!

Here is a sneak peak of what we have been up to this summer!

 

IMG_2245 IMG_2243 IMG_2249 IMG_2253 IMG_2271 IMG_2267 IMG_2265 IMG_2260 IMG_2261 IMG_2263

SDC

Westport Academy of Dance teacher David Fernandez is at it again! Some Dance Company’s tickets for Encore! are up and on sale at Ticketmaster. Feel free to purchase your tickets, and pass the link on and spread the word! This special performance takes place on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 7pm and is featuring some of the Academy students!

To get your tickets, Click Here! 

Also, please check out the Kickstarter campaign. Ticket sales can go to benefit Career Transition for Dancers, a great organization that has helped numerous dancers in transition from their performance careers.  Our Kickstarter link is below, and feel free to also pass it on to other dance/arts enthusiasts.

Help support Some Dance Company on Kickstater! Click Here to make a contribution!

Finally, we leave you with a fun video put together by David featuring our lovely Academy Students!

 

jess rinitiMy name is Jess Riniti, I am 18 years old and I have been dancing at the Academy since I was three years old. Dancing has been a very big part of my life for my entire life, and has been there for me consistently throughout my years. While it may not always be easy, it is absolutely the most rewarding feeling to finally be on stage, knowing that you get to show all that you have learned and just allow yourself to be free. The academy is most certainly my home away from home, and I will be very sad leaving it next year, but I will never forget my fourteen years of memories.

Outside of dance, I love being with kids. I am a teacher in the preschool that is within my high school and it is the highlight of my day besides dance. I love seeing the look on children’s faces when they finally understand something for the first time, or master a concept. There is simply no feeling like it in the whole world than knowing that you have improved their life by even that much.

Combining both of my passions, I look forward to being able to student teach at the academy at some point this year. It is very exciting that Senior Company members have this opportunity because you can learn a lot about how to improve yourself through teaching, as I have seen while teaching in the preschool.

I have definitely learned a lot in my time at the academy, and I look forward to learning a lot more throughout the year!

Kickline2013

As many of you know, last month Jr. and Sr. Company members participated in National Dance Week Foundation’s Kick It Challenge. After submitting our video, we were recognized as one of the winners of the 2nd Annual Video Contest in the category of dance studios! We are so excited to be recognized for our efforts and can’t wait to participate next year.

Click here to see the results!

Jess

Also…our very own Jess Riniti was acknowledged in the Westport News for her performance in the Nutcracker!

Click here to read the article!

 

Each year we have another graduating senior perform their last Nutcracker with the Academy family. This year we asked that senior to tell us about everything their Nutcracker experience has meant to them over the years.

 

Jess (Clara)

 

Name:  Jess Riniti         Age:  17

How many years have your performed in the Nutcracker?  12 years

What was you favorite part to perform and why?  The year I was Clara when I was a freshman was my favorite because I got to act, I could watch everyone else, and it was relatively stress free. 

What was your favorite year to perform and why?  My favorite year was the year I was a flower, snow, pirouette, and lead chinese. It was a challenge to perform all of them in one year, but I enjoyed bring a new character to life every time I was on stage.

What will you miss most about performing in the Academy Nutcracker?  I love the traditions, the backstage ambiance. I also love that it’s one big story and we’re all working together to tell it. It feels like a team effort even though we all have our individual parts. I will miss that and the family we form because of it. 

Do you have any advice for young dancers interested in performing in the Nutcracker?  Do it! It’s a tradition and it’s the thing I look forward to most in the holiday season. Looking up to the older dancers and then becoming one is so rewarding. And don’t get discouraged! The audience loves every part and every part is a good one. They’re ALL an important part of the story. Every audience member has his or her favorite, you never know who’s out their just waiting for you! And every part is what you make of it!

 

 

 

Maybe you love it or maybe you hate it, either way there was no ignoring the popularity of the “cups song” from the movie Pitch Perfect. This amazing video takes the song to a new level. Check out this awesome dance inspiration video and tap on!

Looking for some inspiration for your pirouettes? This amazing clip from dance movie White Nights, shows the talent of Mikhail Baryshnikov performing 11 pirouettes! How many pirouettes can you do?

Click here to view!

