Several in PCYBC earn places in 'prestigious' dance programs

May 02, 2007

The Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Company announces that some Company and Company II members were accepted into "several prestigious summer dance intensives."

Jennifer Bell, a senior at North Hagerstown High School, Sonja Brigham, a sophomore at Smithsburg High School, and Krystyna Thomas a freshman at Smithsburg High School and all full Company members were accepted to Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, The Edinburgh Connection in Scotland, and Joffrey Ballet in New York City. All three will attend the Joffrey Intensive.

In addition, Jennifer was accepted to college level dance programs at Goucher College, Philadelphia University, and Towson University and Krystyna was accepted to the Joffrey Jazz Intensive 2007.

Alexis Cavey, full Company member and a junior at Hancock Middle-Senior High School, was accepted to and will attend Burklyn Ballet Theatre and The Edinburgh Connection in Scotland.


Katie Colbert, full Company and a sophomore at Greencastle-Antrim High School, was accepted to the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive in New York City.

Katie Miller, a member of Company II and an eighth grader at Smithsburg Middle School, was selected for Burklyn Ballet Theatre and as an alternate for The Edinburgh Connection in Scotland.

Kelsy Rupp, a full Company member and freshman at Williamsport High School, was accepted to and will attend Burklyn Ballet Theatre's summer program for two weeks. She was also selected as an alternate to the The Edinburgh Connection with Burklyn.

Emily Seiler, apprentice to Company II and a Northern Middle School seventh grader, was accepted to The Rock School's summer program.

These summer programs allow the dancers to further develop their ballet technique and performance skills by devoting hours each day to technique and pointe classes, as well as other in jazz, modern, and learning repertoire, The Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Company said in a press release.

Some programs culminate in a performance at the end of full session. One program stages a new performance each week so regardless of the number of weeks a dancer attends, everyone has the opportunity to perform.

And The Edinburgh Connection, which is associated with Burklyn Ballet Theatre takes a group of 25 to 30 dancers to perform an original ballet at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Most programs take dancers no younger than 12 with the oldest ranging from 18 to mid 20s, depending on the program.

"Each program has things that make them unique but attendance at all of them is determined by a process of an audition tour that crosses the United States," PCYBC said.

"Staff and faculty from each intensive visit a variety of U.S. cities and hold an audition class in each. Audition tours may cover anywhere from a dozen to over two dozen cities with hundreds or even thousands of dancers auditioning for the limited number of spaces available," PCYBC said.

Artistic Director Lauran Clowser said that whether or not the dancers are able to attend the summer program, the audition process itself is very valuable.

She said it gives the dancers the opportunity to experience the audition process, meet dancers from other areas of the country, and to take a class with some of the very best instructors in the country.

Upcoming show

PCYBC will stage its Tenth Anniversary Celebration Performance on Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the theater box office.

The program will include a new work set on the Company by Clowser as well as some favorites from the Company repertoire. Also performing will be former recipients of the Lauran Clowser Scholarship.

A special tribute to the founding of the Company is also planned.

The Company is inviting all former members, staff and choreographers to be part of the celebration. Contact the board at

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