Julian recently received the chance to take company class at San Francisco Ballet. This opportunity came about via his father and his student choreography piece from TDC last year. He took advantage of it earlier this month.
While Julian and I were in New York this summer, Julian’s father went with the girls who were in Julian’s piece of choreography to a student choreography competition in Monterey, CA. There he just happened to meet Ben Stewart, a San Francisco Ballet (SFB) company member. They got to talking, and before long, Julian had an invitation to take company class with Ben.
Of course, when Julian heard the news, he was excited. He wanted to wait, however, until he had been at City Ballet a while to improve his technique. Everything finally came together earlier this month, and off Julian went with a bit of nervousness mixed with excitement.
A young man who left City Ballet for SFB School in order to try for a spot in the trainee program, which he did, indeed earn, voiced a bit of jealousy over Julian’s time spent in company class. It seems even the trainees don’t get to take company class. Plus, taking company class can present another route into the company other than the trainee program–and bypasses the need to enter the SFB school, which is large and some say not as good a choice as City Ballet (tw0 reasons we chose City Ballet for Julian).
Julian had a lot of fun in company class. He received some compliments from Ben, who became his new friend, and from other company members. Several people told him to come back, especially because he would be seen that way. Bruce Sansom, ballet master and assistant to the artistic director, who used to dance with his primary teacher at City Ballet, Galina Alexandrova, watched class briefly at the end. He then asked Julian for his name and for information on where he danced. All of this seemed great in terms of exposure.
Julian plans on going back–a no brainer, really. He need only ask Ben and space his visits out–one every few months.
I related this as another “right-time-right-place” story. You just never know…and you never know where these experiences and connections lead.