SPAM

Academy dancers Kelley Flynn and Julia Rosier with Academy teacher, Caitlin Roberts

 

Ever wonder what your dance teachers are doing when they aren’t at the studio? Well, students Kelley Flynn and Julia Rosier got to see first hand. For over a month, Caitlin has been performing with Curtain Call of Stamford, Connecticut, in a production of Spamalot. This Monty Python inspired, super silly musical, which nearly sold out its entire run, was a wonderful experience for Ms. Caitlin. “Seeing my students in the audience made performing even more enjoyable” said Caitlin, “thanks to everyone who came over the course of the run”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usually supporting from the wings, this year three academy teachers stepped onstage and into the background to help highlight one of our graduates, who has the unique the ability to embody each choreographer’s individual style, as well as cultivate her own.

Davon Doane has performed in many of the academy’s nutcrackers as our cavalier.  He is one of 18 dancers at the Dance Theater of Harlem and can be seen in this New York Times video. Congratulations to Davon and we wish him much success as he gets ready to perform on the Lincoln Center stage!

april 28th from 1-4pm a mini modeling workshop is being held at debra sommerville’s chic westport studio!  must be 12 years+ years old to participate and space is limited.  cost is $75.  for more information or to sign up click here

Westport’s Academy of Dance is excited to announce this evening’s performance of Alice – a fun and funky new take on the children’s classic, Alice in Wonderland. Read the rest of this entry »

sanam

I have been a dancer at Westport’s Academy of Dance since I was three years old.  Since then, my life has revolved around dance, and it is a passion of mine that has shaped who I have become.  My love for dancing only grows each year as the talented teachers at the Academy expose me to different types of dancing and choreography.  I participate in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern and love each style just as much as the next.  Apart from just being incredibly fun, dancing has always been the medium through which I can escape into a world without any stress or external pressures, and release my emotions through the movements and music.

Apart from dancing, I am also an avid sailor and pianist.  Piano and sailing serve the same purpose as dance does for me – they allow me to enjoy and express myself in yet another way.  I have also immersed myself in the world of philanthropy.  I am very involved with Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which gives children with terminal illnesses the opportunity to have the classic summer camp experience they would normally not be able to have given their conditions.  I initiated a fundraiser at my school (Hopkins School) to benefit the Camp, and have since raised over $130,000 for the organization.

Next year, I will begin my studies at Yale University.  I will be sailing with Yale’s team, but I will be sure to make the time to dance.  To me, dance is an incredible art and sport, and although it has presented me with injuries that I am still struggling to overcome, I will never be able to let go of it.  As I grow older, and am faced with challenges, I am reassured that I will be able to find solace in my dancing. Regardless of whether it is in a school club or a more serious performance, I will never turn my back on dance or the rush I feel each time I take the stage.  I am so lucky to have dance in my life, and it is a passion of mine that will always remain an innate part of who I am.

we had a great rehearsal on stage yesterday…enjoy the pictures and if you haven’t already ordered your tickets you can do so from our website.


westportdance_wintershowcase_2012

please join us for another wonderful winter showcase this year on st. patrick’s day.  while there won’t be any irish dancing in this year’s performance we do have a bollywood style number choreographed by monica kapoor and performed by the entire cast of this year’s showcase.

monica is presently performing in the broadway production of mama mia and we are thrilled to have such an exciting choreographer working with our students. 

susie gorman, master teacher and choreographer is also working with two groups of dancers.

the academy’s own courtney poulos, caitlyn roberts and nancy zindell are rehearsing their students to showcase all of their talents.

congratulations to margot steinberg, senior company dancer, who was chosen as this year’s student choreographer.  we are all excited to see her piece!

tickets are now on sale. our showcase will be performed at the fairfield theater company on stage one…70 sanford street, fairfield (at the metro north railroad station). performances will be at 11:30am and 1:30pm on saturday, march 17th…seating is limited so please purchase your tickets early. click here to download the order form.

read more about the performance

an evening with some dance company-choreography by david fernandezclick here to purchase tickets on line or call 347.255.9225! a fantastic evening of dance on february 27, 2012 presented at the el museo del barrio theater, 1230 fifth avenue at 104th street nyc.  in addition to stars from the new york city ballet and american ballet theatre also performing are several of our students in a piece choreographed by david earlier this year!  grace bergonzi, member of our senior company, will also be performing alongside some of the best dancers in the world–don’t miss it!  net proceeds will benefit career transition for dancers.  we hope to see you there.

Check out channel 12 today beginning at 5:30pm as they will be showing footage from today’s nutcracker rehearsal!