A Joffrey Ballet School summer dance intensive can be a time for learning and growth. It can also be an opportunity for a dancer to pursue new interests, change directions or discover their true passion. Kenedy Kallas, currently on tour with the world-famous Nederlands Dans Theatre, is a dancer who did exactly that.
Kenedy attended the Joffrey San Francisco summer dance intensive for two summers, in 2014 and 2015 when she was just 14 and 15 years old. Coming from a competition dance studio, Kenedy hadn’t yet discovered her love for classical and contemporary ballet or concert dance. Her experience with the Joffrey led to her choosing to become a concert dancer.
Joffrey Ballet School San Francisco Ballet and Contemporary intensive Artistic Director Josie Walsh says of Kenedy,
“Kenedy came to my Joffrey SF program for two summers in a row where her love for classical and contemporary ballet and concert dance grew. I continued to mentor and choreograph on her for years after; She is an extraordinary talent and on the path to becoming an international star!”
Kenedy Kallas Finds Her Direction at Joffrey
Since attending Joffrey’s San Francisco intensive, Kenedy has traveled around the world, studying and performing with some of the world’s leading companies and choreographers. After her summers with the Joffrey, Kenedy traveled to Russia to study with Yuri Smekalov at the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. She danced in productions of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker with the San Francisco Ballet.
And now at just 20 years old, she’s been selected as a contract dancer with the Nederlands Dans Theatre.
Kenedy was gracious enough to take some time out of her busy touring schedule and answer a few questions for us about her experience with the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance intensives and the role they played in helping her find her direction as a dancer.
Questions and Answers With Kenedy Kallas
What was your experience with the Joffrey? What sessions / intensives or courses did you attend and for how long?
I attended the Joffrey San Francisco contemporary ballet program in 2014 and 2015. It was such an amazing, diverse program that I attended two years in a row! The program was three weeks which was a perfect time frame for me.
What was your experience before attending one of JBS’s programs or intensives?
The Joffrey Ballet School’s San Francisco intensive was my very first summer intensive. I obviously loved it enough to come back the following year.
Discovering Process and Performance With Joffrey
What specific experiences stand out to you?
One experience that stands out to me from the Joffrey San Francisco program is the creation process and performance. The last two weeks of the program you get a chance to be created on by an incredible choreographer. You then perform the work at the end of the program. It’s a glimpse into the professional concert dance world and I think it’s a very important experience for young dancers.
What were your favorite classes or instructors and why?
I truly enjoyed and learned so much from all of the classes and instructors in the intensive. All of the teachers at the intensive had so much knowledge to share and pushed me to be my best!
One instructor that I can genuinely say has changed my life and dancing is Josie Walsh, the Artistic Director of the San Francisco intensive. She tremendously helped my technique, introduced me to the concert dance world and most importantly, she believed in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance.
Describe your experience overall: dorm life, after hours activities, sightseeing, etc.? Do you have any favorite memories, or friendships and relationships developed?
I overall had a great experience at the intensive. I was very young at the time, just 14 and 15 years old, and I always felt very safe in the dorms. The dorms provided food and it was always great. I remember the intensive provided fun activities for after hours or days we weren’t in the studio. I also developed friendships that will last a lifetime!
What advice would you give to a young dancer considering a dance intensive?
Go for it! I always improved and learned the most at dance intensives. If you go into a dance intensive with an open mind and heart, work your hardest and have fun, you will definitely grow as an artist and human.
Ready to Discover Your New Direction? Register With Joffrey Today!
Kenedy’s talent and hard work have taken her around the world, and it all started by spending a few weeks with us at our Joffrey San Francisco Contemporary Ballet Intensive, discovering where her passion could take her. If you’re a dancer who loves their craft and is ready to learn, grow and perhaps even find a new path forward, register to audition for one of Joffrey’s summer dance intensives today!