2018 Summer Programs Enrolling Now

2018 KCBS Summer Programs Brochure Cover. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
2018 KCBS Summer Programs Brochure Cover. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Enrollment has already begun for Kansas City Ballet School’s wide array of classes and camps for kids ages 2-18.

Summer is a great time to try ballet. The classes are 4 or 6-week sessions that meet 1-2 times a week. It’s a nice sample of what the fall and winter semesters bring. Summer camps meet four times in one week, with a performance during the final 15 minutes of class on the last day. Camp themes include Little Mermaid, Fairy Princess or Super Hero. Additional courses and workshops are available for ages 8-18.

“Our summer programs are a great way for children to spend the summer – physical and artistic activity combined,” KCB School Director Grace Holmes says. “Students who already dance can maintain and enhance their training, and those who  have never danced before can try something new.”

If your child is interested in ballet, this is the chance to try it!

FIND CLASSES AND INFO

Click here to learn more about the offerings.

 

Dancer Profile: Amanda DeVenuta

Company Dancer Amanda DeVenuta joined Kansas City Ballet at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: Once I was able to walk as a baby, I walked on my toes all the time. I wanted to do ballet from the start, and at 8 years old I knew this was what I needed to be doing.

Q: DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES OR SPECIAL INTERESTS?

A: I do. I have a ton! I think it’s important to be inspired by even the smallest of things, such as a jasmine bloom! I love writing poetry and I’m also really intrigued by the world of fragrance. I want to create my own perfume someday.

Q: AS A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE AS WELL AS ARTIST, WHAT MAKES UP YOUR NUTRITION AND FITNESS ROUTINE?

A: I’m pretty balanced with what I eat. I try and eat healthy main meals, but I definitely don’t deprive myself of doughnuts every once in a while! As far as extra fitness, yoga has strengthened my core while allowing me to focus on my breath getting to all of my muscles, especially fatigued ones. I also occasionally like to go to the gym or go on bike rides. Pilates is also a favorite.

New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves 2018 Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Q: WHAT ARE MOST PEOPLE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A DANCER?

A: They are surprised to learn that it never stops. Even when on a big layoff, for me, I never can take too much time off. I’m always trying to get stronger.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL MANTRA?

A: “Find the beauty in everything.” It is inspiring to be able to look at simple things/pleasures in life and appreciate them. Life is beautiful and when I get caught up in its chaos, it helps to remember the little things and to not overlook them.

Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT KC?

A: Its appreciation for the arts! I love how many people support the ballet, opera and symphony here in KC! I also love that there’s always something exotic to try. Whether it’s a creative new restaurant, or an intimate house concert, museums or coffee shops. It truly is a hidden gem.

Dancer Profile: Lilliana Hagerman

Company Dancer Lilliana Hagerman began dancing with Kansas City Ballet’s KCB II in 2014. In 2015 she was promoted to a company apprentice, and she’s been a member of the company ever since.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I was born in Italy and grew up in lots of places. My parents put me in dance classes when I was 6 after returning to the USA. They said I would dance everywhere I went, so they decided to enroll me into dance classes.

KCB Dancers Lilliana Hagerman, James Kirby Rogers, and Amanda DeVenuta in The Sleeping Beauty. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KCB Dancers Lilliana Hagerman, James Kirby Rogers, and Amanda DeVenuta in The Sleeping Beauty. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: I am a pescatarian. I eat meat every now and then. But I take vitamins every day. I also try not to eat unhealthy food, but every now and then it happens.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I had two hip surgeries when I was only 21.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: When I dance there is no room for outside problems. So for the few minutes I’m dancing, I am completely blissful.

 

 

 

Kansas City Ballet Archives Updates Displays

New Kansas City Ballet School Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
New Kansas City Ballet School Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.

Members of the Kansas City Ballet Archives, Lisa Schubert Hickok and Jean Murphy—both former Kansas City Ballet dancers and current KCB Guild members, have been working with KCB staff to update the contents of the display cases at the Bolender Center. These cases were originally unveiled when the building opened in August of 2011.

“It is our hope to revisit the collection annually to create relevancy to the upcoming season as well as to display items that are part of KCB’s official archives,” Hickok says.

NEW KCB SCHOOL CASE

New Kansas City Ballet School Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
Close Up of new Kansas City Ballet School Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.

NEW KCB COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & EDUCATION CASE

New Community Engagement and Education Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
New Community Engagement and Education Display at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.

NEW KCB COMPANY CASES

New Company Performance Displays at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
New Company Performance Displays at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
New Company Performance Displays at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.
Close up of new Company Performance Displays at the Bolender Center. Photography: Andrea Wilson.

