Comes To Life At The Joffrey Ballet School
admirers of Degas’ impressionist painting The Dance Class
argue that the realism of the image allows viewers to sense that
they have “walked into” the painting. Yet, a few miles south of
the Metropolitan Museum of Art the experience of “walking into”
The Dance Class transcends that of oil on canvas. Upon
entering the waiting area of the Joffrey Ballet School the two
dimensional image comes to life and visitors become able to hear
the music, see the dancing and feel the competition.
survival of the fittest,” says Edith D’Addario, director of the
Joffrey Ballet School, explaining that the school admits only
very talented dancers with the potential the build successful
A number of acclaimed dancers have graduated from the Joffrey
which, according to D’Addario, attracts students because “it has
a history and a name and it gives a dancer the best training.”
Eager to acquire even a small trace of this type of training,
students come from all parts of the country to attend classes
at the Joffrey. Among them, Christy Daigle, a native of Louisiana
who spent eight weeks in New York City last summer enrolled in
the eight week Professional Trainee Program. Christy, who has
been dancing for 13 years, attended 17 classes a week and was
among the selected few who were admitted to the program after
auditioning at various cities around the country.
was very impressed with the instruction she has gotten,” said
Linda Daigle, Christy’s mother who accompanied her daughter to
New York. “She has had very positive comments and feels that she
The school was founded in 1952 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Alpino.
In 1988 Joffrey, a recipient of the Capezio Award, passed away
and left the school to D’Addario and to artistic director, Gerald
Alpino. Since then, D’Addario has sought to uphold the school’s
mission and reputation, looking for dancers with “a certain sensitivity,
emotional training, and dedication.”
Her advice to perspective students: “An audition should be treated
like a performance:
practice and study every day.” She adds, “This is for very talented
dancers, who are very serious.”
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