Center: Emily Hall, from Cary Ballet, who won gold at the American Ballet Competition this year.

Cary Ballet Starting New Year of Professional Training

Cary, NC – The Cary area is filled with students working to become better and better in not just ballet but a variety of styles. And last year, the Cary Ballet Conservatory worked to focus that effort with a Professional Training Program, which returns this September.

Ruiz, center, with students Kayleigh Western, left, and Joan Sebastian Zamora, right.

Ruiz, center, with students Kayleigh Western, left, and Joan Sebastian Zamora, right.

Professional Level Training

Going into its second year, the Professional Training Program has already been highly successful under the guidance of Program Director Mariaelena Ruiz.

“We started from scratch. I had all this experience and people knew me and we saw what we could do,” Ruiz said.

Previously, Ruiz had worked as the ballet master at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. But in the year since starting the Professional Training Program, it has already sent dancers to a competition in New York where they became finalists and went to the American Dance Competition in Orlando, Florida where one of Cary’s dancers, Emily Hall, received a gold medal and Ruiz won the Best Teacher Award.

“It was humbling because I have been in this industry for a long time,” Ruiz said.

In the beginning, although Ruiz said the Cary community was behind the conservatory’s efforts, she was still creating an entirely new program.

“I used all my experience, but at the same time, I had to be flexible because this is a new area,” she said.

Pointe Magazine, a ballet publication, featured the Professional Training Program in their August 2016 issue.

Pointe Magazine, a prominent ballet publication, featured the Professional Training Program in their August 2016 issue.

Hands-On Training

Part of what makes the Professional Training Program stand out is the amount of attention the individual dance students get. The program has been getting interest nationwide from dance students who want this level of attention and care.

“Even though the school is very big, the program is very hands-on and personal,” Ruiz said. “But they still have to be a unit. It’s not private coaching.”

Students audition to get into the program and Ruiz said it has had a tremendous impact on the conservatory and “raised the bar,” as she put it, getting younger students interested.

“For the new year, we have created a bridge – a studio program – between our afternoon program and the professional program for younger students to get ready,” she said. The studio program is also by audition.

One of the other changes in this year’s Professional Training Program from last year is giving the program more space as opposed to the afternoon classes.

And Ruiz said dance can be a good outlet for anyone and there are many people who come to the Cary Ballet Conservatory who are not looking to become professionals.

“Even if you do it at the recreational level, you still have to do it right,” she said. “I always tell my students that this all matters in the outside world. In your job, you will need to know good training from bad training; good work from bad work.”

And for people who are not sure if dance is for them, Ruiz said they will never know until they try.

Center: Emily Hall, from Cary Ballet, who won gold at the American Ballet Competition this year.

Center: Emily Hall, from Cary Ballet, who won gold at the American Ballet Competition this year.


Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Brooke Meyer and courtesy of Pointe Magazine.

3 replies
  1. Tim Westmoreland
    Tim Westmoreland says:

    Thank you for such a nice article. These children and the staff at Cary Ballet Conservatory are dedicated and work so hard to reach their goals. It is apparent in their performances and competitions. I wish I could grasp the discipline that they apply. Also, it’s great to see the local youth having fun while doing something meaningful and healthy.

    Reply
  2. Edward Watson
    Edward Watson says:

    wow!! a professional ballet training program in the cary area!! and also, of course, a recreational level. excellent choice for the area.

    Reply
  3. suzanne laliberte thomas
    suzanne laliberte thomas says:

    Thank you so much for alerting the public about this wonderful opportunity. For most aspiring professional dancers, moving away from home to train in NY or very few other large cities has been the only option.

    Dancers from all over the country, and other countries, are thrilled to have another great, or often called “even better” option in our beautiful, safe community.

    Some very talented individual dancers have relocated here from other states and countries to take part. Some families have relocated here, to the Triangle, specifically so their “prodigies” could participate. Our local North Carolina dancers who demonstrate exemplary potential are the most fortunate of all since they are able to partake in this world-class program without leaving home!

    Cary Ballet Conservatory is an asset for Cary and the RDU region and yet another reason this is the number 1 place to live!

    Reply

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