I have trained with ARCB now for 2 years, and in that time have received excellent training and have grown even more passionate about ballet. I participated in the Youth American Grand Prix international ballet competition in Chicago for the first time this year, where I was honored to be a top 12 semi-finalist. When I attended auditions for summer programs this spring, a friend told me about Ellison Ballet in NYC. She said that it was an extremely difficult intensive to get accepted to, but that it was amazing. I was so nervous to audition for such a prestigious school! Mr. Ellison himself taught the audition class, and I knew immediately that this school was where I wanted to be. I felt so inspired and motivated by his teaching, and I wanted to find a way to take his classes again. When I found out I was accepted for the summer, I was so excited, but also disappointed, because I didn’t think my family would be able to send me. My family already sacrifices so much for my dancing, that I didn’t think training in New York for six weeks would be an option. But they understood how badly I wanted to go and how hard I was willing to work, and although it would be hard, they wanted to support me in following my dreams. This summer was the best six weeks of my life, along with the most intense training I’ve ever had. I was able to have pas de deux (partnering classes) much more often, and with a partner of my own for the first time, and was able to progress much faster because of that. The teachers are so very inspiring and pushed me to work my hardest, more than I ever thought I could, and I found myself learning so much more than I thought I could in those six weeks.
Amazingly, at the end of the summer, I found out that I was accepted to train with Ellison Ballet year round. It’s more than I ever could have hoped for. Ellison accepts only 20 girls into each of their 2 levels, and I was stunned to find out that I was one of them. I believe that attending this program year round will help me to progress in my dancing at an accelerated pace, and will bring me closer to my goal of dancing professionally. For the last 5 years, 100% of graduates of the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program received professional contracts with ballet companies around the world. I believe that one day, with hard work, I could be one of them.
The only obstacle is the cost. Even with financial aid, housing in New York City is very expensive, even with a roommate, along with the travel and subway costs and the expenses of ballet shoes and groceries. My family has sacrificed a lot for me to attend the summer intensive, and they really want to help me get closer to my dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. I am so thankful for them and for all of the teachers, friends and relatives who have encouraged, supported, and helped me along the way. Please help me dance at Ellison Ballet this year; it would mean the world to me! Trust me, even a small donation will help me so much. Even if you cannot donate, I would really appreciate it if you could share this with your friends. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!