Joffrey Ballet School

#MyJoffreyLife: Personal Stories From Real Dancers

Joffrey Ballet School Success Stories: Tovi Wayne

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Joffrey Ballet School Success Stories: Tovi Wayne
Many of the dancers considering the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance intensives ask whether our intensives can really help further their dance goals, ambitions and dreams. We think the best way to respond to those questions is to let some of our successful past students speak for us. That’s why we’re thrilled to bring you an interview with one of our most recent Joffrey Ballet School success stories: Tovi Wayne.
 

Joffrey Ballet School Success Story Tovi Wayne

 
Tovi is currently a featured performer on Broadway with the mega-hit production of Mean Girls. A latecomer to the world of dance, Tovi has achieved his dreams through dedication and hard work (he used to paint the hallways and take out the trash at the Joffrey as a side job!).
 
He also trained with some of the best dance instructors in the world here at the Joffrey, including Michael Blake and Angelica Stiskin in the Joffrey’s Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. 
 
More recently, Tovi was a featured faculty member with the Joffrey’s Musical Theater summer intensive in New York City last summer, teaching his own Mean Girls-inspired choreography. It has been inspiring to watch his journey from a student at Joffrey with dreams of dancing on Broadway, to a Broadway performer and a member of our Joffrey Faculty.
 
We recently asked Tovi some of the questions that we believe are top of mind for many of the young dancers considering attending one of the Joffrey’s summer dance intensives. Here are the questions we asked, and Tovi’s responses.
 
 

Q and A with Tovi Wayne

 
What was your experience with the Joffrey Ballet School? What sessions or intensives did you attend and for how long?
 
I attended the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary program from 2014-2017.  At the time the Jazz and Contemporary program was coordinated by Michael Blake, who brought a beautiful vision, passion, and discipline to the program. 
 
My time at the Joffrey Ballet School was my college experience and education. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned about hard work, admirability, to learn from your mistakes, and to understand your values as an individual and artist. 
 
 
What was your dance experience before attending one of JBS’s programs or intensives?
                 
Before my time at the Joffrey Ballet School I wasn’t sure what I wanted for my future. I had always done theater growing up but I knew there was something more that I wanted to accomplish. For me, that was educating myself in dance. 
 
Dance was something that didn’t come naturally to me. I didn’t start dancing until I was 17 and even then I was known for having “two left feet on backwards”. Dance was an insecurity, which then transformed into an activity I wanted to get better at doing. Then it became something I LOVED. Now it’s what I strive to get better at, every chance I get. 
 
 
What specific experiences stand out to you?
 
That’s a very hard question to answer. Every experience stood out to me. I like to say “every opportunity is an experience, and every experience is an opportunity”. But if I had to narrow it down to one it would be my time working with Angelica Stiskin in her piece called “Pride,” in which I was one of the soloists. 
 
At the time, Joffrey Ballet School presented a dance concert called Billboard’s II in 2017. It was dedicated to the forever iconic Prince Rogers Nelson. (May he rest in peace.) I remember feeling so privileged to represent Prince’s songs and artistry through movement. That was an experience that I will forever cherish and to this day I’m still a hardcore Prince fan. 
 
Shout out to Joffrey Alumni Robert Redick as well, for educating me on the genius of Prince!
 
 
Favorite classes or instructors and why?
 
My favorite classes would include Bradley Shelver’s ballet class, Beatrice Capote’s jazz class, and Michael Blake’s modern class. These classes were all taught with passion, influence, and a desire to inspire. I always appreciated those instructors for their ability to share their knowledge of an art form that they so clearly love.  
 
Describe your experience with the Joffrey overall – dorm life, after hours activities, sightseeing, etc.? What are your favorite memories, friendships or relationships you developed?
 
My overall experience summed up in one word would be growth. I learned so much, what it was like to socialize authentically, how to cook for myself, to take care of my body when it asks for rest, to constantly be surprised and inspired by everyone around me, and my favorite part, exploring New York City. The list goes on. 
 
