Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Next Generation Ballet presents Cinderella

This weekend, Next Generation Ballet presents Cinderella at the Straz Center.

As a timeless classic, this breathtaking ballet is the perfect show for families. But more than that, it’s your chance to see the talented dancers of Next Generation Ballet (NGB). The cast features dancers from around the country who have come to Tampa to train at the Patel Conservatory.

“[NGB] is very much like a company,” said Allenda Witzel, who moved to Tampa from Virginia last year to train with NGB.

She previously trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, then the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C.
Allenda Witzel will play the summer fairy
in NGB's Cinderella. Photo by Paolo Galli.

“One of my former teachers recommended I study with Peter Stark,” said Allenda.

"It's been phenomenal. The instructors [at the Conservatory] care a lot for their students, and I really appreciate that."

As an NGB trainee, she dances full-time, five days a week. For academics, she takes classes online, including some Harvard University courses. At only 15, she’s already earned nearly 20 college credits.

“She has the same professors as the students sitting in class in Boston,” said Allenda’s mother Michelle Witzel.

The young dancer has had some amazing opportunities, including a summer intensive at Princess Grace Academy of Monaco.

"It was an eye opening experience working with dancers from all over the world...It was inspiring to get to a certain level in my technique and artistry."

This summer, she’ll attend summer intensives at the San Francisco Ballet School and at the Vaganova Ballet Academy's program in Mikkeli, Finland.

In Cinderella, Allenda plays the role of the summer fairy. “It’s really fun getting to rehearse a full-length ballet and work on the's difficult choreography, but I like that it's difficult.”

The work pays off when these dancers sail through the air and make it look so effortless!

Don’t miss Cinderella this Sunday, May 19,  2013 at 1 and 6 p.m. For tickets, call 813.229.STAR (7827) or online at

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