Our 2017 Summer Program Session One is coming to an end this week, culminating in a spectacular performance at McKenna Theater showcasing 8 brand-new works created just for these dancers. To honor and dive-deeper into their experiences this summer, we’ve asked a handful of students to share their reflections on the program. Read on for more…


Justin Renaud

DSC00423Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program because I participated in the Discovery Project during winter break and I loved the class.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part of my time at LINES so far is the choreography classes with my choreographer Lee Wei, as well as the improvisation and modern classes.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One lesson that I have learned and will hold onto was from Alonzo. He said “nothing is interesting unless you are interested. To make your dance interesting you have to be interested in it yourself”.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
Rehearsals with my choreographer has been challenging and hard, but they have been extremely helpful and have certainly made me a better dancer.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Non-judgmental, challenging, passionate


Shelby Russ

shelbyWhy did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I have participated in the Alonzo King LINES Discovery Project for two years now and was amazed by how much I grew as a dancer, an artist, and a person in just a weekend. So I was beyond excited to get to work with LINES for 4 weeks.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
I think GYROTONIC® is my favorite part so far because I’m getting to learn so much about my body, how to take care of it, and how to just overall properly use it. We also get one-on-one help with certain injuries and such, which I love because it not only shows how much the staff cares but also gives you a better understanding of your own body.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
To stay curious and present through your repetitive routines in a dance class or in your daily life.

Curiosity leads to artistry and growth.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
The process as a whole is all so new to me and different which was scary and intimidating at first. But as I continue to work with my choreographer, I have learned to adapt to his ways and have learned to pick up choreography faster and to pick up every detail. It has been a challenge but one that has helped me grow in so many ways. This will stay with me for the rest of my life.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Unraveling artistic beings


Evelyn Robinson

Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
By coming to LBSP I hoped to better my artistic side and improve my movement quality.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
It is hard to compare to the brilliant Alonzo King himself, but having so many incredibly wise teachers betters my experience even more. However, having both a workshop and a ballet class with Alonzo King has been such a privilege and my absolute favorite part so far.

In those 6 hours with him, I have learned more than I could learn in a year.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
I love that LBSP uses metaphors and similes to convey movement. Many beautiful quotes that I will remember for a lifetime are in fact that of the many teachers I have already had at LBSP. Most importantly, I have learned that dance is not about the steps but it’s about getting lost in the movement.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
wisdom, challenging, and adventurous.


Parker Espada

Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program after participating in the 2017 Tampa, Florida, LINES Discovery Project. In just a course of a few days, I felt like I had achieved and grown incredibly as a dancer and as an intellectual. Upon the completion of my audition for the Summer Program, I knew I wanted to continue my training with LINES Ballet and all of their amazing teachers and staff.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
Now that I am here at the LINES Ballet Summer Program I feel a new, bolder passion for dance. The past few weeks have been quite intense and have helped me develop my art form beyond what I thought imaginable in such little time. I enjoy the sense of community that comes with being a student in the LINES program, as well as all the friends I’ve made along the way.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part of the Summer Program thus far would be taking a class with Alonzo King. Those three hours spent in the studio with him are some I will never forget. His passion and dedication to dance and teaching were nothing but contagious to everyone standing in that studio. Alonzo taught me that there is always more to be accomplished and that finding curiosity in everything you do can only help you to reach your goals as an artist. In addition, he helped me regain the idea that dance is fun that can sometimes be lost in the concentration of perfect technique. Having taken a class with him I feel that I now look at dance with a refreshed view, as I once did when I first fell in love with the art.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?

One lesson I will always hold on to even after my time at LINES is over is to look at dance as a source of expression of one’s self. Don’t get stuck in what society thinks dance is or what it should look like.

This idea has opened my eyes and allowed me to discover new things about myself as a dancer and person.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
Participating in the LINES Ballet Summer Program has also given me the chance to work on a piece of choreography with our choreographer Anne-Rene. The rehearsals for her piece are like no other I have been in before. She really gives us, as the performers, a chance to express our own selves through her choreography. She gives us the liberty to manipulate her phrases of movement and make them our own. Time spent in the studio with Anne-Rene and my fellow dancers are fun and challenging in such a professional setting that I have never experienced before.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
If I were to describe LINES Ballet’s Summer Program in three words it would be, refreshing, challenging and inspirational. I am so appreciative of this amazing experience.

