There are only a couple more months of school until summer break! Like any other kid, I’m excited, but not because I don’t have class. This summer, I am fortunate enough to go to New York and study dance at The Ailey School in Manhattan for six weeks. The Ailey School is a primarily Modern dance school, and this will be my third summer attending. This is a big deal for me because not only is it my first year in the Professional Division, but I was granted a Level 2 Scholarship, meaning I don’t have to pay tuition. It is one of the limited numbers of scholarships awarded on the school’s audition tour, but it doesn’t include housing fees. So it isn’t full-ride, it’s full-tuition, which is still pretty amazing.
Normally, scholarships require a formal audition, which only occur twice a year in New York (April and July); I auditioned at a studio in St. Paul in February. The audition itself isn’t as scary as it seems at first—I thought it was a lot of fun. We drove up early in the morning, around 7:00, since the audition was at 9:00. We put our bags along the back wall of the studio and were assigned numbers. The auditioners gave us, I think, 15 minutes for self-warm up and stretching before starting. The audition took about two hours; the first hour was ballet and the second hour was modern. At the end, they gave us information packets, answered any questions, and told us we would get an email two weeks later.
I couldn’t believe I had been accepted into the program, much less been awarded a scholarship. I’m so honored to have this opportunity, and I’m so excited!!! I would encourage more dancers to audition for summer programs because even if you don’t get in, it’s still a fun experience to learn from. Plus if (and when) you get into a program, you get to meet so many new people, make more friends, and do new stuff, which is totally worth it!
Article written by: Katrina Manansala - Level 5 ballet, pointe and classical variations student at Allegro School of Dance and Music. Look for Katrina performing in Rochester Ensemble of Dance this month. She is a National Honor Society Member and has participated in Allegro's Pre Professional program. Pictures below are of Katrina's experience with Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive 2016. Congrats from all of us at Allegro, Katrina! We are so proud of your hard work.
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