You sent us your questions about MCB School’s Summer Intensive…and our students have answered! Meet Carlos and Victoria — two current school-year students who are also Summer Intensive veterans!
Carlos Valdes and Victoria Huaroto
Bring the ballet basics – any pink ballet tights, any solid color leotards, ballet slippers, pointe shoes (enough for 5 weeks in Miami’s humidity), warm-ups to wear prior to class and after. For jazz, bring jazz shoes and any style of black bottoms whether it’s black shorts, leggings or jazz pants. If you have a yoga mat, bring it for the stretch and strengthening and yoga classes; however, if you don’t have one, the Gyrotonics mats are available to students in the studios. Bring hair supplies to efficiently put your hair in a secure bun. Bring regular clothes as well as clothes for special outings on the weekends or the Fourth of July celebration. And most importantly bring a good attitude to get as much as you can from the summer!
The dorms are at University of Miami and are very nice — each student has one other roommate. If you know someone who is also attending the summer you can request to dorm with them when you register for the summer. If not, you are paired with another dancer, usually your age and with a similar personality with you. The Miami City Ballet School pairs the students very well and your roommates from summer are often friends you will keep in touch with for years to come. The office will send an email prior to the start of the intensive (in early May) with who you are sharing a room with. That way when you arrive in Miami you already know who your roommate is!
Carlos: Right now there are 33 boys in the program and classes range between 20-25 students.
Pas de Deux classes are in my opinion the most enjoyable part of the Summer Program. The first week of the program teachers tend to experiment with different combinations to determine the general level of the class. Starting from week two, classes are set to fit the level of students and their needs as dancers. By the time you reach weeks three and four, lessons become more demanding. Normally, instead of asking for 2-3 pirouettes in a simple beginning combination, students will be pushed for more, while always preserving cleanliness and grace. I happened to be working on presses and a variety of lifts by the 4th week last summer. Teachers also stress the vital connection that must exist between dancers, when sharing the stage as partners. There is not one specific partner for each class. This allows you to deal with different dancers, which improves your experience when partnering overall.
Many events and different field trips are arranged by the school throughout the five weeks to ensure students also enjoy their summer time. For instance, it has become a tradition over the years to take students on a boat for the Fourth of July celebrations. This boat sails through the bay of the downtown Miami, as festivities take place all around the city and on board, and as fireworks explode in the sky. Chaperones ensure safety in every single activity held by the school. Students also tend to spend time at the beach during the week depending on curfew times. This is probably the most common activity among students.
Weight training classes are usually one hour long. Lessons start with an active warm-up, varying from stretching to cardio exercises, to prepare for the muscle work later on. Once students are warm, different weight-lifting exercises take place. More stretching and relaxation exercises are incorporated into the end of the class to smoothly transition to the next class or to end the day. The first week, teachers assess the physical fitness of the students. This happens to be the first week coming back from the one-to-two month break between school and summer for some students. Therefore, instructors are very careful in giving exercises for students in order to prevent injuries throughout the program. The next two weeks, classes improve and become more demanding. Nonetheless, safety is always key. The fourth week of classes, lessons focus more on recovery since this happens to be the most exhausting week of the whole program. This class can be particularly useful when learning how to manage your body in order to prevent injuries in the future.
MCB School: For that age group, we recommend auditioning for the 5-week Summer Intensive!
Victoria: The dress code is the traditional full length pink tights with any solid color leotard. For shoes any ballet slippers, it doesn’t matter whether they are canvas or leather. For the jazz class, jazz shoes are required with any black bottoms (examples are black tights, shorts, jazz pants). For the modern classes the dancers are barefoot with any black bottoms as well. For the other classes consisting of stretch and strengthening, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, the dancers may where any appropriate dance clothing as long as the teachers can see the form of the students. Boys must wear white ballet slippers.
Victoria: Yes, you do need to register for the two week summer intensive audition, but not in advance. You can download the registration form by clicking HERE and bring the form with you to the audition.
Victoria: Black jazz shoes are preferred. The rest of the classes will be barefoot or ballet shoes.
Victoria: Each day the students will have at least one class on pointe if not multiple whether it’s variations class, pointe class, or repertoire. Depending on the level the student is placed will also determine how many classes a student has on pointe. The higher levels will sometimes even have the center work of ballet class on pointe. The amount of pointe shoes depends on the level of dancer and the feet of the dancer. This past summer I brought 5 pairs of pointe shoes one pair per week, but also keep in mind the humidity of Miami during the summer this will also make a dancer go through pointe shoes faster. I would always bring more than you think just in case.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone this summer!