Santa Monica, California
Phone: (310) 828-2018
Caprice Walker, Westside Ballet’s Co-Associate Artistic Director, received Westside’s Bravo! Award at the Raise the Barre Soiree on September 22. ‘Miss Caprice,’ as she is affectionately known to generations of Westside Ballet students, was honored for her longevity and commitment, dedication and vast contributions to the School and the Company for over 4 decades.
The Soiree, an elegant affair held at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club, was an enormously successful event to benefit Westside Ballet’s Project RELEVÉ which provides support for performances, a scholarship fund, and community outreach programs. Patrons from all over the City of Santa Monica came to celebrate and support Westside Ballet of Santa Monica as the jewel in the crown of the arts community both in Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles.
Westside Ballet’s in-house photographer and loyal Westside supporter Todd Lechtick has received the Etz Chaim-Tree of Life Award of Compassionate Care from the Venice Family Clinic. Todd has been our liaison with the Clinic, which participates in our Outreach Program by introducing ballet to children with complimentary tickets to The Nutcracker performances.
Westside Ballet dancer Shelby Tzung has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Spotlight Award Grand Prize in Classical Ballet. She appeared in the 2016 Showcase as Odette, and performed another of her Spotlight Award-winning solos from Frederic Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée (The Wayward Daughter). Watch Shelby’s Spotlight performance in Disney Hall.
From Pacific Palisades, Ms. Tzung is a freshman at Palisades Charter High School and has trained exclusively at Westside School of Ballet, spending her summers as a scholarship student at both the School of American Ballet and, this year, the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In the 2015 Showcase, Ms. Tzung brought audiences to their feet with her vivacious performance of George Balanchine’s dynamic Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.
Our thanks to recent Guest Teachers in 2015-16, whose work with our dancers added immeasurably to their Westside experience:
We ‘ve recently launched MindBody – new software that allows our patrons to buy coupons and check in to classes remotely.
To start an online account, click here. After your account is established, you can buy singles, class series or check in to classes using your computer, your iPhone, iPad or Android with the MindBody Connect App.
You can still purchase classes and check into classes at the front desk if you prefer. Keytags coming soon! No more paper coupons: please turn in your paper coupons for MindBody credits if you haven’t already.
We now have Free Apps for the iPhone and Android! Go to the App store or Google Play and search for “Westside Ballet”. You can scroll down for links to sections of the website, but the class schedules are on the bottom menu bar under “Classes.” We’d welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WSB students and parents were recently included in a KPCC Public Radio story on Ballet Summer Intensives and how the ballet industry is changing. The story aired live on Tuesday, March 11th, but fortunately there is a link for everyone to both read the article, see a slideshow and listen to the story by KPCC Arts Education Reporter Mary Plummer. If you have trouble with the link, go to ww.kpcc.org, click on news: education: pass/fail blog. Then scroll down to the story “For aspiring ballerinas, summer intensives can provide a leg up.” Westside Ballet thanks Reporter Mary Plummer and Visual Reporter Maya Sugarman.
As our 44th season of Nutcracker closes, WSB’s own Lucia Connolly is featured here in Joffrey Ballet’s new production set to open! Click on photo for video.
Westside Ballet student Giorgia Martelloni-Zabriskie, who just turned 18, has signed a professional contract with Dance Theater of Harlem! She begins her professional career October 2nd.
Lucia Connolly began her professional career as a ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet last summer, and is now appearing in their newly choreographed Nutcracker! This video introduces Lucia and the other new additions to the company.
Lucia is an alumna of Westside School of Ballet where she trained from ages four to sixteen, spending her last two years as a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet in New York.
At Westside she performed the roles of Clara to the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Kitri in Don Quixote, as well as numerous contemporary ballets by resident choreographers Melissa Barak and Sophie Monat. Before being invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in 2016, Lucia danced professionally with the Barak Ballet and guest starred as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Westside Ballet’s 2014 & 2015 Nutcracker.
