This year I was so fortunate to be able
to receive the Kittie LaPoint Peterson Scholarship through the Dance
Council. Without such a wonderful program I would not have been able
to experience the Joffrey Chicago Summer Program, as well as the past summer programs.
This summer I spent much of my training
at the Joffrey Chicago Summer Program. Going into this, I really did
not know what to expect from this program, not having too much
knowledge about their company and academy. After the completion of my
first week I was absolutely blown away, not only by the teachers,
training, and amazing repertoire, but by the true quality in every
aspect of the school. By mid-program I had a feeling that this place
was special and somewhere where I really fit in, regarding my
technique and strengths as a ballet dancer. That made it extremely
easy for me to accept the Trainee position that they had offered me
earlier in the year during their national audition tour.
I am so excited to be able to be
advancing to a program that will expose me to the professionalism of
being in a company, and offer me so many performance opportunities’
that I would not be offered anywhere else. I am also very thrilled to
be training among such a qualified and experienced faculty, that will
continue to assist me in improving every aspect of my technique, and
help me grow as a dancer both physically and artistically.
After my amazing experience at the
Joffrey Ballet I jumped into another great challenge in New York at
the Bolshoi. This program introduced me entirely to a culture that I
have never been so exposed to. It was such an experience to take
class with these teachers that spoke only Russian and, dancing and
partnering with students from the Bolshoi Academy, and of course
being in New York is always an experience in itself. I loved dancing
in the Koch Theater where Balanchine choreographed many of his great
works, and just out on a whim I just happened to run into Twyla
Tharp, and many other professional ballet dancers.
Overall I feel that my summer has been
more than successful, and with this scholarship I was able to gain so
much knowledge that I will carry through my entire life as a dancer.
I feel that the vast combination of programs has really expanded my
horizons and opened many doors for years to come. So many
opportunities have presented themselves in such a way it feels as
though it is all meant to be. I am so fortunate and blessed to be
able to proceed and take on this following year with Joffrey Chicago
as a trainee.
Though this is a giant step in my life
as both a dancer and a young adult, stepping into a world that I am
not yet fully acquainted with, I know that with God’s guidance and
the loving knowledge and wisdom of my parents and peers around me
will help me get through these challenging steps in life. But
ultimately I want to thank Dance Council for allowing my parents to
be able to support me in any and every possible way, because I know
that they would do anything in the world for me, but this scholarship
just made it a little easier. I know that I will never be able to
repay them for everything that they have sacrificed for me, and I
love them with all my heart for it. But I hope that one day it will
all be worth the hours of classes, my months away from home and the
tears, when I can step out on a stage and show them what “we”
have been working so hard for my entire life.
I again want to thank Dance Council for
all of their Help and guidance the past few years, and the support
provided to me and my family. Without you this summer and coming year
would not have even been a thought.
~ Hannah Lynn Schoendorf