NYC was literally my campus. Everyday was a new adventure and to this day I am still discovering new things about this magical place. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, so give it a shot while you can!
 
 
What advice would you give to a young dancer considering one of the Joffrey’s summer dance intensives?
 
If I had to give you any advice, it would be to simply TRUST YOURSELF!
 
To quote Hamlet:  “To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” 
 
Dream on and thanks for reading!
 

Could You Become the Joffrey’s Next Success Story?

 
If you dream of dancing on Broadway like Tovi, or if you’re more interested in contemporary or classical ballet, or any other dance disciplines, a summer spent with the Joffrey at one of our summer dance intensives could be the next step toward making those dreams a reality.
 
Register with us today to audition for one of our intensives and take the next step toward your dance future!

Joffrey Summer Dance Intensive Success Story: Amber Weissman

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Joffrey Summer Dance Intensive Success Story: Amber Weissman
Where might dance take you? Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance intensive is a great place to start discovering all the paths dance can take you down.

For Amber Weissman, who graduated from Joffrey Ballet School in May of 2019, dance led her to a contract with RWS Entertainment Group, as a performer in RWS’s production of The Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular in Mason, Ohio.
 
 
But that performance opportunity was just one path Amber has followed. After the show closed, Amber traveled to Memel, a small town in rural South Africa that is still recovering from apartheid. There, Amber is volunteering for three months as a dance teacher and is curating the Memel Primary School’s first-ever dance program.

Why Memel?  “Due to its past, Memel has been left struggling with poverty and it’s still very much segregated,” says Amber. “Unemployment is high, with families living in uninsulated shacks, nutrition is poor and until recently there weren’t many extracurricular activities for the children, especially the young girls.” 
 
So Amber traveled to Memel through a Vermont-based nonprofit organization called SheWinS, which is dedicated to providing after school activities and empowering the young girls of Memel.
 
The mission for the dance program Amber is creating at Memel Primary School is to create a fun and safe environment for the children to express themselves through dance. 
 
“The children here aren’t exposed to all of the different styles we have in the US,” said Amber.  “They have their traditional Zulu dancing and now we are introducing them to techniques like Jazz, Ballet, and Hiphop.”
 
It’s an unusual path for a professional dancer, but a rewarding one for Amber. And it all started with a Joffrey summer dance intensive.
 
We asked Amber about her experience with the Joffrey.
 
 

Finding Her Voice at Joffrey


What was your experience with the Joffrey? What sessions / intensives or courses did you attend and for how long?

When I was about 12 years old I did my first Joffrey Ballet School summer dance intensive. It was the Jazz and Contemporary program in New York City. Being exposed to so many new artists and experiences in that short intensive allowed me to find a deeper love for dance and for NYC.
 
After that,  I continued to do the intensives every year, mostly the Jazz and Contemporary intensives but also the Experience, and one year I did the ballet intensive in Denver because I’m from Colorado. 
 
When I was 16, my mom and I decided it was time to get serious if being a dancer was really what I wanted. I squeezed in the last of my credits and graduated high school a year early in order to move to NYC and join the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary year round trainee program. 
 
After three years of being in the Jazz and Contemporary program, especially under the direction of Angelica Stiskin, I found my voice as an artist, was able to work with some of the best teachers and choreographers, gained so many life-long connections with other dancers, and received my Certificate of completion. 

What was your experience before attending Joffrey’s programs or intensives?

Before attending Joffrey I grew up competing with a small studio from my hometown. My few hours a night of dance class after school wasn’t cutting it for me and I was always craving more. I decided I wanted to make it a priority and Joffrey allowed me to do so. 

Immersed In Dance and City Life


What specific experiences stand out to you?

I loved getting to work with MADBOOTS dance company. They’re my favorite dance company in the city and it was really surreal having them come and set work on us at Joffrey Ballet School. 
 
