Students in the Pre-professional (advanced) Division have earned their placement in this level with hard work, determination, and discipline. The amount of time spent in a level depends solely on the student's individual improvement and is determined by the artistic director and her staff.
Dancers between 10 and 12 are invited to audition for the Junior Company, which is a stepping-stone to the advanced level. Here, they learn the skill of dancing within a group. They also have roles in the annual performance of the Nutcracker, where they learn to dance and rehearse with the Company.
The bridge between student and pre-professional is in the Junior Company. A dancer is invited to audition when his or her technique reaches a certain level, when the student becomes serious and when there is a certain standard of emotional maturity. An ability to accept and concentrate on corrections is important as is self discipline and an ability to work for oneself.
During the first year, apprentices learn rehearsal skills, what it means to attend rehearsals and how to understudy a part. They are offered a number of opportunities to learn roles that they might one day be called upon to perform. This is a vital part of their education. One or more performing opportunities are offered to begin the development of stage presence and style.
Apprentices may dance with the corps de ballet but usually in the most inconspicuous places. They spend most of their time understudying corps de ballet and demi-soloist roles.
Understudies are experienced in the ways of the company and beginning to show their potential as performers. As a member of the corps de ballet they dance the main group parts. They understudy demi-soloist and soloist roles.
Dancers are made members of Allegro Ballet of Houston when their technical development reaches a high standard. At this stage they are cast in group dances and progress to demi-solo work as their technique and artistry grows.
From the roster of company members, dancers are selected to dance specific roles based upon their technical and artistic abilities.
Each spring, a different nationally recognized judge visits each of the member companies of Regional Dance America, observes class and rehearsals and evaluates the quality of what they see. Allegro Ballet of Houston is a member of RDA/Southwest. One or more ballets are chosen for the RDA/SW Festival held in the spring each year.
There are three potential programs on which the adjudicator may place ballets. One is the Emerging Choreographer's showcase, another is the Concert program held on Friday night and finally, the highest and most prestigious level is the Gala program held on Saturday night of the Festival. Allegro Ballet of Houston has most often been placed on the Gala program. Each year we have to work very hard to try to maintain that standard as each judge sees us from a new perspective.
Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.