Staying on her Toes
If anyone is looking forward to summer, it’s seventh grade student Amy G. She won’t be lounging by the pool, playing video games or otherwise whiling away the warm Colorado days, though. Amy will be working her toes off at an intensive summer school for ballet dancers. At the Royal Ballet Lower School. In London.
One of only 125 dancers in her age group (11-15 year olds) to score an invitation to this world-renowned training institute, Amy is a bona fide classical ballerina with genuine talent. She was hand-selected by the London school’s director to attend the summer program.
“I was ecstatic when I found out about London,” says Amy. “Dancing is my whole life. I love the movement and the artistry and dancing overall: the way it looks, how you can perform it and the precision. It is a challenge but I love it so much. I really want to be a professional dancer when I get older.”
Like all serious athletes, dancers maintain a rigorous training schedule. For Amy, that leaves little time for anything besides ballet and school. She dances six days a week, 16 hours total, and trains with a Pilates instructor for strength. Currently, she is learning the Vaganova method of classical ballet, a Russian style.
“Vaganova is challenging but I want to learn one style completely then try a different style,” says Amy, who trains at Classical Ballet of Colorado.
Since first donning a leotard for beginner’s lessons at age 4, Amy found an instant connection with ballet. Dance professionals who have worked with Amy encourage her to enroll in a full-time ballet boarding school. But, according to her mother, Amy’s home is here at Graland.
“Many ballerinas are homeschooled because of the intense training schedule,” says Amy's mother, “but we wouldn’t give up Graland for anything. Graland has tailored the learning experience for Amy and given her the opportunity to be well rounded.”