Additional comment from Parker’s mom, Nicole Odell

My daughter, Parker Espada, was so excited to be asked to participate in sharing her experience. She is truly loving every minute of the program despite being almost 3000 miles from her home in Florida.  She wrote the attached letter about her experience.  When I read this, it actually made me tear up.  It was so difficult to send her across the country without me. It also took a lot of sacrifices and hard work to pull it off logistically.  This letter made it all worth it to me as a mom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the entire staff who have made this opportunity available to her! Thank you for the growth! Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive experience!


Sydney Guine


Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to attend LINES because I wanted a mix of contemporary and classical ballet, and LINES offers both. I love the philosophy and style of Mr. King, and I wanted to experience that myself.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part so far is that the program pushes me past my boundaries and it’s helping me discover things that I didn’t know I could do.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One lesson I’ll hold onto after I leave is that ‘everything is interesting, if you are interested’ (quote from Mr. King, in class last week)

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
Rehearsals have included a lot of ‘self-choreography’ and ‘self-exploration’. I’ve enjoyed having input into our piece.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Confidence-building, intense, and mind-altering!


Angelina Ramirez

Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program because girls in the company I dance with have gone to the program in the past and have said amazing things about it. When I searched LINES when it was time to audition I saw the video and fell in love with the program even though I have never been before. Also LINES lets us search and investigate who we really are as dancers.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
One of my favorite things about this program is the dorm life since we meet all these amazing talented people who come from different places. The way we can build relationships with the people and become really good friends during these 4 weeks is amazing. Also the trust that we have between our chaperones is wonderful. I am so grateful that we have the chaperones with us and I would like to thank my chaperone Meagan for being there for me and for being somebody to talk to during this program.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One valuable lesson I have learned and will take home with me is to go past my limit and to always be dancing on the side because that is the way we will improve in our dancing. And also not to be scared.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
It has been a amazing, crazy, sometimes stressful, mind-boggling experience with my choreographer. Rehearsals are a great experience especially with Dexandro since he treats us like professionals even though we are not. The way we learn all these sections and are able to put them into one whole piece is mind-blowing.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Inspiration, Motivational, Compassionate


Denayia Miniex

deniaWhy did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I knew that choosing LINES for my summer dance training experience was the right choice when I took the ballet class for the audition. Never in a ballet class did I become so curious about my own artistic possibilities. When the audition was over I felt like I needed to learn more about myself as an artist, and I was confident that the LINES Summer Program would help me achieve that.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part about the Summer Program so far are the encouraging, inspiring, and sincere teachers that teach the classes.

In the classroom, the teachers constantly feed us students a wide range of thought provoking concepts and movements. Not learning is nearly impossible!

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
A lesson that I am sure will stick with me is to getting out of the mirror and focusing on what really matters – the purpose of the movement. I’ve learned here that as dancers, even as humans, sticking with a routine and not including any meaningful intent will make your growth stagnant.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
My rehearsals with my choreographer have been increasingly enjoyable experiences. Since being in this piece and working so quickly, I have noticed myself picking up choreography faster and in greater detail. The energy in the room is filled with such hard-working, uplifting dancers. This energy generates a positive light of freedom into the piece being danced.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Rare. Inimitable. Push.