I also loved doing an Immersive art gallery installation with Terk Waters. It was such a great experience getting to perform so close to your audience. Because of that experience I now know that I would love to do immersive dance theater one day. 

What were your favorite classes or instructors and why?

I always loved Bradley Shelver’s ballet classes. Bradley is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Not just in dance but in everything. It seemed that almost every class with Bradley I would have some sort of huge epiphany and things would just click in my mind and body a way they never have before. 
 
I also loved Contemporary with Angelica Stiskin. I’ve never felt so safe and yet so uncomfortable in a class all at once. A safe space to be pushed out of your comfort zone. Angelica’s class also gave me a newfound appreciation for movement and all of the different textures your body is capable of. 
 
Describe your experience at the Joffrey overall: dorm life, after hours activities, sightseeing, etc.? Do you have any favorite memories, friendships or relationships that you developed during your time with us?

I stayed in the dorms my first year of the Jazz and Contemporary trainee program. It was a great transition to living in the city because I wasn’t alone. I had all of the other students who were also new to New York and Joffrey Ballet School.
 
The dorms also allowed me a chance to grow really close to the other students. I met my best friends through Joffrey, one of whom I live with today. Some of my favorite memories are from my time at Joffrey. One of my favorite memories is that after classes my friends and I would go eat at By Chloe or hang out in Washington Square Park. 

What advice would you give to a young dancer considering a summer dance intensive?

My advice would be to stay open minded while taking classes from all these different teachers who have different ideas. Also, try to take everything in during those few weeks. I used to keep journals of corrections and quotes that my teachers had given me. 
 
What’s next for you, Amber?
 
Right now I’m focused on my work with the young dancers in Memel. In the past SheWinS has provided soccer and track and field opportunities for the kids there. But this is the first time a real dance program is being offered to the students. Depending on how this program turns out SheWinS is considering continuing dance classes in the future. 
 
So right now I am laying the groundwork for dance technique with the kids and developing a curriculum that makes sense for an introductory dance program. At the end of the semester, we will be holding a showcase for all of the students providing them a chance to perform and show the community all that they’ve learned throughout these few months. 

Where Might Dance Take You?

 
Amber is one of many Joffrey alumni who is enjoying opportunities to travel, perform and collaborate with others who are passionate about dance. If you’re ready to learn more about where dance can take you, register today to audition for one of Joffrey’s summer dance intensives!

Joffrey Summer Dance Intensive Success Story: Angelina Barbosa

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Joffrey Summer Dance Intensive Success Story: Angelina Barbosa
We caught up with 18 year old Angelina Barbosa on the phone one late January afternoon on her way to the studio from an audition. After taking a short break following the close of her last show, Angelina was back to work, auditioning for her next role but eager to answer a few questions and share her experiences with the next generation of Joffrey summer dance intensive students. 
 
Rachel Neville Photography

Q and A with Joffrey Success Story Angelina Barbosa

Hustling from the dance studio to the audition and back again just in time for a phone call, Angelina talked fast – recovering from the nerves and excitement that accompanies every audition. But she graciously participated in our question and answer session and provided insight not only into what makes the Joffrey program so unique, but to what life as a new professional dancer is really like.
 
What was your experience with the Joffrey? What sessions, intensives or courses did you attend and for how long?
 
I attended the Jazz and Contemporary summer dance intensive for three weeks. Then, a year later, I joined the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary trainee program. If you do the whole program it is four years, start to finish, and that’s what I did. 
 
I started kind of young. At the time I started, the Joffrey program was mostly dancers 18 and up, with a couple of 18 year olds and mostly 20 year olds and up. I attended my first summer dance intensive when I was 13, and a year later began attending as a year round trainee when I was 14. The four years at Joffrey was basically my four years of high school. I stayed so that I could graduate at 17. After Joffrey I started auditions that summer as soon as I turned 18. And I mean, who doesn’t want to dance all day long?
 
