Yu Xin's Fascinating 
                  Ballet Journey                 
 
Yu Xin
 
Acclaimed dancer and teacher, Yu Xin's path through life has been shaped by ballet and led to a profound teaching philosophy. He was recruited to the Beijing Dance Academy as a child, and his training launched him on a course of excellence, challenge, and beauty. He shared his story with  The World Dances with rare honesty and reflection. Through the ups and downs of a remarkable career, he has ended up sharing his love of ballet with a young generation of students who are discovering beauty in themselves and the world through Yu Xin's inspiring teaching.
 
Yu Xin recalls the day representatives from the Beijing Academy came to his school in Shanghai. He was 11 years old. "They came into my classroom, as they went into many classrooms all over the city. Now I know they were looking for certain pleasing characteristics- -an open face, certain proportions. At the time, I did not know what was happening. I was called to the principal's office and asked to show them my legs. It was scary!"
 
Yu Xin was deemed pleasing and invited to audition. He was one of six children accepted out of over 1,000 students at the audition. "It was a great honor and I felt glory as I left for Beijing. The government provided us with everything and I wanted to be worthy of the opportunities I was being given," he remembers.


By Tamara Johnson

 
A Young Ballerina's Path: 
Alexandra Wilson
     
Alexandra Wilson
 
Ballerina Alexandra Wilson has, at the young age of 19, an adventurous and inspiring fledgling dance career. She grew up in Colorado, the daughter of a ballet teacher, traveled to New York to study at the prestigious Ellison Ballet, then trained at the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. From there, she was recruited to the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, South Korea. She just returned to the United States and joined Colorado Ballet's studio company. The World Dances spoke with Alexandra about the challenges and rewards of starting out in professional ballet, what it was like to dance to South Korea, advice for aspiring dancers, and more.
 
What was it like moving to Seoul and joining a company when you were 17?
 
It was crazy! My parents and I knew that, because jobs are so hard to come by, it was too important an opportunity to pass up. It was tough, though. You learn everything in school all one way. When I started with the company, they needed me to forget all that and stop moving like a student. It was quite the learning experience.
 
Tell us about dancing in the Universal Ballet Company.
 
I loved it. Their rep is so rich with all the full-length classical ballets.  We did Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet, Giselle , and Don Quixote. My first performance with the company was Swan Lake. You can't beat that!
 
My favorite role was Aurora's friend in The Sleeping Beauty. That was my first highlighted role. But my favorite ballet was Romeo and Juliet. Alessandra Ferri came and danced Juliet with us. It was unbelievable. You never see stars like that so up close. Her level of artistry and passion for ballet were so inspiring. It made me want to be that much more of an artist. She taught a few of our classes. She was so focused, even in class, on expressing her passion through dance. Most people don't seem to bring that level of artistry to class, but that is where everything starts for dancers.
 
How is dancing at Colorado Ballet's studio company?
 
I've only been here for about three weeks but I love it! It's a totally different environment. It helps to speak English. Diversifying my rep is great. I got to rehearse Balanchine's Serenade, which was a completely different and exciting experience. It's a good challenge. It's teaching my body to work in a different way, to be faster, to have different ports de bras. I've never had to move that fast. I've always been slower, more adagio, and I'm enjoying the challenge and feel like I'm growing as an artist. It's also a challenge being new. I'm trying to put myself out there and show the company that I'm ready and want to dance with them without being in anyone's way.
 
 
By Tamara Johnson
 
 

10 Things to Know Before Applying 
to College Dance Programs  
     
USC Kaufman sophomores Juan, Megan, Lenai and Paulo between classes at USC Kaufman 
Photo by Mary Mallaney
 
Thank you  USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and Whitney Hester (BFA Class of 2020) for this terrific advice for everyone applying to- -or about to begin -- a college dance program.

August is here, which means the start of a new school year. New students going into college or getting ready to apply for colleges: you may think that you are completely prepared for life in a BFA program. Coming from a performing arts high school, I assumed I was completely prepared!  However, here are ten things I wish I had known before applying to college dance programs.

1. How much grades matter in a dance program.
Contrary to what most students might think, grades are incredibly significant, especially in a dance program. At USC Kaufman, your grades determine whether you can participate in performances. If you don't attend regular classes or rehearsals, your grades will be affected, which in turn reflects poorly in casting and shows.

2. Time management is vital!
When classes begin at 8 a.m. and rehearsals end at 9 p.m., there is not much time to finish homework, go to the gym, or participate in other extra-curricular activities. I know that I have a huge tendency to procrastinate, so as soon as I get an assignment, I try to finish it early. I can rely on being fatigued and tempted to put it off after our very long and exhausting days.

3. Healthy eating habits.
As dancers,  we all know the importance of good eating habits: not only to look good but to keep our bodies healthy and strong for vigorous rehearsal days. On college campuses, there are so many opportunities for food: dining halls, coffee shops, and surrounding fast food. I struggled with this at first.  It can be hard to choose healthier options when you can go for the comfort foods of home!  My advice? Come prepared with a diet plan and stick to it.


By Whitney Hester

 
August 8, 2017
 
 
 
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Congratulations to the July 2017 Harlequin Floors Scholarship Winners

Harlequin Floors has been supporting dancers for decades. Harlequin provides high quality, advanced technology sprung and marley flooring preferred by major dance companies, schools, and venues worldwide to protect dancers and enhance their peak performance.  Additionally, Harlequin Floors really understands and cares about dancers.  Harlequin is proud to support dancers and your dreams by awarding $1000 in scholarships every month.  Watch the four July 2017 scholarship-winning videos below, and enter your video today on TheWorldDances.com for the opportunity to win one of four $250 scholarships in August.  You'll also find more than 2,700 dance videos on TheWorldDances.com to inspire, teach, and entertain you.

 

 
 
 
 
 


July 2017 Judges' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Orlando Harbutt
 


July 2017 Judges' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Rachel Quiner
 
 

July 2017 Viewers' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Ashley Engstrom
 
 

July 2017 Viewers' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Jalen Wilhite
 
 
 
Jobs in the Arts
 
Available job openings in the dance world continue to mount.  New listings this month include the Development Director at American Repertory Ballet in NJ, the President & CEO at DataArts in Philadelphia, the Education Assistant at Hubbard Street in Chicago, School Manager at Richmond Ballet,  Stage Manager at San Francisco Ballet, Company Manager at Caroloyn Dorfman Dance in NJ, Artistic Director at Factory Street Studio in OH, Lighting Supervisor at The Joffrey Ballet,  Grants Writer at Miami City Ballet, and more! Reif Dance, City Dance, Nashville Ballet and other organizations are looking for dance instructors.  Check out these and dozens of other job listings in the arts on TheWorldDances.com.

 
 
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TheWorldDances E-Newsletter Team

 

Publisher:  Karla Johnson

Editor:        Tamara Johnson

Producer:   Ester Rodriguez