Zaida Johnson

Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I choose to attend LINES Ballet Summer Program this summer because I knew I could grow the most here than anywhere else. Knowing LINES could offer me a new approach to classical and contemporary technique, it could allow me to take risks and critically think, which for a learning dancer is very beneficial to growth. I knew I needed a program where I could simply explore everything my body has to offer and to see my potential for myself. I wanted to be able to express myself through movement with passion and creativity.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part about my time here so far is that I have a wide range of opportunities. New experiences with new teachers nearly everyday leads to hands-on and one-on-one attention and a focus on work ethic. Also, the variety in classes allows for so much more exposure for future learning and career opportunities.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One lesson I’ve learned from this program that will stay with me after leaving is that expression and feeling can take you anywhere in dance. I am learning to dance even more because I am tuning in more and more with my body and the music that guides it.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
In rehearsal, the choreographers have been caring. They value your input and show interest in your personal thoughts. The teachers constantly encourage and push you to awaken your inner-artist, which has already made me grow so much already. They push my limits and allow me to explore where I didn’t think I could go before. Instead of a rehearsal feeling like a rehearsal, it feel like a workshop, which allows me to explore my full abilities.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Exploration, life-changing, and self-discovering.


Kennedy Howard

Why did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to return to the LINES Ballet Summer Program because you can never get enough of this place.

LINES is known for providing young, aspiring dancers a safe space to experiment and explore their movement. This unique training environment cultivates true artistry, where your individuality is valued rather than suppressed.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part about LINES so far has been the diversity of the training. The program offers many different classes, each furthering your dance education in a different way. Versatility is a huge asset as an artist, and everything from GYROTONIC® to CPD (critical perspectives in dance) allows me to broaden my knowledge of dance through many different genres.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One incredibly important thing that I’ve learned at LINES is that the most sincere artistic expression comes from a place of vulnerability. It sounds counterintuitive, but dancers must learn to be confident and vulnerable at the same time. We must command the space around us as we gently pour our souls into our movement. Finding this balance has been difficult for me, but a truly invigorating process.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
Working with Greg Dawson is a unique experience that can only be described as intense. He keeps you on your toes, and there is never a dull moment. Most of the work goes on outside the studios to better prepare yourself for the next day. As exhausting as this can be at times, it has pushed me to always expect more from myself. As Greg has taught me, there is always more of yourself to give as an artist. I have found that I learn best when I’m “thrown in the deep-end” and worked to my absolute extreme. I am truly grateful of my time working with Greg, as he has driven my growth both inside and out. It has been wonderful getting to witness such a brilliant artist’s process in action. I greatly respect Greg and his method, and consider myself lucky to have been a part of it.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Incredibly enlightening experience.


Eli Shi

eliWhy did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to come to LINES to develop my artistry and learn contemporary partnering improvisation.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part about the program is its approach to ballet. Every ballet class is different and each teacher gives a new and different approach while all emphasizing stretching your lines and individuality.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
One thing I’ve learned and will hold onto is to make every class and every step new and interesting. To always keep exploring movement and find different ways to go through life.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
My choreographer is amazing. She is always changing things and creating small interesting details that are very difficult to do but also make the piece very unique. Not to mention she’s quite insane and also the nicest person.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
LBSP is my favorite place. I want to  spend my whole life here in this one summer.


Reina Gray

reinaWhy did you choose to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program?
I chose to come to LINES because when I was at the Discovery Project I was really inspired by the teaching format and wanted to dive deeper into what I could learn from it.

What is your favorite part about your time here so far?
My favorite part is getting to explore my creativity and push past my regular self.

What is one lesson you’ve learned that you will hold onto after you leave?
I will hold onto the lesson that your movement will never be perfect, that there will always be more to explore and find.

What have your rehearsals with your choreographers been like?
My rehearsals have been very collaborative and exploratory. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to experiment and share my ideas.

How would you describe LBSP in 3 words?
Exploratory, challenging, and eye-opening.


LBSP 2017 Session One, photo by Andy Mogg (1)

Join us for
LINES Ballet Summer Program: Session One Showcase

Friday, July 7, 2017
8pm
McKenna Theater at San Francisco State University
PURCHASE TICKETS

Or watch the performance live-streamed online here!

Written by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is comprised of an internationally renowned contemporary ballet company, three education programs that serve pre-professional dancers, and a dance center that provides adult drop-in classes for all levels. The LINES Ballet mission is to nurture dynamic artistry and the development of authentic creative expression in dance, through collaboration, performance, and education.

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