I ended up being accepted as a year round trainee by trying out for the summer intensive. I was accepted into the Jazz and Contemporary and Ballet intensives, and both year-round trainee programs. 

Joffrey Was the Perfect Door

What was your experience before attending one of Joffrey Ballet School’s programs or intensives?
 
Prior to being accepted into Joffrey, I was a “studio kid.” I am from New Jersey and as a kid I spent all my time at the dance studio when I wasn’t at school. Where I’m from in Jersey, dance is huge. I started at three and by the time I was in school I had a full studio life, attending public school and going back and forth to the studio every day.
 
By the time I was 11 or 12, I knew I wanted to pursue dance professionally. Joffrey was really my entrance to the life. If I hadn’t gone to Joffrey I’d be a different dancer: Joffrey was the perfect door.
 
During your time with Joffrey, what specific experiences stand out to you?
 
So I attended the summer intensive when I was 13. It was a year between that and attending the trainee program. 
 
The intensive is obviously different than the trainee program. In the intensive they’re trying to pack a year of teaching into three weeks. So my experience that first summer was very fun and I learned a ton.
 
I stayed in the dorms during the intensive and it was my first time being in the city on my own. Being from New Jersey, I had only ever gone into the city on day trips with my family. The intensive was my first time living and being there for three weeks straight. 
 
The intensive was a great introduction to my Joffrey trainee experience. It made me want to come back and attend the trainee program full time. It was really fast paced because it was such a short time. We had classes all day long and learned so much, so quickly.
 
Our showcase at the end was so much fun, too. I remember one choreographer, Bradley Shelver, was amazing and so intelligent about dance. I loved his piece. I was really happy when he ended up being my ballet teacher later in the program.
 
Another great instructor in the intensive was Candace Franklin. She’s a well known Jazz teacher, and is just a high energy, fun and sweet woman I’m so happy to still be in contact with, five years later. You can form such great relationships with the intensive instructors, and if you later decide you want to pursue dance professionally, those relationships are only going to help you.
 
 
What were your favorite classes or instructors and why?
 
I mentioned Candace and Bradley during my first intensive. During the trainee program they remained two of my favorites. 
 
The trainee program actually changed while I was attending. I had Michael Blake, the previous Artistic Director, for the first two years.
 
Under him, the program was more modern-based, less emphasis on commercial dance. But he really focused on a lot of the basics dancers need to practice to get good at their craft. 
 
One of my favorite teachers from that faculty was JoiLynn Hopkins. She taught a lot of classes: hip hop, street jazz, and jazz technique. She was a good mentor and I looked up to her for always being so genuine and kind.
 
Later the Artistic Directors changed. Angelica Stiskin became director my third year. She’s Joffrey’s current Artistic Director. With her came new faculty. I enjoyed meeting new teachers and making new connections.
 
Angelica made the program more well rounded with additional emphasis on the commercial aspects while still holding the foundation and basic technique: all the styles a well rounded dancer needs to succeed. 
 
Out of all the schools I know of that have trainee programs, Joffrey is the only one that offers such a well rounded program to make you the best dancer possible.
 
As I went through I realized Joffrey was the only program where you can get such well rounded exposure to so many styles of dance.

That First Intensive Changed Me

Describe your experience during the summer dance intensive overall in terms of the dorm life, after hours activities, sightseeing, etc.? Do you have any favorite memories, friendships or relationships you developed?
 
I’ll be honest, it was scary at first and overwhelming, but also exciting to step into the city life, coming from a suburban or small town. I was completely immersed in the classes. After hours, I remember going out for ice cream with other girls at the dorms. We always went with an RA – you’re always supervised if you’re under 18, which is different from some of the other dance intensives offered in the city so it’s great even if you’re a bit younger..
 
Right away you really feel how in New York City, people are so busy and driven. They have places to go, things to do. It’s different than what I or the other students were used to. I feel that the experience of being a student in that first intensive changed me because before that, even though I’d been dancing for years, I had little knowledge of what it really took to succeed as a dancer. Not just as a dancer – but as a dancer in New York. It made me want to come back and continue to learn and grow.
 
