Burbank’s Red Chair Ballet Dancers to Attend U.S. and International Summer Programs

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Red Chair School of Performing Arts ballet dancers accepted into national and/or international summer 2012 ballet intensive programs include: (back left to right) Ryan Sinton, Elizabeth Briggs, and Rose Filichia, (center left to right) Lena Harris, Rebecca Levin, Layton Briggs and Penny Yokas, (front left to right) Brooke Sinton, Emma Casali, and Haley Briggs.

The Red Chair School of Performing Arts of Burbank is honored to announce that 15 of the school’s ballet students have been accepted to summer ballet intensive programs across the United States and in Russia.  In just two years, the number of Red Chair ballet students accepted into these competitive programs has tripled, and this is the first year a Red Chair student will participate in an international dance program.

Summer intensive ballet programs are often affiliated with professional dance companies such as the American Ballet Theatre or the Joffrey Ballet.  During these programs, students have the opportunity to improve their dance technique and learn other dance styles by working with both professional and amateur dancers.  Each dancer must compete with other students for acceptance into these programs in national and international auditions.  These

Red Chair School of Performing Arts ballet dancers accepted into national and/or international summer 2012 ballet intensive programs include: (back left to right) Ryan Sinton, Elizabeth Briggs, and Rose Filichia, (center left to right) Lena Harris, Rebecca Levin, Layton Briggs and Penny Yokas, (front left to right) Brooke Sinton, Emma Casali, and Haley Briggs.

concentrated programs require a substantial time, effort and financial commitment, but dancers who attend receive training with teachers in the top of their field that accelerates their training and gives them valuable life experience.

The Red Chair dancers who were accepted this summer include: Level 5–Elizabeth Briggs (15 years-old)  and Ryan Sinton (15 years-old) ; Level 4–Emily Anasti (15 years-old), Rose Filichia (12 years-old), Lena Harris (12 years-old) and Rebecca Levin (12 years-old); Level 3–Haley Briggs (10 years-old), Layton Briggs (12 years-old), Emma Casali (11 years-old), Josie Nivar (11 years-old), Leah Perez (11 years old), Brooke Sinton (10 years-old), and Penny Yokas (11 years-old); and Level 2–Molly-Jo Terry (10 years-old).

“We are extremely proud to see so many of our hard working and talented ballet students attend a variety of summer intensive programs,” says Jennifer Bosco, artistic director, ABT Affiliate ballet teacher and co-owner of the Red Chair School of Performing Arts.  “This demonstrates the level of enthusiasm and commitment to dance that each of these students has.”

Most of the students will be attending one or more of the following summer programs:  the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Georgia; the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago; the American Ballet Theater (ABT) in New York, Alabama, and Irvine; the Jillana School in New Mexico; the School of American Ballet (SAB); and the Bolshoi Ballet.

This summer will be Ryan Sinton’s third year attending intensives and her younger sister, Brooke Sinton, will be going for the first time.  “I am excited to be going to the Joffrey Program in Los Angeles,” says Brooke.  “I want to become a better dancer and be closer to being on pointe.”

Ryan Sinton and Elizabeth Briggs, Red Chair School of Performing Arts Level 5 ballet dancers, practice for their upcoming summer intensives.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Briggs, a junior at Burbank High School, was also selected to attend the Joffrey Bolshoi Exchange Program in Moscow, Russia. This is the second year for the program and only 10 dancers from the U.S. were chosen from auditions around the country.  Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is one of the most renowned and oldest ballet companies in the world.

Lizzy has been dancing for 12 years and her rigorous dance schedule includes 15 hours a week at the Red Chair School and another 10 hours a week of practice with the Burbank High School Dance Team. To help cover the costs for the summer programs, Lizzy’s church hosted a fundraiser dinner in May and Lizzy was able to use money she earned for her Girl Scout troop through cookie sales towards the programs.  “I want to be a professional ballet dancer one day and being accepted into the Bolshoi Program is such an honor,” says Lizzy.  The gift for dance appears to run in the Briggs family since Lizzy’s younger brother, Layton Briggs, and her younger sister, Haley Briggs, were also accepted into their first summer ballet intensives after auditioning.  However, her siblings decided not to attend their programs so that their family would be able to send Lizzy to Moscow.

There are also some other newcomers to the summer intensives this year.  Emma Casali was accepted into the ABT and Joffrey Programs.  “I was one of the youngest dancers at the audition, but it was really fun” said Emma.  Penny Yokas will be attending her first summer intensive at ABT New York.  “It was a little scary at the audition because this was my first time,” says Penny.  “My mom is coming with me to New York and I can’t wait to go.”

The Briggs family, (left to right) Elizabeth, Layton and Haley, dance students at the Red Chair School of Performing Arts, were all accepted into ballet intensive programs this summer.

Three Red Chair Level 4 dancers will be attending again this year.  For the second time, Lena Harris was accepted into ABT New York and SAB.  “It is fun meeting nice people from other places at the programs,” says Lena.  A dancer for nine years, Rose Filichia, loves performing and will be attending ABT Irvine, SAB and Joffrey Programs. Rebecca Levin, who has been dancing since she was three years old, will be attending the Joffrey Los Angeles Program. “I really enjoyed participating in the auditions,” remarks Rebecca.  “Ballet dancing is wonderful because you can be so graceful while listening to pretty music.”

The Red Chair School of Performing Arts offers an array of dance and theatre classes from pre-school through adult.  For more information, please call (818) 842-5500 or visit on the web at www.theredchairschool.com.

“Our commitment is to offer a warm and supportive environment where our students work with experienced teachers to a receive strong technical training.  This offers them the foundation for success to achieve their dance dreams,” states Ms. Bosco.