I told you all that I was going to American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Irvine, California. In just one week, I’ve learned so much, met so many great people, and honestly, I’ve had a whole lot of fun.
I’ve been to ABTSI last year as well. I was battling an injury, so I was unable to continue with all of my classes. One of the things last year I learned was that I over-tuck my pelvis, and my placement was off. After the intensive, I went to physical therapy to get stronger and to fix it. My body freaked out and swelling appeared. However, there was no pain. After a frustrating few months of no dancing, I finally went back, and it took a lot of time to fix my placement. I took my RAD exam (you can check out my blog post “Where I Dreamed” under VLOGS) and didn’t get the score that I wanted. At this point, I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
Skipping a few months ahead, the ABT intensive finally arrived. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I was worried that I would constantly be exhausted, much like my normal dance life back at home. But this week, I’ve been so refreshed.
Sometimes you need a change of perspective and scenery, different teachers, and extra encouragement. Being on the UCI campus where the studios are nice and large and beautiful makes me feel so free and excited about dance. Even though it’s only week one, it’s been an honor to be instructed by the teachers ABT has provided for us. I’ve learned so much, and already, I can’t wait to go back home to show my teachers.
The first day was Placement Class and Injury Prevention. The second day, we found out our levels, and our day consisted of Ballet Flat Technique, Pas De Deux (partnering), Repertoire, and Jazz. All of these classes were absolutely incredible. Pas De Deux is something I rarely get to do, so getting to do partnering here at ABTSI is such an awesome experience. For repertoire, we are learning excerpts of Raymonda.
For the rest of the week, we had technique class everyday, both flat and pointe. We always have an hour for lunch each day, which is nice, even though it’s such a long walk to the cafeteria. The afternoons consist of different things: yoga, pilates, anatomy, repertoire, jazz, modern, character, and more.
Not only are our instructors incredible, but I’ve met some amazing people here as well. I’ve met so many more people than last year, and I am so incredibly excited about new friendships from all over the world- literally.
The best advice I’ve been given this year was to have fun. I have a hard time letting loose and letting go. But I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to meet great friends who help me let loose and don’t care. So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and it has totally changed the way I feel. I feel happier and more excited about dance.
One of our teachers, Duncan Lyle (a professional dancer at ABT) told us that there are going to be the days where we feel horrible. His advice: put on a smile and nod. Think about what you’re thankful for. Above all, make sure you have fun. I had to do that this week, and it’s the best advice. It really works. I promise.
More updates to come!
Sung Eun Rose
Featuring: Alyssa Barton, Leah Hill, & Nikki Rosenbloom