At just 15 years of age, former Joffrey Ballet School trainee Aidan Wolf has been dancing for most of her life. She began her dance training at age three in her home state of Colorado, competing as a dancer and studying with the Colorado Ballet Academy until attending her first Joffrey summer dance intensive in Los Angeles at age 10.
That first Joffrey summer intensive soon led to accepting a merit scholarship to study with us in New York City as a Jazz and Contemporary trainee.
Today, Aidan is living the dream: She’s dancing with Complexions
, one of America’s top contemporary ballet companies. Aidan is one of just three trainees and apprentices selected to perform this year in Complexions’ 26th season at the Joyce Theater in New York City.
As the Joyce season wound down, Aidan took a few moments to answer questions for us about her experience with Joffrey and how she got her start in the world of contemporary ballet.
Gain Versatility and Diversity with Joffrey
What was your experience with the Joffrey, Aidan? What sessions / intensives or courses did you attend and for how long?
My experience with Joffrey was extremely beneficial over the multiple years that I attended both intensives and the Jazz and Contemporary training program in New York City.
As a Jazz and Contemporary trainee, I thoroughly explored versatility and new ways to create images and movements with my body that have stuck with me since then throughout my professional career. I visited numerous informative locations and sessions connected to the Joffrey name with diverse teachers at them all, that have helped me grow into the dancer I am today.
What was your experience before attending one of Joffrey Ballet School’s programs or intensives?
My experience before the Joffrey was primarily based in ballet although I was a competition dancer when I was younger. From the start of one of Joffrey’s intensives, I started to realize what my true calling in the dance world was, which turned out to be contemporary ballet.
What specific experiences stand out to you?
Certain Joffrey experiences that stand out to me include my first Joffrey intensive in Los Angeles with Josie Walsh as our Artistic Director. Josie Walsh became both a close friend and a mentor; she really put me on my path to where I am today and I am eternally grateful.
Another incredible experience was my start with the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary trainee program in New York City, headed by Angelica Stiskin. I was amazed to see both the diversity and the level of self critique that it took to put us on our professional paths.
What were your favorite classes or instructors and why?
Some of my favorite classes in particular include contemporary ballet with Josie Walsh, contemporary with Angelica Stiskin, contemporary groove with Phil Orsano, and ballet with Michael Waldrop and Bradley Shelver, although I found all of the classes extremely beneficial and I found particular uses for all of them.
Develop Close Relationships with Teachers and Mentors
Please describe your experience overall – dorm life, after hours activities, sightseeing, etc.? favorite memories? Friendships or relationships developed?
Although I never had the chance to stay at one of the Joffrey dorms, I did experience most things that Joffrey dorm members experience and I am grateful to say that I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The diverse activities and individuals I was able to meet have stuck with me up to this day and I am sure will into the far future. I developed close relationships with many of my teachers and mentors and I am extremely grateful for that as well as the relationships I acquired from my fellow dancers.
What advice would you give to a young dancer considering a dance intensive?
Some advice that I would give to a young dancer looking for intensive opportunities is to find a balance. By that, I mean find a balance between being confident in yourself and being reserved; to act as a sponge for all the information you will obtain. Find a balance between pushing yourself to the limit to achieve growth and being attentive to learn from others.
From this balance you can learn the work ethic, the drive, and the passion that it takes to attain a professional career if you are interested.
My number one piece of advice is to always be passionate in whatever you pursue. That passion, especially in dance, will be what drives growth and success in every aspect of performance.
Passionately Pursue Your Dance Dreams!
If you want to passionately pursue your dance dreams like Aidan, the time is now to register to audition for a Joffrey summer dance intensive in any of our locations around the United States. You never know what opportunities that first intensive could unlock for you!
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