The BalletMet Summer Intensive is in full swing this week. For 4-5 weeks, young dancers are thrown into an experience that will better them not only as dancers, but as people. Obviously, the Summer Intensive focuses on improving each student’s physical ability. A typical day in the life of a BalletMet dancer begins around 8:30 a.m. when they arrive at the studio to warm-up. Throughout the day, they’ll take about six classes. These classes include, modern, jazz, Pilates, flamenco, yoga and, of course, ballet.
What sets BalletMet’s Summer Intensive program apart from others is its outreach beyond just dance. BalletMet believes in “training the whole dancer.” This means not only improving their technique, but developing skills they will need should they choose a career in dance. Classes that address these skills include injury prevention, proper pointe-shoe fitting, acting and stage make-up. BalletMet has a very important partnership with The Ohio State University that allows Intensive students to go through an assessment which measures their physical imbalances and provides exercises to fix them. This is the same assessment the BalletMet Company dancers go through. On top of that, BalletMet’s students participate in a number of “enrichment” classes that will prepare them for life regardless what they do in the future including self-defense, nutrition and interviewing skills. The faculty is also a key player in creating the BalletMet experience. Maybe it’s the Midwestern attitude, but the people behind this program make a point to get to know each student and make themselves easily available if those students encounter a problem.
When the Summer Intensive students leave, they will come away with so much more than just a better sense of how to execute a triple pirouette; they will have become responsible adults. After all, these are future dancers who will carry on the name of BalletMet. Some may even find themselves a job in a familiar place like Jimmy Orrante, Annie Mallonee, Samantha Lewis and Olivia Clark who are all BalletMet Company dancers who once spent their summer in the BalletMet Summer Intensive Program.
BalletMet Summer Intensive 2011 in Numbers:
- Number of students: 114
- Number of male students: 3
- Youngest student: 11
- Oldest student: 20
- Number of students not yet old enough to drive: 43
- Number of states represented: 22
- Total approximate miles traveled: 52,597
- Number of students from Ohio: 65
- Number of students from the Columbus area: 47
- Average number of classes taken per day: 6
- Approximate hours spent dancing per week: 35 (that’s almost a full-time job!)
What do you think about these numbers? Are you surprised at how many local students there are?