Back by popular demand, our NGB Guest Blog continues as we follow Lauren Blakeney, New Artist with Next Generation Ballet, through a year of training at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa.
By Lauren Blakeney, NGB New Artist
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where I started out doing gymnastics and taking a few dance classes because there was a dance studio right upstairs. Around the age of 10, I decided that dance was something I loved and quit gymnastics to stick with dance.
I've trained with many teachers around the Houston area, mostly in contemporary, jazz and modern. It wasn't until I was 16 that I really wanted to get into ballet. I was a little late but fell in love with ballet and everything about it. I graduated high school a year early at 17 and attended Point Park University as a dance major for a year, but decided I wanted more focused training in ballet.
After being accepted to and attending the Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive this summer, I completely fell in love with the program and the teachers and felt like it was the right place for me to be...and that's a little bit about me!
The first week at the Patel Conservatory has been great, I've already learned so much! We learned a Christopher Fleming piece called Cafe Musica, which is very fast with fancy arms and footwork, but very exciting. I really enjoyed learning this piece and can not wait to perform it!
We also learned Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker. This is completely opposite from the Christopher Fleming ballet, but they are both beautiful and challenging in their own way.
On Friday we had a guest teacher, Tatiana Tchernova who was a first soloist and principal dancer with the National Ballet of Uzbekistan and also a guest soloist with the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets in Russia, and is now a very renowned teacher across the world and teaches at CPYB. Her class was amazing! I really felt like she gave everybody corrections and attention and had a very meticulous way of teaching that I loved.
It's been a very eventful week, and I can’t wait to see what's next!