Local Dancers Land Coveted Spots in NYC Summer Programs
Two local dancers were recently chosen, out of thousands of auditioning applicants, into prestigious summer intensives in Manhattan from their pre-professional tracks at the New York Performing Arts Center in Washingtonville.
Brianne Connington, a sophomore at Washingtonville High School, sat down to talk about her experience in the Joffrey Ballet program in the city. “I started dancing when I was five years old,” she said. I’ve learned about dance, commitment, and determination, and with my instructors’ help was able to take my knowledge to the next level by attaining this position at the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive.” The two week program culminated in a performance at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in Manhattan.
Connington continued, “The focus of my studies at Joffrey included jazz and contemporary dance and I found the experience extremely influential. I learned so much from the talented teachers at Joffrey. Many of them have had great success in their craft including dancing alongside Beyoncé. I am so lucky and grateful to have been a part of the Joffrey Intensive. Connington said that dance has helped shape her as a person. “Over the last ten years I not only have excelled as a dancer but have learned about friendship, community, and the power of kindness. I have taken every style of dance at the studio, and my absolute favorite would have to be acro. This past April I scored First Place for my solo acro performance at the Dance Explosion competition in Sussex, NJ. The versatility I learned helped me during the Joffrey experience. The daily schedule for the two week program included dancing all day, every day, changing genres every 90 minutes. I studied ballet, contemporary, and jazz every day and an additional hour and a half of another genre that was switched up day to day, including hip hop, improv, street jazz, theatre, fusion, or Horton. I participated in the performance at the conclusion of the program, so to prepare for that I attended an additional three-hour daily rehearsal to learn the choreography.”
“I am so thankful for my experience at Joffrey and to my dance family at NYPAC for being a tremendous influence in getting me there. In addition to the vast amount of dance technique and skill I acquired this summer, I also learned that even if I am doing something well, it could always be better, and that is a message that will stick with me.”
The second dancer who studied in Manhattan this summer was Angelina Scarazinni, a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School, who auditioned for and was chosen to dance at the world famous Radio City Music Hall in the Rockette summer intensive. “This intensive was definitely challenging but it helped me grow as a dancer tremendously,” she said. “The Rockette style takes precision and dedication to master. I danced for seven hours a day and learned a jazz routine to Fireball which the Rockettes performed on America’s Got Talent with Pitbull. I also learned a tap routine to 42nd Street and how to do the world famous eye high kicks. This experience was so beneficial to my dancing career because my Rockette instructors treated all of the students like they were actual Rockettes, so this will prepare me for when I audition for the Rockettes this May. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity because only a handful of dancers are chosen each year. I sent in a video audition which consisted of a sixteen count jazz and tap combination and eight eye high kicks. For me to get chosen just shows that dreams really do come true. I take every style of dance, but especially love tap and contemporary. Both of my solos this year placed first overall for all senior solos at Dance Xplosion and The United States Tournament of Dance. I am so excited to see what the future holds.”
CAPTION 1: Brianne Connington danced at the Joffrey. (Photos provided)
CAPTION 2: Angelina Scarazinni danced with the Rockettes.