In terms of friendships, I did make friends at that first intensive, even though I was a bit younger than some of the other students. I’m still good friends with another student now, five years later. She was from Jersey too, so after the intensive we met up. In fact, we kept seeing each other everywhere! I ended up becoming an assistant for a dance convention called Artists Simply Human (ASH) and she was there too. She helped me get that job and we’re still good friends today. 
 
Dance is such a small community and those relationships are so important. She’s in college now at USC but when she’s home I’m sure we’ll still see each other.
 
What advice would you give to a young dancer considering a dance intensive?
 
Go for it! If you are able to go, showing up is half the battle. 
A lot of people get intimidated walking into that first audition or class and it’s easy to be stressed in a room with others you think have more experience. It can hold you back and is scary because you’re putting yourself out there. But I would say go for it. Showing up is half the battle, and once you’re in the room, it’s up to you to try your hardest. You just have to get out of your own way. Everyone in the room wants you to succeed, especially the people that sit on the other side of the table. You can feel the love and support. 
 
Auditioning or working with a higher level of instructor is not really as much about who is the best in the class as you might think. So just let yourself have the experience. At the end of the day it’s not about who’s first or up in the front, so just focus on you and let yourself become a better dancer. And most of all, have fun!
 
 
So what’s next for you, Angelina? You just had an audition this morning…
 
Well, I just finished the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and took a break. I went home and gave my body a break from doing 16 shows a week, and then 20 shows my last week. It was a super intense schedule and high intensity show so I had to take a short vacation. Now I’m back taking classes, working on my craft. It’s audition season during January and February so for the next little while I’ll be going to every audition I can and trying to find that next perfect role.
 
And last question: How do you like the life of a professional dancer?
 
You know, it’s never what you expect. Joffrey’s programs prepare you as much as possible to live this life by making you a versatile dancer capable of working anywhere. But there’s no security blanket. You’re going from job to job.
 
You’re always hustling and working so hard to get each job. But the dance community is great; we help each other out and we’re all devoted to our craft and passionate about it.
 
So I guess what I’d say is that it’s never what you expect, but it’s everything you want it to be. I do really love it and the fact that I get to do it as my job is amazing. Even if I have to do a side hustle, it’s okay because I’m living the life I want. It’s stressful but rewarding. And the best part is when you get that yes: that makes all the rejection and hard work worth it.

Dance Into Your Future With Joffrey!

Whether you dream of dancing professionally like Angelina or simply strive to become the best dancer you can be, a Joffrey summer dance intensive can help you take the next step toward your future. Register today to audition for one of Joffrey’s summer intensives in New York or across the United States!
 

Joffrey Ballet School Summer Dance Intensive Success Story – Kenedy Kallas

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Joffrey Ballet School Summer Dance Intensive Success Story – Kenedy Kallas
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! 
 

Student Spotlight: Youth Ensemble Member Hannah Eng

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Student Spotlight: Youth Ensemble Member Hannah Eng

I have only been at the Joffrey Ballet School for a little over a year. I have taken classes, participated in the summer intensives and had privates. I have definitely improved my dance technique while at Joffrey. It’s been a lot of hard work! 

Last October, was especially exciting. I was asked to be in JBS’s Youth Ensemble – it was like a dream! We have been able to perform a few times so far and it has been a wonderful opportunity for me. The first time we performed, we only had a few days to prepare. I thought it was fun to have to rush to learn the dance – it was hard but it was also so fun. The performance was in Madison Square Park – we had such a beautiful dance, beautiful costumes and special music. Thanks to Ms. Jo and Ms. Irene for working with us. I love to perform and any chance to be on stage is magical for me. I was lucky to be with such talented dancers and I look up to all of them.

