Therese Davis 17 ~ Amanda Stone Ballet Scholarship
Ever since I began dancing when I was 10, I have dreamed of becoming a professional ballet dancer. I immediately connected with the joy that comes with expressing so many things just using the body, and continue to love dancing to all kinds of music with various movement qualities. Even now, after seven years of hard work and knowing there is still much hard work ahead, I love to dance!
I am applying for a scholarship to help me attend the School of American Ballet’s summer program, where I have been accepted with a full tuition scholarship. It excites me to think about going to the School of American Ballet because I look forward to learning how to add more energy and excitement to my movements and working on the cleanliness of my footwork. Being in New York would also be a new experience for me and I would love to see performances by the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, in addition to all the other wonderful cultural and unique things I could encounter in New York!
I first started dancing at a studio near where I lived before switching to Faubourg School of Ballet when I was a sophomore in high school. I learned the value of practice and repetition and grew much stronger. In February of my junior year I competed in the Prix de Lausanne, which was an eye opening and wonderful experience. It introduced me to amazingly talented dancers around my age that pushed me to improve, in addition to exposing me to high levels of professionalism found in the respect that everyone showed each other and the intelligence with which people worked and taught. I have continued to try and emulate these qualities ever since.
This past summer I attended Pacific Northwest Ballet School, thanks partly to the Dance Council of North Texas! It was my first full exposure to Balanchine technique and I loved it! I am currently a member of the Professional Division at the Pacific Northwest Ballet and have been learning so much about what it means to become a professional dancer. In addition to refining technique, I have had so many chances to see how the company works and watch the beautiful dancers in class and onstage. It has been so interesting for me to see how different things look onstage than in the studio and what reads well from the audience. I have been able to understudy company roles, giving me further insight into company rehearsals. I also performed as a Snowflake, Flower and Party Mom over a span of thirty Nutcracker performances! For the rest of this year I am looking forward to dancing the title role in Bruce Well’s Snow White in March and performing new choreography by corps member Chelsea Adomaitis this June. I intend on staying for a second year in the Professional Division. I would love to get an apprenticeship at Pacific Northwest Ballet but will also be auditioning for companies both in the US and Europe this winter and next spring. I look forward to continuing to grow technically and artistically and to absorbing as much as I can from everything around me!
(Therese Davis ~ second from right)
I had a wonderful summer at the School of American Ballet! I spent five weeks taking technique, pointe, variations, pas de deux and Pilates classes. My teachers were Susi Pilare, Suki Schorer, Kay Mazzo and Katrina Killian. I was impressed by the boundless energy each of them had! Their enthusiasm for what they were teaching made me excited about dancing and improving. They spoke a lot about the shape of the foot and how to articulate it in the pointe shoe for every step, which was something I had wanted to improve. The energy that you put into each step was another important focus. I found that the class structure was very similar to the ones I have in PNB’s professional division and so the corrections and energy I worked on this summer will help me work even better in classes this fall.
I was also fortunate enough to be selected for the New York Choreographic Institute and performed in a piece choreographed by NYCB apprentice Silas Farley. I enjoyed every rehearsal and loved being able to perform the last week of the program.
In addition to classes and rehearsals, I made great friends and got to get a taste of New York.
One aspect I loved about the program was the trips to go see the ballets. I got to see American Ballet Theatre in Swan Lake, New York City Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet – amazing companies I never would have been able to see otherwise! It was interesting to see different repertoires from each company and note what made the dancers so amazing to watch so I could try to implement those aspects into my dancing.
I got so much out of my summer at the SAB and I am so grateful to the Dance Council of North Texas for helping me be able to experience it!