Student Goes Beyond the Walls of Midland to Dance

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Mary Ball

Senior Mary Ball poses for a picture with one of her idols and professional dancer after a dance lesson at a three week dance intensive in Florida.

Alannah Stone, Assitant Editor

Between various art and dance classes, Cabell Midland High School is not a stranger to students taking part in creative arts.
One student in particular was able to take her passion for art to another state over the summer to extend her knowledge and technique.
“I attended a three week summer intensive for ballet at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa, Florida with Next Generation Ballet,” said senior and dancer, Mary Ball. “While there, I took ballet classes, point classes, variation, jazz, modern, contemporary and yoga classes. At the end of the three weeks we had a choreographer’s workshop where we were in groups and presented a two minute piece that we each choreographed. We were also in two rep pieces, a ballet repertoire piece which I did Gypsy by Don Quixote and a jazz piece that was original.”
The intensive was not just an event students could just sign up for, those wishing to participate had to meet a few existing requirements.
“To go, you had to have a minimum two years on point, meet their designated technique level, and be at least thirteen years old, I believe,” said Ball.
Adding to that, participants came from all over the country and out of the many who auditioned, there was only a slight percentage that were able to attend.
“There were actually no other people from West Virginia there,” said Ball. “There were a lot of people from Florida at the intensive. Out of the 1,000 that auditioned, 200 kids were there.”
The intensive not only gave students in-depth lessons to many dancing techniques and types, but also allowed them to make new friends and form connections with fellow dancers.
“I did meet some new people, and we do text sometimes,” said Ball. “I have mainly kept in touch with a girl from Kansas City, Missouri and my roommate was from Austin, Texas.”
As the intensive lasted three weeks, participants were busy each and every day, working to take in all the knowledge and technique they could in the short period of time.
“We had breakfast from eight to nine each day,” said Ball. “Then we had classes from nine to twelve, a lunch break from twelve to one. Then classes again from one to four. That included rehearsals and then dinner was at six. You were able to walk around town after with a group if you wanted to go somewhere. On Saturdays, you either had classes from ten to twelve or one to three.”
Though the event only took place over the summer, the knowledge participants gained while there has easily been brought into their dancing careers outside of the intensive.
“While there, I learned a lot of technique tips that helped my current dancing now. It’s gotten me better roles here at the Charleston Ballet because I got better there.”