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The Ruth S. Shur Summer Intensive Program for young dancers will begin its third season on Monday, June 18, 2012. Once again Carolina Ballet and Saint Mary’s School are collaborating on this summer intensive which attracts young dancers to the Raleigh area from all around the country. “Our partnership with Saint Mary’s has been terrific,” says artistic director Robert Weiss. “We are so lucky to have their beautiful campus be home to the dancers for the five weeks they are here.”

Carolina Ballet will enroll 130 students for a five week period, June 18 to July 21, with approximately two-thirds of the students living on campus. Of those students there are 40 dancers returning from the previous summer. The program culminates Saturday, July 21 with two performances of work choreographed on the students, at 2:00 and 7:30pm, at the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

Last season, Carolina Ballet added a “young dancer” segment to the summer intensive which allows young local dance students, who are not yet dancing on pointe, an opportunity to work on their technique. These students are ages 9 to 11; and for the older ones in the group, emphasis is put on strengthening their legs to get them ready for the pointe classes they will start at their regular ballet schools in the fall.

The summer intensive offers an additional benefit to the professional dancers of Carolina Ballet, providing them with two extra weeks of work on their contract July 2-14. Classes and rehearsals for the students will be held at Saint Mary’s School and also at Carolina Ballet’s studios on Atlantic Avenue affording the students the opportunity to observe the professional dancers during open rehearsals as a new ballet is created on the company. Several of the professional dancers will perform during the performances with the students on July 21 as well.

The classes and rehearsals for the students are held Monday through Saturday and include up to six hours of instruction and rehearsal time each day. The dance instructors include such notable names in the dance world as Michael Vernon, chair of the Jacobs School Ballet Department at Indiana University (and a former teacher to Robert Weiss); Judith Fugate, former New York City Ballet principal dancer and stager of George Balanchine ballets; Marin Boieru and Debra Austin, ballet masters with Carolina Ballet; Melissa Podcasy, principal dancer and ballet master at Carolina Ballet; Artistic Director Robert Weiss; and several Carolina Ballet dancers, along with the program directors Tyler and Julie Walters. Further information about the Ruth S. Shur Summer Intensive Program may be found at

Tyler Walters and his wife Julie Janus Walters, are former principal dancers with the Joffrey Ballet, and are currently on the dance faculty at Duke University. Tyler has been seen in Carolina Ballet’s productions of Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty; and he has choreographed several ballets on the company, most recently I Mobile on “The Calder Project” in April 2012. Julie Janus Walters has also appeared in Carolina Ballet productions – Robert Weiss created the role of the Stepmother in Cinderella on Julie and she also danced the role of the Queen in Swan Lake among others. Each winter Tyler and Julie make a 12-city nationwide audition tour to attract students from across the country to the program. The more advanced students have the opportunity to take class with the Carolina Ballet dancers twice a week. From this group several dancers in the past have been selected to be trainees with the company for the following season.

Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina, is an independent, college-preparatory, girls boarding and day school dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement for grades 9-12. Founded in 1842 in the Episcopal tradition, Saint Mary’s School is the seventh-largest girls boarding and day school in the country. The historic, residential 23-acre campus is located within walking distance of the state capitol and within easy driving distance of world-renowned Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

After fourteen seasons, Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken its place among America’s premiere arts organizations. Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. The company represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.

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