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Peter Martins in Blue Jeans
By Lynne Short, Principal, Ballet Austin Academy

It meant that I’d have to forgo the audition trip to Seattle – a highlight of the audition tour for me because of the many ex-colleagues and friends I love visiting there – but there was no way I was going to pass up the chance to go to New York. A paid trip to NY at the invitation of Peter Martins, the director of New York City Ballet! So there I was this past February, with 20 other principals and directors of renowned schools around the country, observing classes, seeing beautiful dancers and interacting with each other as well as with the teachers at the School of American Ballet (the school Balanchine started before his company was conceived).

I had ample opportunity to talk (brag) about Ballet Austin Academy, the Butler Community School and our fabulous facility which is bursting at the seams. The tales from other teachers of dropping enrollment, decreasing revenue, and lack of enthusiasm for the arts weren’t close to the exciting events I spoke about happening here.

Every part of the trip was eye opening and exciting. But the highlight had to be having lunch with Ballet Austin Academy alumni Michael Tucker, an apprentice with NYCB for 2 years, days before his 20th birthday. Michael was a scholarship student here for 10 years when, at 16, SAB invited him to be a year-round student. His accomplishments in the dance world will be thanks, in part, to the support and training he received with us. To say we’re proud of him is an understatement.

For more information on the Ballet Austin Academy, click here.

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