2018 Summer Intensive Recap

Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson

Kansas City Ballet School‘s 2018 Summer Intensive program ended today. To mark the occassion, students’ families watched an informal demonstration of what the students learned these past five weeks.

There were 167 students who attended this year’s intensive program. Of those, only 37 are current KCBS Academy attendees, the rest were chosen through auditions that took place across the country or through video auditions. The majority of students came from outside of Kansas and Missouri, and two were from outside of the U.S. Of these one is from Japan and the other from Bulgaria.

Besides learning from an incredible list of teachers and faculty from Kansas City Ballet, others included: Sarah Lane, Alicia Graf Mack, Olivier Munoz, Larissa Ponomarenko, and Mel Tomlinson. All couldn’t be happier with the students’ eagerness to learn or their progress during the program.

“The students who attended our summer intensive this year were amazing,” said Kansas City Ballet School Director Grace Holmes. “Their level of commitment, camaraderie and artistic spirit, took our program to new levels. I am so proud of all of the students who danced with us this summer and we are grateful that they and their parents chose Kansas City Ballet School.”

More PHotos

Kansas City Ballet School Director Grace Holmes praises the students for their hard work at this year's intensive. Photography: Andrea Wilson

Kansas City Ballet School Director Grace Holmes praises the students for their hard work at this year’s intensive. Photography: Andrea Wilson

Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson
Photography: Andrea Wilson

KCB School 2018 Spring Performance

Pas de Deux Class students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Pas de Deux Class students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

On Tuesday, May 15, Kansas City Ballet School presented its 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Students from Level 2 up to and including the Student Trainees from Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company performed a variety of works for the more than 900 in attendance.

Kansas City Ballet School Director, Grace Holmes, said: “I am so proud of the accomplishments of our students this year.  Our Spring Performance showed off our students’ hard work and allowed them the incredible opportunity to share their passion on the Kauffman stage. The depth they are achieving in this wonderful art form of dance is so beautiful to see – they make our School proud!”

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Level 2 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 2 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 3 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 3 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Daytime Program students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Daytime Program students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Youth Ballet students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Youth Ballet students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 6/7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 6/7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 6/7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Level 6/7/8 students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Mens' Class students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Mens’ Class students at the 2018 Spring Performance at the Kauffman Center. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

2018 YAGP NY Finals Results

Poppie Trettle and Simo XXX performing a pas de deux from XXX.
Poppy Trettel and Simo Atanasov performing a pas de deux.

For the third year in a row, Kansas City Ballet School has traveled to New York for the Youth America Grand Prix Finals.

A group of KCBS students with YAGP Coordinator Racheal Nye and School Director Grace Holmes.
A group of KCBS students with YAGP Coordinator Racheal Nye and School Director Grace Holmes.

“It‘s wonderful to watch our students grow technically and artistically as they prepare for YAGP,” KCB School Director Grace Holmes said. “Having something to work towards and an opportunity to share their hard work, contributes to students’ self-confidence. And our students are so supportive of each other – it shows how close-knit our Academy community is.”

More than 10,000 students from 31 countries who competed during the regional finals around the globe. Only 1,500 were invited to the finals in New York. Of these 800 were soloists of which KCBS happily had three, one made it to the final round: Poppy Trettel.

While KCBS students did not place at the national competition finals this year, three received scholarship offers from prestigious schools.

Hannah Zucht: Harid Conservatory

Simo Atanasov: Joffrey Ballet

Poppy Trettel: Canada’s National Ballet School

Shaping the Future

Students warm up before their round of performances.
Students warm up before their round of performances.

When asked about the event, Racheal Nye, principal and YAGP coordinator, said, “It’s great to see the growth in the kids by the end of the process, and see the school represented so well at an international event. I also really enjoy being inspired and motivated by other schools and seeing the talented students from around the world.”

Nye is proud of the way the KCBS students were kind and welcoming to other participants, and their professional attitudes.  For example, the Baroque ensemble dancers were reviewing independently and had lined up at open stage to space before she even got there to look for them.

Every year Nye reads through the written performance critiques from the YAGP judges. Her goal is to  incorporate these corrections into how she teaches all of her students going forward. She tries to approach the things she wants to fix by gearing the combinations to train the body to reflexively accomplish the move correctly. By looking at the experience as a whole, she attempts to answer these questions:

  • What pieces/choreography seemed to do well? 
  • How prepared were the students and was there anything that she could do in advance that would make things run more smoothly?
  • What could she learn about preparing better for the venue? Etc.

In doing so, the results from these competitions shape strategy for future years. 

Related Blog Posts

Here are some links to past blog posts with similar topics:

KCBS Teacher Profile: Racheal Nye

2018 YAGP Results for KCBS

KC Hosts Youth American Grand Prix

YAGP Competition This Weekend

KC Ballet School has Historic Showing at Youth American Grand Prix