While we love to have our Academy students stay at Ballet Austin for the summer intensive, we encourage the more advanced ones to audition for and try other programs. Our students have gone to such far flung and respected schools as Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Lines Ballet in San Francisco, Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, among others.
One of the hardest schools to get into, because it attracts the highest level of talent from around the world, is The School of American Ballet which is affiliated with New York City Ballet. Several of our students have been selected to participate in their summer program; three of those have been boys and all three were asked to stay for year round training. Joseph Hernandez, a new company member who was in the Academy for 2 years, was one of those boys. The most recent is Andy Garcia.
Andy has been training with Ballet Austin since he was 7; he’s now15, a sophomore in high school and a new Level 8 in the Academy. His summer at SAB was more fabulous than he ever dreamed! Having inspiring teachers who were stars of NYCB and who had worked with Balanchine strengthened his ambition to pursue dance as a career. And while he was asked and was very tempted to stay in New York, he realized he truly wanted to “graduate” from Ballet Austin and spend another year with his friends and family before taking such a big step. If you look into the studio any afternoon, you will see Andy working with the focus and energy needed to fulfill his promise to himself.