The Life of a Miami City Ballet Student: Gustavo Pacheco

Our 5-week Summer Intensive is quickly coming to a close. It’s hard to believe that just five weeks ago, Miami City Ballet School welcomed over 200 students—some coming from as far as Brazil, Italy and even Poland. Nerves were high for many of our first-timers during the first week, but it wasn’t long before you could see confidence building, friendships forming and, of course, a whole lot of dancing.

Over the past week, our school faculty has been evaluating student hopefuls for the opportunity to attend Miami City Ballet School’s Pre-Professional School Year Program. We decided to catch up Gustavo Pacheco, one of our Summer Intensive students who also attends School Year program, to get an insider’s look at what life is like at Miami City School.


MCB: How long have you been attending Miami City Ballet School?
GP: I started as a student in Miami City Ballet School in September of last year.

MCB: What were your first days here like?
GP: For me, the experience was very different from what I was used to in Brazil. Besides being in a different place, the training here was different too. For example, in Brazil, I had many female teachers, so I hadn’t really had a chance to learn male technique from a male dancer. When I came to Miami City Ballet School, I began learning from male dancers, which was very helpful, but also very challenging. Here, the boys get to work on male technique every day. This wasn’t something I was used to.

MCB: What type of classes do you take at Miami City Ballet School?
GP: Now during the summer, the boys take a Men’s Technique class in the mornings. After that, everyone takes a Variations class. After lunch, we usually take classes like Jazz, Modern, Floor Barre and, for the boys, Weight Training. Then after that we have rehearsal, of course.

MCB: What is your favorite class?
GP: Out of all the classes, I think my favorite class is the Men’s Technique class. Here, I feel like I get a chance to do the most of what I love, which is classic ballet. This class makes me feel good.


MCB: How many hours do you train?
GP: We dance from 9:30AM to 4:30PM with a one-hour lunch break, so about 6 hours a day, Monday through Saturday.

MCB: Do you have any daily rituals, either before or after dancing?
GP: Before class I usually eat something small like cereal. I don’t really like eating too much in the morning, but I’ll have something so I don’t dance on an empty stomach. Before class I also like to warm up, massaging my legs and anywhere on my body that feels tight.

After class, I usually go to the gym and ice my legs, then put them in hot water to relax them. This was recommended to me because I had an injury not too long ago. It helps prevent my muscles from staying tight, and gets me ready for the next day.

MCB: What do you like to do after class?
GP: I like to hang out with my friends, but I also love to just be in my apartment and watch TV or movies. I am sometimes too tired to go out, so getting to be home is great.


MCB: What is your favorite part of being a student at Miami City Ballet School? What is the most challenging part?
GP: My favorite part is that I’ve been able to receive a lot of training in male technique. I think this type of training is very helpful because I eventually want to dance as a professional. At the same time, learning more male technique has also been the most challenging part because I’m learning how to do new things with my body.

MCB: What advice would you give for students just starting out at MCBS?
GP: I think that as a new student it’s important to remember to be respectful to everyone around you, both teachers and students. Your first impression is what everyone will remember about you. New students should also come here mentally and physically ready because it’s very hard work.

MCB: What are you looking most forward to this year?
GP: I am excited to be working as a student apprentice with the Miami City Ballet dancers. I just found out a few days ago that I would be taking on this role. I cannot wait to get a chance to work with the company.

Showcasing the world class athleticism of Ballet and Basketball!

For those of you who didn’t make it to the Miami HEAT vs. L.A. Lakers game last night, we picked up a copy of TIPOFF — the official in-game program book for the MiamiHEAT!

Patricia Delgado with Dywane Wade on the cover of TIPOFF. Jeanette Delgado and LeBron James also made the inside cover!

Read the full story inside TIPOFF here!

Becoming Dr. Coppélius

One of the best parts of performing a story ballet, such as Coppélia, is getting into character with the help of scenery, costumes, and makeup! Since we don’t have anyone in the company who’s quite the age of Dr. Coppélius, we count on the expertise of our makeup guru, Carol. She transforms our dancers!

Get a sneak peek of Carol working her magic on principal soloist Didier Bramaz.

Zoe Zien in Dance Magazine

Corps de ballet member Zoe Zien is featured in the style section of
Dance Magazine (April 2012), where she shares all her must-haves!

Dressing Viscera

Liam Scarlett not only choreographed Viscera, but he also designed the costumes for the World Premiere! Haydee Morales, MCB’s Costume Designer and Director, worked closely with Liam to bring his vision to the stage.

Haydee had a chat with us about Liam and the Viscera costumes.

Five Positions

It’s been a bright day at MCB to say the least! There was paint everywhere; the lobby was full of onlookers; cameras were flashing — all this for a special treat!

Jordan Schaps and Benjamin Martin, two New York based multimedia artist, worked with MCB School student Ella Titus on a photography project for the Company. Jordan, former creative director of New York Magazine, where he produced other 800 covers and has developed stories for Sports Illustrated, GQ, and InStyle, stepped back into creative director shoes for this exciting project. Benjamin, who has exhibited photographic works in group and solo exhibitions (and plays in a rock band), worked side by side with Jordan. The two painted Ella’s legs and photographed her in each of the five positions. The photos will be part of an oversized banner to be placed on the Miami City Ballet building at 2200 Liberty Avenue, Miami Beach.

Stay tuned for the reveal date. In the meantime, take a look at today’s happenings!

A Conversation with Gary Sheldon – Part 2

Our conversation continues with principal conductor Gary Sheldon as he reveals his summer plans and talks to us about the Company’s upcoming Paris tour.

A Conversation with Principal Conductor Gary Sheldon – Part 1

As we wrap up our 25th Anniversary Season, we are so grateful for such a wonderful year and all the things that came along with it — including the grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Knight Arts Challenge that made having live music possible once again. With live music came principal conductor Gary Sheldon! We recently chatted with Gary about his move down to sunny Miami Beach and his time here with MCB.

Check out the first of this two part series.

From Studio to Theater

If you’ve attended our Open Barre Dance Series, you may have wondered how we convert Studios 1 and 2 into our studio theater. Well, we have an amazing production team that completes the transformation in about two hours with a staff of nine people. Studio 3, which is right next door, is used as a crossover space by the dancers during Open Barre.

Check out this transformation video for a quick view on how we go from studio to theater!

‘Tis the Season!

Holiday lights and mistletoe are being hung. Christmas trees are going up and tonight the first candle on the menorah will be lit. This is the time of year when over-eating and over-spending is OK! But the best part of the holiday season is that the Nutman returns to MCB and the company performs George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ ! You may remember how hard the Nutman works from his training video we posted last November, and this season is no different! He made his first appearance in our Miami Beach building last week and everyone was very excited to see him.

Stay tuned to see what the Nutman has up his sleeve this season!

Don’t miss him onstage with Miami City Ballet this weekend at Kravis Center, December 10-12 at Broward Center, and December 17-19 & 21-23 at Adrienne Arsht Center.