For a young ballet dancer, going away to a summer intensive program is crucial to the success of their career. It is for that reason that freshman student Lexi Erbantrout is spending her third summer traveling to an intense five-week training session at a new company.
Lexi has been dancing ballet for ten years. While many dancers start by competing or fun classes, Lexi has always been involved with ballet at Ada Dance Academy.
“I love how amazing the teachers are,” Lexi said. “I have learned a lot, and [each teacher] puts in so much time to make sure that we look our best.”
Her passion for ballet has driven her to spend the past two summers training at prestigious ballet companies across the country. Her first summer away was spent in New York City at the School of American Ballet. This past summer, she went to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
“I have decided to go to these intensives for one main reason,” Lexi said. “I feel like I can really do my best and improve a lot [by spending most of my summer dancing].”
The audition season for these intensives usually takes place in the winter. Being accepted into a program is considered to be a high honor and great accomplishment. This winter, Lexi auditioned for six different companies.
According to Lexi, the places she has auditioned for this season range from Seattle to New York. Her six choices include Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ballet West in Utah, School of American Ballet in New York, and the Sarasota Cubic Ballet.
“Being able to move away into a different environment and being able to study the thing I love most is really awesome,” Lexi said. “I like only having to think about how I can make myself better and perform the best as I can while doing leading roles.”
Her top two choices this year are both Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet West. Being accepted into either company is a big accomplishment.
By going to these intense programs, Lexi’s main focus is to become a professional ballet dancer.
“My dream company is the New York City Ballet,” Lexi said. “All of the principal dancers [in the company] are people who I look up to.”
As her dedication and drive to succeed only increases, Lexi is looking to do everything she can to maximize her time dancing.
“It’s hard for me to be able to keep school in the picture and put a lot of time into it,” Lexi said, “especially when I know that I need to have most of my focus on ballet.”
Right now, she spends up to 30-35 hours a week at the ballet studio. According to Lexi, she is at dance six to seven days a week. In the future, she wants to move away for the year and study ballet at a renowned company.
“I want to move away very soon so that I can focus mostly on ballet,” Lexi said. “I have always done ballet, and I want to keep doing it for as long as I can.”