Rachel Hutsell 13 ~ Sally Williams Memorial Scholarship
Rachel Hutsell began dancing at Allegro West Academy of Dance, under the direction of
Catriona Steel, when she was six years old. She has studied Royal Academy
of Dance classical ballet and has completed the RAD graded exams
from primary through grade five and the intermediate foundations
vocational exam. At
age ten, she began taking classes in jazz, and tap and eventually added
Rachel's ultimate goal is to dance with a professional ballet company. For the
next few years, she will work to acquire greater strength and flexibility, gain more advanced skills, and to improve her performance quality. She plans to achieve this goal by continuing her RAD training, making
‘Distinction’ on her RAD exams, and attending summer intensives at
institutions that preferably have ballet companies.
There are experiences and there are wonderful experiences. My summer stay at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Washington was a most delightful wonderful experience. I am thankful for the opportunity the Dance Council of North Texas gave me to help enhance my dance skills.
I have always been RAD trained, so it was very exciting to study at a Balanchine summer course. My teachers at PNB pushed me, and helped me to understand a new style of ballet. The faculty planned many different classes for us, such as: ballet, jazz, modern, pilates, dance history, nutrition and psychology. I was given the chance to study with Marisa Albee, Elaine Bauer, Dana Hanson, Dane Holman, Timothy Lynch, Meg Potter, Abbie Siegel, and Bruce Wells. My classical training was greatly enhanced by their teachings. Petur Iliev, and Tatiana Cater were superb in character class. I further recognize and offer thanks to Kirsten Cooper for her instruction in jazz and Eva Stone for training us in modern. Over the five week course, my knowledge for modern and jazz grew.
The facilities at the Phelps Center (home of PNB) had big open spaces which provided a place for one to warm up before class, to sit down and watch another class, and or to observe the company dancers rehearse. All of the studios had windows on both the inside of the Phelps center as well as overlooking Mercer Street and or the park behind it. Each of the students was given their own locker to use during the program. There was also a lunch room for us to eat or hang out in. If we had especially long breaks for that day or if we just wanted to get out and see Seattle, as long as we had the required amount of people in our group and were back by a certain time, we were allowed to explore.
The campus at Seattle Pacific University was ideal. The cafeteria was located right across from the dorm and a short distance from there was the bus pick-up stop that took us to Phelps center. On the weekends, the dorm staff took us on pre -scheduled events and excursions. We went to see Aladdin the musical, visited the space needle, and rode the Wild-Waves at the water and roller coaster theme park. We also went on the Ride The ”Ducks” Seattle land and water tour. The faculty at PNBS also paid for tickets to take the dorm students, and any of the year-round students at the program, to see the dress of rehearsal of Seattle Opera performance of Porgy and Bess.
If I could have the chance to go back to PNB’s summer course I definitely would, I had one of the best times there, and would recommend it to anyone who desires to enrich his or her dance skills, while training in a nurturing environment. I am very grateful to DCNT in awarding me with a Sally Williams Memorial Scholarship which enabled me to attend this wonderful summer intensive that has impacted me for life.