February 22, 2012
The Pennsylvania Ballet is marking the 10th anniversary of its trainee program, with continued visits to area schools.
It is part of the Ballet's Outreach effort.
The Trainee program is known as Pennsylvania Ballet II, and it delighted the students at the Charles W. Henry School in West Mt. Airy Wednesday afternoon.
Pennsylvania Ballet II consists of seven pre-professional dancers who visit 15 to 20 schools in the area every year. It was their 9th visit to the CW Henry School.
They showed the Kindergarten through 4th graders some fundamental ballet moves, and the audience was especially thrilled to see their Coach, Chris Kuncio, help a dancer with a promenade.
Then they performed the ballet, "Por Temper Ments". The music is Hendemuth, and is choreographed by George Balanchine.
The ballet's outreach program gives the students a full ballet experience.
"They get to see classical ballet in their own environment, and they also bring kids to the dress rehearsals at the Academy of Music. This year, all the second graders came to the Nutcracker," said Phil Juska, Pennsylvania Ballet Outreach Director.
And it was the second graders who were the star attraction for their classmates, learning in one day a ballet to Rhianna's "We All Want Love".
"It's just wonderful to see the kids grow from year to year, it's amazing, and some of them are very talented," said William DeGregory, PA Ballet II Director.
When asked how they learned it so fast, their answers struck a common theme.
"I paid attention, and I listened," said 2nd grader, Terrell Tilghman.
"I was listening, and I watched the Nutcracker," said 2nd grader, Scarlett Zeleniak.
The Ballet's Outreach and Education programs bring recitals and other programs to 125,000 elementary, middle and high school students throughout the tri-state area.
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