My Experience at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy
By John Beatrice
To begin with, the facility is beautiful. The studios are bright and attractive, there’s plenty of space, big windows, and very nice floors and barres.
I can’t say enough good things about Davit and Vanessa. They’re both phenomenal teachers, and they’re wonderful to work with. They’re both so kind and giving, very encouraging, but they really know how to push you as well. I grew so much in a very short time with them. There are great dancers and there are great teachers, and the people who are great dancers are not always great teachers, but Davit and Vanessa were wonderful dancers and are phenomenal teachers. I learned things from them I’d never learned anywhere else. It was truly a privilege to work with them.
They focus on proper technique, how to be a clean dancer, as well as how to make your dancing really coordinated and beautiful. I’m incredibly grateful to both of them. The coaching they gave me, what they had to offer, I hadn’t found anywhere else before, and it helped me so much. They had a huge impact on me as an dancer. They’re both very good at recognizing where a dancer’s level of ability is and working on pushing his or her limits, and they do a great job of personalizing training and corrections for each student. I highly encourage any dancer who has the opportunity to train at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy to do so!
Adult Classes at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy
By Amy O'Connor
Hello! My name is Amy O’Connor, and I’ve been taking the open classes at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy for the past year. As an adult, it’s extremely difficult to find ballet schools that are inclusive and supportive of students my age. Many don’t take adults seriously and don’t see us as being able to improve.
Classes from Davit and Vanessa at PBA are far from the standard experience I’ve had as an adult. Their instruction is unparalleled, and I’ve improved greatly since I began at PBA. Although I’m far past the age of making ballet my career, they have worked closely with me and pushed me to new heights, both mentally and physically.
After suffering a back injury and surgery, they have helped me regain my confidence and strength. With their training, I have been able to learn new steps/combinations and have accomplished things I never thought I’d be able to do again, such as returning to pointe.
Their attention to detail is wonderful to behold. They’ve helped me bring out a poise in my dancing that I didn’t think I had. They are helping me transition past the calculated movements that my dancing had become and into the world of freedom and spontaneous movement that bring a beauty and fluidity to my dancing never before present.
I would highly recommend Pennsylvania Ballet Academy for any adult dancer, whether you’re looking to continue your training, get back into ballet after a few years of absence, or start from the beginning. You won’t receive better training. Regardless of your goals, Davit and Vanessa will help you reach them.
Guest Teaching During the 2018 Summer Intensive
By Maria Torija
My Growth at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy
By Katherine Mortellaro
In the time I spent training with Vanessa and Davit I improved more that I could have ever imagined. They know how to push students to do their best work in an encouraging and positive way so they can be the best they can be. I loved getting advice from such experienced dancers.
They taught me everything from technique, artistry, cross training/conditioning, pas de deux and partnership, and other genres to teaching me about things they learned form being in a company such as pointe shoe hacks, stage confidence and presence, what to do if something were to happen on stage, bows, dealing with injuries, how to think like a dancer and be a smart and prepared dancer, and most importantly to never give up. They are so caring for their dancers and teach us to be kind, work hard, take care of ourselves, and reach for our goals.
I was so lucky to have learned from Vanessa and Davit and will carry what I’ve learned from them throughout my entire life.