MORE ABOUT THE ARCHIVES

Interested in the Kansas City Ballet’s Archives? Read more about them here in a blog post from June 2016.

Student Profile: Leah Reiter

After auditioning during last year’s three-week summer intensive at the Dutch National Ballet Academy, Kansas City Ballet School Student Leah Reiter was invited to attend NBA year round. It is the only ballet school in The Netherlands affiliated with the internationally acclaimed Dutch National Ballet.

“I don’t think anyone in my family was prepared for me to move away at 15 years old,” former KCBS student Leah Reiter says.

Reiter, currently a student at NBA in The Netherlands, started ballet classes in Omaha, Neb., when she was 8 years old. At age 11 she moved to Kansas City and began attending Kansas City Ballet School.

Reiter says attending Kansas City Ballet School—a school she’d heard a lot of good things about while living in Omaha—is where her passion for ballet began.

“Of course I hope to make a career dancing! I think I knew from the start that it [ballet] is what I was meant to do. There was never really a moment when I thought about stopping,” Reiter says. “I wouldn’t be working as hard as I am or sacrificing the things I am if I just wanted to dance for fun. I feel so fortunate to have the possibility to do something I love so much for a living. That would be my ultimate reward for all the blood sweat and tears that I’m putting into this beautiful art form.”

She enjoys being able to channel all her stress from the day and all of her thoughts and feelings into class or rehearsal. Taking negative energy and putting it to good use, like a grand allegro combination has helped her achieve quite a bit of height at times. Finding the positivity wherever she can allows her to improve not only her state of mind but also her dancing.

A MAJOR CHANGE

Moving to Europe has affected her, of course. She talks about the obvious major changes like living so far from her family and friends but also the extreme rewards. She says the teachers and staff work with the academy and are all incredibly talented, along with the other students. Another huge factor that plays a part in the experience at the NBA is the amount of exposure she gets to other cultures. There are students from all corners of the world; including Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Australia, America, and of course, The Netherlands. She describes the learning atmosphere as quite inviting as well. “Because everyone has moved to a different country, we are all very supportive and welcoming of each other,” she says.

STAYING HEALTHY

There are countless things she has learned as a dancer. Two of the most important things: how to stay humble and how to take care of herself.

Both are crucial for a healthy mind and body. Reiter quotes one of her best friends, Anna Hughlett. “When you walk into class, forget everything you might’ve been stressing about and focus on dancing. That’s the beauty of dance—it’s in the moment.” She thinks all dancers of all ages could learn something from this outlook. Another of her own would be: Looking at other dancers and wishing you looked like them is good in small amounts, but if you do it too much, it can get ugly. It’s a fantastic thing to have goals, but if you try to reach them in an unhealthy and neurotic way, it only hurts you,” Reiter says. “Be healthy!” Such wisdom beyond her years.

GREAT KCBS MEMORIES

As a KCBS student, Reiter had the opportunity to audition for Kansas City Ballet company performances as well. “I have been so fortunate to dance in some of Kansas City Ballet’s productions including: Todd Bolender’s Nutcracker, as well as Devon Carney’s Nutcracker, Victoria Morgan’s Cinderella, Septime Webre’s Alice (in wonderland), and Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty. Being able to see behind the scenes what goes into making a company production so great is an amazing experience. Dancing alongside the gorgeous dancers of KCB is also very inspiring,” Reiter says.

Her absolute favorite part of dancing as a member of Kansas City Youth Ballet, the performing ensemble of the KCBS, was the performing. “It’s so rewarding to see everyone’s hard work pay off with an exciting performance. It’s also awesome to dance such fun choreography alongside some of your best friends,” Reiter says.

THE COMFORTS OF HOME

Being across the pond, it’s natural that Reiter would long for many of the comforts of home. “Of course I miss the obvious like my family, friends, and pets, but I also miss some very specific things,” Reiter says. “Spending hours in the many expansive parks of Kansas City, the amazing barbecue, and Bella Patina are just a few of the ones that come to my mind the quickest.”

She also misses her KCBS teachers Racheal Nye and Grace Holmes. “They have been there for me through this journey of becoming the best dancer I can be and I can’t thank them enough,” Reiter says.

She also craves the variety of classes the KCBS Academy’s Daytime Program offers. “I miss being able to really let go in an improv class or have a blast dancing with my friends in hip-hop. All the classes were a lot of fun, and the training is fantastic,” she says.

“KCBS helped me develop my style as a dancer, and it helped me get where I am today. I can’t thank them enough.”

