Summer may be nearing its end, but there are plenty of long, sun-drenched days remaining. This means there is still plenty of time to fit dance into your kid’s list of fun, engaging summer activities!
“Dancing in the summer is a wonderful opportunity for students to come and enjoy training without the stress of school and their year-round schedules,” Kaila Lewis, PBT School Children’s Division coordinator, says. “Summer is a great time to clean up the steps students already have learned and it is also a great time to learn something new.”
Summer classes and workshops at PBT School are a special treat, but they are also a tool for consistency and growth.
“Three months is a long time to go without dancing,” Lewis says. “Keeping the body moving is so important for a young dancer. The body not only has positions and steps to remember, but the muscles have to remember as well.”
Shorter workshops can be a great way for young dancers to try new and different things while still incorporating some consistency into their dance training over their summer break. This year, PBT School is hosting Beauty and the Beast and Ella Bella Ballerina workshops at PBT Studios. Ballet is a storytelling art, and what better stories to tell than classic fairy-tales!
For students ages 3-7, the Ella Bella Ballerina workshop is a unique blend of building ballet technique foundations and exploring the stories behind classic ballets like The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. This beloved children’s book series-turned-workshop brings fairy-tale ballets to life for budding dancers, while they enjoy special summer perks not always available during the school year, like visiting the costume shop or peeking into a PBT company class.
The Beauty and the Beast workshop is available for students 8-10 years old. This special story ballet workshop can help kids become more confident dancers and learn from one another. Dance is a wonderful way for kids to grow and explore their imagination, creativity and curiosity.
“The workshops are a tremendous way for our teachers to get to know these young dancers’ personalities while working on storytelling and technique,” PBT School Marjorie Grundvig, co-director of PBT School, says.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre invites children from ages 5-8 to audition on Saturday, Aug. 5, for the opportunity to receive a full or partial scholarship to study ballet during the 2017-2018 school year. Registration begins at 1 p.m. with auditions following from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at PBT Studios in the Strip District, 2900 Liberty Ave.
As part of its Community Youth Scholarship program, PBT will be awarding up to five full and three partial scholarships for children to train in its Children’s Division. Although the program focuses on early exposure, PBT commits to funding scholarship recipients’ training all the way
through the school’s Pre-professional Division if they choose to pursue it long term.
PBT created the scholarship program in June 2013 to make the school, company – and art form – more widely accessible to students and families throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. In addition to talent and passion for dance, students must demonstrate financial need to be eligible
for scholarship funds.
At the audition, students will take a basic dance class instructed by PBT School Children’s and Student division faculty members. No previous dance experience is required. Children must be 5 to 8 years of age by Sept. 1, and must qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program or
meet similar requirements to be eligible for a scholarship. During the audition, PBT School will host an information session on PBT and the art of ballet for parents and family members.
“It’s really important to ignite the passion at a young age so they can take advantage of training and learning opportunities during these formative years,” said Marjorie Grundvig, PBT School co-director. “Some of these children could be our next generation of professional dancers. And
whether they choose ballet or a different career path, many will learn valuable skills from ballet that they’ll find helpful in other areas of their lives.”
The annual program aims to expose children to dance at an early age and make top-tier training accessible to talented students who demonstrate financial need. The program focuses on students from ages 5 to 8 – a pivotal stage to begin classical ballet training. Currently, 23 promising young students are receiving ballet training at PBT School through the Community Youth Scholarship Program.
By reducing potential barriers to training, these scholarship programs help widen the pool of talent that the company can attract to auditions, accept to its school and ultimately even recruit into the company, which is made up of 50 percent PBT School alumni.
The program is funded by an endowment fund from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, among others, and by many individual donors who value the power of dance to enrich the lives of children.
To register for the audition, please complete the online registration form here. For questions, please contact Christina Salgado, director of education and community engagement, at 412-454-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited. For full audition guidelines and program details, please visit www.pbt.org/youthscholarships.