THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

En Pointe All Year Long

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En Pointe All Year Long

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers preforming in their spring recital

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers preforming in their spring recital

Francesca Seeman

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers preforming in their spring recital

Francesca Seeman

Francesca Seeman

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers preforming in their spring recital

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Pointed feet fly around the air as the ballet dancers pirouette and soar through the room focusing on every minuscule detail of their execution. For these students, ballet is a year round sport that takes a lot of commitment. Throughout the school year, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers have class five or six days a week, including two and a half hour classes on Saturday mornings. In the summer they are expected to attend a summer intensive, leaving very little time for other activities or free time in general.  

“I had to choose at a very early age what activity I wanted to put the majority of my time towards, so it was hard to have to give up things that I liked like soccer because ballet is just year round,” sophomore and ASFB student Francesca Seeman said.

Most dancers like Seeman have had to quit other sports and activities they loved in order to continue pursuing ballet. While the dancers have the choice between ballet and other activities, the responsibilities that come with school cannot be put aside to make time for their intensive ballet schedules. They must learn how to balance the two.  

“The hardest part of the ballet schedule is finding time to do your homework and have time to do other things that we want to. Even finding time to study and do all of our homework while getting sleep is really difficult,” ASFB dancer (and Skier Scribbler editor) Olivia Oksenhorn said.

ASFB dance instructor, Stephen Straub, also understands the commitment involved, but feels that his students are willing to work to embody all the different aspects of becoming great dancers. He knows that for these students, dancing has become part of their lifestyle.

“They get themselves to the studio even if they have a ton of homework or a splitting headache,” Straub said. “Serious students and dancers, they have a deep understanding that refining their technique is a never ending process.”

Although many people would find this type of commitment daunting, the students at the ASFB take pride in the amount of effort they have put in to improve their dancing. For these dedicated ballerinas, the countless hours of agonizing classes give them more satisfaction than they could achieve in any other activities.

“I just really love to dance and it keeps me in shape and flexible. There are a lot of pros to it and a lot of life lessons I’ve learned from it,” freshman Brooke Leibinger said.

All the skills and lessons these dancers acquire throughout the year accumulate into the recitals where the public gets to see their hard work pay off. For many students, the opportunities to showcase their talents to the community are an integral part of what makes ballet so unique and exciting. They feel that being able to express themselves after all their hard work is very rewarding.

Behind every breathtaking performance is hours and hours of dedication and determination to perfect every move, but none of that would be possible without some guidance. Straub and the rest of the instructors at ASFB tirelessly work to make sure their dancers are being supported with everything they need.

“We’re here to support our students whether dance is a hobby or a career path,” Straub said. “Discipline, commitment, articulation, perseverance, self-motivation–all of our students who come everyday experience these. More than that–musical appreciation and sensitivity, body awareness, sheer strength and flexibility, I hope that the students carry all of these things with them! I think they do. We are supporting a special kind of people here because they’re athletes and artists in one.”

 

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About the Writer
Jordan Fox, Editor-In-Chef

Jordan is a senior at AHS, and the Editor-In-Chief for the Skier Scribbler. This is her third year as a part of the paper and she plans on writing in college....

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