Taking a trip to Austria is exciting enough, but for several
California Dance Arts ballet students, the journey will be a
Nine students from the La Canada Flintridge-based academy, along
with owner and director Erin Holt, will fly to Austria Friday for the
Salzburg International Ballet Academy Summer Intensive. The workshop
is July 11 to Aug. 6.
The thought of learning directly from ballet giants like Peter
Breuer, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, the London
Festival Ballet and the Munich Ballet; Yehuda Maor, former teacher of
the Royal Ballet of London; and Maya Plisetskaya, an international
ballet star, is cause for more than just a little anxiety and
excitement for 17-year-old dancer Gioel Enriquez.
“I’m so excited, I started packing three weeks in advance,” he
Each of the students, plus a host of ballerinas from all around
the country, auditioned at California Dance Arts last spring for a
chance to study classical ballet, pointe, modern dance and the Maor
Placement Technique, which develops strength and flexibility. Holt,
who is certified to teach the Maor Placement Technique, will also be
one of the featured instructors during the intensive.
“It’s an opportunity for dancers to travel ... but it’s also a
nice working, educational experience for pre-professional and
professional dancers, to improve and go to the next level,” Holt
Besides learning from some of ballet’s biggest names, the
intensive might also be a chance to dance professionally. Breuer,
director of the Salzburg International Ballet Academy, intends to
choose dancers from this summer intensive for his new touring
company, the Salzburg Ballet Ensemble.
Most of Holt’s students selected for the intensive are 18 or
younger, but many of them, like 16-year-old Kamissa Marshall of
Sunland, have been dancing since they were 4.
The dancers’ parents are encouraging and sometimes over the top,
13-year-old Jesse Wilson said.
“They’re excited for us, sometimes more excited than we are,”
Jesse said. “They tell all their friends, and it’s kind of
The trip is exciting already for Kamissa, but the thought of
possibly be selected for the Salzburg Ballet Ensemble is an
“I don’t even know,” Kamissa said with wide eyes. “If it did
happen, I would definitely consider it.”