Siri Kiilerich Vedel was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and began dancing at the age of 3. She trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and Tivoli Ballet School before she moved across the Atlantic Ocean at fifteen to join the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ high school ballet program, her first experience with the American ballet world. Siri has spent the last several weeks dancing in level 5 of PBT School’s Intensive Summer Program (ISP) and will begin training in the School’s Pre-professional graduate program this September.
Read on to learn how Siri feels she has grown as a dancer and as a person throughout the five weeks of ISP!
What interested you about PBT School’s ISP?
PBT School’s ISP interested me with its variety in classes and impressive group of instructors. This summer was my first American 5-week summer intensive and I was intrigued to experience a summer with PBT, full of exploration and growth. The faculty and other students created an incredibly supportive and positive environment throughout the program, which made the experience so joyful. I found that I easily improved in a place where everyone around me strived to succeed and see others succeed.
What were some of your favorite ISP classes?
My favorite ISP classes were repertoire and partnering/coda class. My level learned “Shades” from La Bayadère for our repertoire class. The hours preparing and polishing our piece for the end-of-program showcase taught us how to work as a group and as individual dancers on stage. The individual coaching during repertoire made the experience feel personal and the group corrections created a feeling of unity, weaving my level together as the weeks went by. In partnering/coda class we worked on the Tchaikovsky coda, which required us to work closely with our partner. It was so much fun to see how our partnering skills progressed and how we all improved on the coda over the course of the class.
How do you feel that you have grown as a dancer since you started ISP?
Since I have started ISP, I feel that my technique, artistry and presentation of myself have improved. The structure of our weekly schedule allows for quick technical improvement and before I knew it, I could do things I was not able to do when I first began the program. The supplementary strength classes, such as Pilates and yoga gave me a solid foundation for my long days of training and prevented me from any injuries. Dancing with a new group of people and faculty pushed me out of my comfort zone and I quickly got more confident in presenting myself and my own way of moving. This skill was an important one, as our schedule with variations classes and repertoire required us to present ourselves on a weekly basis.
What has been your favorite activity outside of the studio?
The excursions outside of our dance classes allowed us to grow closer across all levels and it fostered our collaborative atmosphere. My favorite activity outside of the studio was the Gateway Clipper cruise. It was a great way to celebrate our hard work across the whole program, while also getting the chance to see Pittsburgh from the river. It was an activity we were all looking forward to and it was great to look back and see how far we had come since the beginning of the program. My friendships I have created during this program have been so inspiring and I have loved getting to know all the people in my level both inside and outside of the studio.
What is something that has surprised you about ISP?
Something that surprised me at ISP was the incredibly supportive environment that both the faculty and students have created during the program. Whenever there was something frustrating or difficult in my classes, both my friends and the faculty were ready to assist and help me improve, providing a positive and encouraging atmosphere. The supportive environment at PBT made me feel comfortable to experiment and work hard in all my classes, which pushed me to improve fast and efficiently.
Do you think you will return to PBT next summer? Why or why not?
I would love to do another summer with PBT, as this summer has gifted me with so many new tools for my training. I am also very interested in doing the Company Experience program at PBT because preparing and performing at the ISP showcase was one of the things I enjoyed most about my summer. The ISP has opened my eyes for the many great programs that PBT offers and I am so excited and grateful to elevate my training at PBT in the fall.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to have a professional career with a ballet company. Training at PBT this summer has provided me with further skills to strengthen my technique that I will use in my pursuit of my goals in the future. I have really appreciated the opportunity to train with a school that is so structured and professional, yet also allows for individuality and personal growth. I feel that my summer with PBT has pushed me a step further toward my future professional goals and achievements.
Learn more about PBT School’s Intensive Summer Program and how you can audition for next year’s program below!