Read this revealing piece in LA Observed on two alumni: “A Nutcracker homecoming for ballerinas Joy Womack and Lyrica Blankfein.” While both dancers trained at Westside, their careers have led them to very different places.
Alumna Tiler Peck starred in the musical “Little Dancer” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Hopes are high the show will soon be headed to Broadway!
Tiler brings to life Edgar Degas’ iconic sculpture, “Little Dancer Age Fourteen,” based on the young ballerina Marie van Goethem, as described here in The New York Times.
WSB’s very accomplished alumna Elisabeth Moss, known for her character “Peggy” on the popular and long running AMC series “Madmen”, was featured in an exclusive ABC news interview with Diane Sawyer. Elisabeth spoke about her background at Westside Ballet.
Are you a WSB Alumni? Send your news to email@example.com so we can share!
We want to be able to contact our alumni for performances, special events and reunions. If you have information on alumni, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with current contact information such as name, address, phone number and especially email address. (Even a name is a good starting point!) Thanks!
Arkady Nikolaev, Director of Moscow Ballet and teacher of the Stanislovski Method, will teach a Master Class for Nader’s Advanced Class on Friday, January 20th, 11:30am-1:00pm.
Adult Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Mark Anthony Lopez on Friday, January 20th, 8:00pm-9:30pm. For one night only, this replaces the usual 7:00-8:30pm class. To show our appreciation to Mark’s students, we are offering this class free of charge!
A full listing of important dates in the 2016-2017 school year is available in the right-hand sidebar of the Children’s Fall Spring Schedule.
Spring Showcase Auditions
Saturday, February 4th, 2-5pm
All full-time dancers in Levels 3-7 are eligible. You can participate in Spring Showcase even if you did not perform in Nutcracker.
Rehearsals begin on Saturday, February 11th. Please keep Saturdays open from 1:30-7pm. Rehearsals can vary, and will lengthen as we get closer to Performance Week, May 22-27. Please leave Performance Week completely open for dress and tech rehearsals. We do not take a week off for “Spring Break” so please plan to attend classes and rehearsals even if school is out.
Sunday, May 28th
1pm & 5pm
The Broad Stage, Santa Monica
Center Basics Workshop will break down each ballet step one at a time. Learn: standing in center, the basic transition steps, simple jumps and more, all with a barre warmup. On Monday mornings, 11:30am-1:00pm, with Rebecca.
Adult Ballet Basics is a 4-week workshop taught by Rebecca Witjas and Kasha Kropinski, starting with the correct way to do every exercise at the Barre. Learn more and see full schedule of classes here.
Wednesdays 8-9pm with Liz Wasynczuk. Students should have at least 6 months of recent ballet training, feel confident with the basic ballet positions, and have no foot or leg injuries. Pointe shoes may be purchased at the Ballet Shop next to Westside School of Ballet.
Be sure to read Allegra’s bulletin about our full-year contract at Westside and the distinction between full-time and part-time attendance.
Note: We have discontinued the single class option except for new students to Westside for their first class.
Our ongoing series of Dance Talks! featured WSB Alumna Charlotte Perebinossoff on her stellar post-WSB career, delivered to an enthusiastic audience on September 1st, 2016. Charlotte spoke about her experience as a college dance major, as well as her globe-spanning post-college adventures in the world of dance and the many exciting opportunities for dancers other than a performing career. Specifically, Charlotte spoke in depth about applying to college as a dance major and made her research available (download her handout here, pdf).
College dance programs are gaining in sophistication, and the panel discussion on August 29, 2015 was designed to deliver the inside information our dancers need for a competitive edge. Six highly esteemed dance educators participated in this important discussion on the advantages, options and opportunities offered to college bound dancers.
Jenna Elfman recently launched our “Dance Talks” series. It was a great success and we thank Jenna for participating. Update: Right after her talk, Jenna gave this interview on Rich Girl TV, which you can also watch on YouTube. She gives some great advice and discusses her experience at Westside Ballet.
Read coverage of the event by The Santa Monica Argonaut