There might be an assumption among many that ballet is for girls in tutus, but it’s a discipline fit for boys too. Aidan Buss, an 11-year-old student at North Mianus School trains in classical ballet at Greenwich Ballet Academy. He started his dance training at four years of age with hip-hop lessons and subsequently moved onto ballet when he was five. After two and a half years at a local dance school Aidan wanted a pre-professional program and moved his training to Greenwich Ballet Academy. Aidan has performed in several productions of The Nutcracker, including two years as Fritz in the SUNY Purchase production and three years as the Nutcracker Prince in Greenwich Ballet Aademy’s production. "GBA is a wonderful school that has five great teachers," said Aidan. "I like ballet because I like the feel of movement to music and I have been so fortunate to learn from some amazing teachers who grew up dancing ballet in Russia." When he’s not dancing, Aidan finds time for other activities like hiking, playing Minecraft and skiing.
“Ballet is a genre of dance that both girls and boys can excel at,” said Jeanne Hendrickson,GBA Chairman of the Board. “We are so fortunate to have quite a number of talented boys in our program and hope to attract more boys in the future.”
The academy has other boys in their program with similar dance stories as Aidan. Ten-year-old Jamie Mann’s love affair with dance began from the moment he could walk, dancing any chance he could when music played. His love for dance grew at three-years-
Then there’s nine-year-old John Orlowski from Iona Prep Lower School. He’s been dancing since he was six, after seeing New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Ever since, John’s worked hard to pursue his goal of performing the role of Fritz. When he’s not studying ballet, John plays soccer, piano, Legos, and goes skiing. He stays active, much like other boys his age.
“Aidan, Jamie, and John are perfect examples of how ballet can transform a boy’s life,” said Yuri Vodolaga, GBA’s Artistic Director. “They watched The Nutcracker and saw the discipline necessary for ballet but weren’t afraid. They were inspired to become better ballet dancers and they still find time to do other sports and activities. We hope their stories will attract more boys to audition for us.”
The academy is hosting four auditions this year for their Summer and Fall Intensive programs. The dates include Saturday, May 17th at 3:30 PM, Saturday, June 7th at 3:30 PM, Thursday, August 14th at 10:30 AM, and Saturday, September 6th at 3:30 PM. There is a $25 audition fee and applicants should register in advance. All auditions are held at 181 Westchester Avenue, Port Chester 3rd floor.
The Greenwich Ballet Academy offers boys a chance to train in classical ballet which requires dedication and focus but is also highly rewarding. The academy has received national recognition at the Youth American Grand Prix. Each of the last several years, GBA dancers have placed in the regional level and have been invited to participate in the finals in New York City. Two students have received the coveted Grand Prix award and last year Yuri Vodolaga, Artistic Director received the Outstanding Teacher of the year recognition. Advanced students are also invited to participate in master classes, which feature prominent professional dance artists. Past guest artists included two top principals of American Ballet Theatre Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev.
About Greenwich Ballet Company
Greenwich Ballet Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution that nurtures talented dancers, ages 3-21, toward careers in classical ballet and contemporary dance with a unique emphasis on the Russian Vaganova method of instruction. GBA is the only school in the lower Fairfield and Westchester County area to offer this specialized style of training. The professional faculty also provide classes in modern and character dance, and contemporary ballet. GBA students have earned accolades at international ballet competitions and have joined professional ballet companies. For more information on performances and training, please visit the GBA website: www.greenwichballetacademy.org.
# # #