Competing at YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) was another first experience for me this year. The competition was fierce and I learned a lot by watching the other participants. There were so many talented dancers. I also learned just how much work goes into doing a short two-minute variation and how to adjust spacing depending on what kind of stage I’m dancing on and how big it is. I followed Ms. Irene’s advice and didn’t compare myself to other dancers while I was waiting backstage. Another tip: having classmates supporting you makes a big difference, especially when you are nervous at the last second. It was great having my friends there!

I hope I will be able to keep improving my dance day by day. I am so thankful for the Joffrey Ballet School and especially for my teacher, Ms. Irene. She has truly been my inspiration and has helped me get ready for all my performances. She has really worked with me to be more aware of my hands and to help me keep improving my transitions and turnout.

I love the Joffrey Ballet School and I love being in the performances and dancing everyday. Being part of the ensemble has given me an idea of what it may be like to dance with a company. I really hope that I will be able to continue improving and someday be part of a professional company. I would love to be a first soloist in a company one day – isn’t that every dancer’s dream? I know it is hard work but dance is my passion and it is worth all the sweat, sore muscles and sore feet.

Hannah Eng

JBS Honor Roll

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JBS Honor Roll

Joffrey Ballet School strives for excellence not only in dance training, but also encourages students to pursue academic educations outside of the studio. Many of our students are enrolled in independent study, home schooling, or online high school and college programs. Some even attend local high schools and colleges around the city on top of their full-time curriculum at JBS! We are incredibly proud of these students who showed academic excellence this past semester and made it on to our Academic Honor Roll with straight A’s. 

Note: This post is updated twice a year for the Fall and Spring semesters and includes students enrolled in the trainee programs.  (more…)

Student Spotlight: dancer, choreographer… J&C Trainee Imani Williams

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Student Spotlight: dancer, choreographer… J&C Trainee Imani Williams

A normal day for me starts at about 7:00 a.m. I roll out of bed, sit up and stare at the wall for about 10 minutes while I contemplate life. I wonder why I feel so tired despite getting to bed early the night before. Once I’m up and ready for the day, I down a protein shake and try to catch the train before 8:05 a.m., (which doesn’t always happen) in order to make my 9 a.m. ballet class. While walking to class, I mentally prepare myself for the intense week ahead. (more…)

Student Spotlight: Jermaine Turnbow: A 2014 Summer Scholarship Recipient

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Student Spotlight: Jermaine Turnbow: A 2014 Summer Scholarship Recipient

Check out this inspiring video from 2014 summer scholarship recipient Jermaine Turnbow – who has overcome many challenges in his life to follow his passion to dance. Joffrey Ballet School student spotlights bring you closer to the students at our school that are just like you! Real stories from real dancers that inspire you to always give one hundred percent, check out the #MyJoffreyLife tab for more Student Spotlights! (more…)

#RisetoJBSChallenge Winners Announced!

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#RisetoJBSChallenge Winners Announced!

We received an outpouring of videos for this contest and we want to congratulate all of the contestants! Thank you for sharing your passion, talent and enthusiasm with us. It was so much fun to watch all of you dance, but after much deliberation, we have made up our mind. All eight winners have been awarded a 2-week summer scholarship to the JBS summer intensive of their choice (international intensives excluded). Without further ado, we present our 2014 #RisetoJBSChallenge Video Contest Winners: (more…)

A Letter From The Sugar Plum Fairy

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A Letter From The Sugar Plum Fairy

Dear Aspiring Ballerinas,

With Nutcracker performances right around the corner, this is such a fun and exciting time, but it is also a time for hard work and sacrifice. This year we have been given the exciting opportunity to perform the principle role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Joffrey Ballet School’s production of The Nutcracker. It’s been a difficult and exhausting process, but also a very rewarding one. There have been times when we weren’t sure how the role was going to come together. Days when we were sore and tired and felt like nothing was working,. These times truly test your ability as a dancer. The times when you must push through even though you feel you can’t. These are the moments you become stronger.

(more…)

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