CAROLINA BALLET TO EXPAND BOYS’ BALLET CLASS
The Robert Weiss Boys’ Scholarship Program to Continue at The Raleigh School of Ballet
RALEIGH, NC — Carolina Ballet is very pleased to announce the continuation of The Robert Weiss Boys’ Scholarship Program, offering 2 levels of ballet classes for the young dancers starting in fall 2016. Eleven boys between the ages of 7 and 11 participated in the inaugural 2015-16 season. Continued generous support and the development and enthusiasm of the students have allowed Carolina Ballet to create a more advanced level separate from the younger boys who are just starting out. “I am delighted that the initial program was such a success,” says artistic director Robert Weiss. “There was a great turnout of young boys for our Nutcracker auditions and the enthusiasm for the program has grown immensely.”
The audition to be accepted into the program will be held on Sunday, May 22, 2:00 pm at The Raleigh School of Ballet (RSB), 3921 Beryl Road in Raleigh. Registration will begin at 1:30pm. The program offers a full tuition scholarship for one season, September to May. Students will have the option to withdraw after December 31, 2016. The classes will meet on Mondays evenings starting in September. The Level 1 class is scheduled for 6:45-7:30pm and Level 2 is 7:30-8:30pm. The boys selected for the program are required to audition for Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker, and if selected participate in the 2016 production.
This scholarship program is taught by Carolina Ballet soloist Yevgeny Shlapko. Mr. Shlapko came to Carolina Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet from the School of American Ballet in New York City in the fall of 2007. He was promoted to soloist in 2011 and has danced many principal roles in Carolina Ballet productions as well. “Mr. Schlapko is a boy’s inspiration,” says student Noah Braun. “He is an excellent dance teacher and a role model for boy dancers. I feel I am a better dancer because of him.” One of the younger boys in the program, Will Grider, says “This class has taught me to be respectful of my teachers and that ballet and dance can be fun.”
The classes are held at The RSB studio on Beryl Road. The school manages the day to day logistics including registration, parent communication and, jointly with Carolina Ballet, the curriculum. Former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist and current RSB director, Mary LeGere says, “It has been part of our mission to introduce boys to ballet. We are very pleased to partner with Carolina Ballet and expand the program.”
The Raleigh School of Ballet was founded in 1984 to provide professional training in classical ballet. Carolina Ballet has five RSB trained dancers within its roster: Lindsay Purrington, Ashley Hathaway, Sarah Newton, Kathleen Black and Jenny Palmer. RSB Students including several boys are or have been members of major ballet companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet.
Carolina Ballet is the Triangle area’s professional ballet company, founded in 1998 under the leadership of artistic director Robert Weiss. Weiss is a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and former artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet.