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School of Ballet

Matthew

1. Why NYSSSA? (why audition, why did you decide to attend?)

During the academic year I attend the School of American Ballet and many of the boys in the higher levels suggested the program to me. I went to Manhattan Youth Ballet's summer intensive the year before where I studied with Daniel Ulbricht. He is such an incredible, inspiring and fun teacher! I knew that I would learn so much from having him teach me in the boys program at NYSSSA plus I would also have incredible teachers there like Jenifer Ringer, Amar Ramasar, Jonathan Stafford, Robert Fairchild, Andrew Veyette and many other ballet superstars. Learning directly from the best dancers in the world is the most fantastic experience! It was a rare opportunity that I will always remember.

2. How did you find out about NYSSSA?

I want to be a professional ballet dancer so I know how important it is to attend the very best summer intensives. I asked some of the best male dancers at my school for their advice and I was told how amazing NYSSSA was. Once I knew that Daniel Ulbricht and Jennifer Ringer would be teaching me I knew this was the only place I wanted to be!!!!! I loved it so much that I went back again the following summer!

3. Typical Day/Schedule at NYSSSA?

I typically awoke around 7 am and after meeting my friends for breakfast at the cafeteria we would take the bus to the studios where our day began with a ballet technique class. Then we would have men’s technique class (my favorite!) and then lunch back at the dorms. In the afternoons we would have classes in character, modern, jazz, hip hop, stretch or pas de deux class. Most evenings were spent watching ballets or we just hung out at the dorms, watched movies, had parties, did laundry…what ever we decided to do! It was always fun to hang out with friends.

4. Best Moment at NYSSSA?

Wow… That's tough because there were so many!! Getting my double tour was definitely a highlight for me!

5. Why would you encourage someone to audition for NYSSSA?

There are so many reasons to attend NYSSSA.

First of all, having the best dancers in the business personally teach you is the ultimate experience. Having these stars right in front of you to teach and demonstrate is not only helpful, it is really inspiring! Have you actually ever seen how high Daniel Ulbricht can jump while standing right next to him???

Second of all, not only do you get a chance to train and perform, but you have the opportunity to watch New York City Ballet perform!You see these amazing dancers by day teaching you and then you watch them at night applying everything they taught you! From watching them I had a better idea of my goals and what I need to do to achieve them.

Third….. Saratoga is awesome! The town is a summer hot spot and there's music, shopping, food and horse races! The dorms are clean and the studios were great.

Last, but not least, if you attend NYSSSA, you will have such a great time. Everyone is so nice, but also focused and talented! There's always something fun going on and events to attend. You really have the perfect summer experience while becoming the best dancer you can be. I will always cherish the memories I made at NYSSSA!