Aubry Neal 18 ~ Dr Dan Pickard & Rosie Kimple Scholarship
Aubry Neal is an 18 year old freshman dance major at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas. A ballet dancer, she chose SMU to exposure herself more fully to other styles of dance. At SMU she's had the chance to perform many contemporary pieces, work with many choreographers and improve her partnering skills.
Aubry's goal is to pursue a career in dance, and she can't wait to learn all that Miami City Ballet School has to teach to help her get there."
"Thank you for supporting the arts and the students of North Texas" ~ Aubry Neal
I had the pleasure and privilege of studying at Miami City Ballet School during their summer intensive in the Advanced Program. I had a great experience there, and learned so much. The diverse classes and repertoire we learned and worked on broadened my horizons of dance, giving me experiences in performance that I will continue to utilize.
This summer I really felt like I grew artistically. The teachers that I worked with on a daily basis pushed me way past what I thoughtI was capable of. We worked on technique, but at the
“advanced” level, we needed to develop more performance qualities. The
main piece we worked over the course of the five weeks to perform at the
student showcase was Raymonda Variations. It was a very challenging
piece that required strength, softness, power, and attention to nuances
to create the look of effortlessness. We worked on two variations and
the corps de ballet opening and closing. My favorite was the faster of
the two variations. There was attitude and a sense of flirtation that
was fun to portray and work on. We also had a variations class where we
learned other Balanchine repertoire. This was one of my favorite classes
because we got to work on variations that I had never worked on.
Tchaikovsky pas de deux variation, Divertimento variation, and Symphony
in 3 Movements variation were just some of what worked on. We also had a
jazz class taught by Liz Malm, which was fantastic. It really helped
prove that a dancer in today’s dance world has to be versatile. We
learned fun combinations that varied in style- from Beyonce to lyrical
to samba. Our final performance piece was a contemporary jazz piece that
was challenging and emotional. I thoroughly enjoyed being used in the
creative process while she choreographed the piece on us.
Overall, my experience this summer taught me so much that I will continue to use throughout the rest of my dance experience. I felt like I not only improved my technique, but also improved my artistic approach to dance. The way that dancers approach works and interpret them is what makes each performance different- new experience for the viewer and dancer. I got a taste of what makes that happen. I look forward to continuing working in this way and to see how much more I can grow from this knowledge.
~ Aubry Neal