American Ballet Theater William J. Gillespie School instructor Cynthia Harvey teaching a master class.

Photos provided by Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Two great virtual opportunities offered by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts start this month; one is for those aspiring ballet dancers and the other is for those interested in musical theater.
I’ve always admired those who took Ballet, it was something that I wish I would have been introduced to. I mean, not only does it teach you how to dance but your posture is always perfect! Head held up high – shoulders back – straight spine – a beautiful, elongated neck – ah yes – the beauty of becoming a ballerina.
Now to think, because of this pandemic, the most amazing thing is happening! The stars of the American Ballet Theatre will be among the teachers conducting virtual master classes offered through the Center’s ABT School. How cool is that? Seriously, if you think about it – how often do you get this chance to have such an esteem group of folks as your instructors?

Here’s the stellar line up who will be leading the way: Cynthia Harvey, she’s a former ABT Principal Artist and now the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Director; there’s also Julie Kent, who is a former ABT Principal Artist and now the Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet. There is Devon Teuscher, Christine Schevchenko, Luciana Paris, and Katie Williams who are all ABT Principal and Soloist Ballerinas. Also participating are Ballet Masters Susan Jones and Carlos Lopez. All classes will be virtual by Zoom.
ABT Gillespie School Director Alaine Haubert said, “We are so thrilled that we are able to offer this experience to our ABT Gillespie students and dancers literally around the world. We are grateful for the generosity and enthusiasm of these renowned artists and ballet masters from American Ballet Theatre. If we have learned one lesson during this past year, it is that the performing arts are resilient, resourceful, and dancers will rise to any challenge.”
Classes will be offered in two categories: Intermediate to Advanced Dancers ages 12 and above (ladies must be on pointe for at least one year to register).
For more information and to register, visit https://scfta.org/Engage-and-Learn/ABT-William-J-Gillespie-Dance-School/Master-Class-Series.aspx

Kylie, a young vocalist on stage at the Segerstrom’s Center.

MUSICAL TRAINING: How many of us went to musical theater as a child? I know I did – and LOVED every minute of it.  Now there’s a new series of classes for aspiring young performers ages 9-18 starting this month and students of all experience levels are welcome!
The classes will be LIVE but virtual and because they are LIVE there is an immediate interaction between students and faculty.  Classes will focus on musical theater performance, acting, improv and dance.
Check these amazing folks who will be leading the class: Cheryl Baxter (First National Touring companies of Cats and 42nd Street, films Xanadu, Grease 2, television Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother and Netflix’s Lucifer), Chandra Lee Schwartz (National Touring company of Hairspray, Broadway and National Touring productions of Wicked and Broadway revival of Gypsy), Hector Guerrero (Broadway tours of West Side Story, Evita, and 42nd Street) and Ben McFadden (Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre).
Registration can be found at: https://www.scfta.org/Engage-and-Learn/Camps-and-Classes/Virtual-Musical-Theater-Classes/Overview.aspx
Ahhh to be a kid again and talk about having the best! You do not want to miss any of these as (in my humble opinion) getting these two different types of classes with the instructors that will be available – is – priceless – really!

Carlos Lopez – Ballet Master.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus and Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences, and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance as well as a diverse array. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and Studio D: Arts School for All (previously named School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities).
The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, featuring international ballet and dance companies, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, and free performances on its plaza, such as outdoor movie screenings, concerts, community, and cultural festivals. For more information on all their programs visit www.scfta.org.

Entertainment Segerstrom Center For The Arts Offers Virtual Programs for 2021