Dancer Profile: Goldie Walberg

In 2015 Goldie Walberg came to KC to be a member of KCB II. She was promoted this season to a Kansas City Ballet company apprentice. Goldie is a California native with dancing in her blood.

Q: WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I started dancing when I was 5 years old because my mom was a a dancer and my grandma owned her own dance studio.

Dancers: Goldie Walberg and Cameron Thomas. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios
Dancers: Goldie Walberg and Cameron Thomas. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: It is extremely important to cross-train. I love working with a personal trainer at the gym.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: Something most people wouldn’t know about me is that I could eat a cheeseburger for every meal for the rest of my life.

Q: If you find you have an unexpected hour free, what would be your ideal way to spend it?

A: It depends on the day… but I love a good nap!

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes: New Moves 2018

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Rehearsals have begun for the 2018 New Moves performances. The Bolender Center is buzzing with a variety of musical styles that differ widely from the usual melodies drifting from the studios. It’s time for New Moves when up-and-coming choreographers (including a few company members) get the chance to create their own visions on the dancers of Kansas City Ballet. Performances take place at Kansas City Ballet’s home the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity in the Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater.

New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

2018 Choreographers

It’s a chance to witness new choreography by:

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Tickets

New Moves open Thursday, Feb. 15 and run through Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Bolender Center. Sell outs are the norm, so ordering tickets early is a must. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 816.931.8993.

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Trainee Profile: Allison Rainford

KCB Trainee Allison Rainford. Photography by Savanna Daniels.
KCB Trainee Allison Rainford. Photography by Savanna Daniels.

Originally from Springfield, Ill., Allison Rainford joined Kansas City Ballet as a Trainee for the 2016-2017 season. This is her second season as a Trainee.

Q: how did you become a dancer? WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: When I was 8, a friend let me try her pointe shoes on. After that I just had to dance, so my mom enrolled me in classes.

Q: what do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: Performing! There is a feeling you get on stage that you can’t find anywhere else.

Q: do you have hobbies or special interests?

A: I really enjoy cooking and baking. I just find them really relaxing, plus you have delicious treats when you’re done!

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

A: I grew up on a farm.

Q: What do you enjoy most about kc and why?

A: I love the city! it’s a lot bigger than the town where I grew up, and I really like exploring it.

Dancer Profile: Sarah Joan Smith

Company Dancer Sarah Joan Smith is dancing her second season with Kansas City Ballet.

Q: how did you become a dancer? WHEN DID YOU START DANCING?

A: I grew up in Eastern Europe and ballet was a class you took in school. My teacher told me I should pursue it. I did and love it.

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Sarah Joan Smith and James Kirby Rogers. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Sarah Joan Smith and James Kirby Rogers. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

Q: what do you enjoy most about being a dancer?

A: I enjoy hearing from an audience member that I conveyed a feeling or emotion to them just through the expression of dance.

Q: do you have hobbies or special interests?

A: Traveling. I love experiencing different cultures and people.

Q: as a professional athlete as well as artist, what makes up your diet and fitness routine?

A: I usually try to consume as much food as possible to maintain the energy I need—a lot of fruits, veggies and peanut butter! I do Pilates and yoga once a week as well as swimming, biking and strength training multiple times a week in addition to daily company ballet class and rehearsals.

Q: do you have a personal mantra or affirmation? if so, what is it?

A: I always say “In with faith and out with His peace” and take a deep breath before I enter the stage.

 

2018 Summer Intensive Auditions Begin

With temperatures stuck below freezing in KC, what better time to begin auditions for Kansas City Ballet School’s 2018 Summer Intensive program. Nothing shakes off the chill like gearing up for summer!

Auditions

Admission to Kansas City Ballet School Summer Intensive is by audition only. The five-week program is for students 11-22 years of age (females who have had a minimum of one school year of pointe work). Auditions kick off this Friday, Jan. 5 in Chicago and continue to 23 other cities throughout January and into February. Here is the complete list. KCBS will host two auditions: the first is on Saturday, Jan. 13 and the the second on Saturday, Feb. 24—the final audition.

Students unable to attend one of these may submit a video audition by Feb. 14 or try to schedule an appointment audition at KCBS.

Registration

Pre-registration fees are $30 in advance—these close the Wednesday prior to the audition. On-site registration fees are $40. In addition to fees, students will need to:

  1. Complete online Audition Form
  2. Attach photos to online Audition Form or bring to audition (4×6, with student’s name on the back)
    • Headshot (females with hair up)
    • First arabesque (females on pointe).

Questions

For more information about auditioning for Kansas City Ballet’s Summer Intensive, contact Kansas City Ballet School at 816.931.2299 or school@kcballet.org.