Tampa Bay Area Ballet Students Called to Audition for Moscow Ballet’s Olga Aru on August 25 through 30

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Tampa Bay Area Ballet Students Called to Audition for Moscow Ballet’s Olga Aru on August 25 through 30


“The inclusion of…local children in the ballet as part of Moscow Ballet’s “Dance with Us” program was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those dancers,” Cleveland Plain Dealer



Dance-with-Us students perform side-by-side with the pros

(Berkshires, MA) Aug 3, 2017 Tampa Bay area ballet students ages 7 to 17 are invited to 4 audition locations, Friday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 30, for Moscow Ballet Soloist and Audition Director Olga Aru.  Auditions, as well as Master Classes, will take place in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Largo. The Moscow Ballet auditions are open to students from dance studios across the area with a minimum one year of ballet training.  In addition, ballet students are invited to attend pre-audition Master Classes taught by Olga Aru. Dates, times, and locations are listed below. More audition information and sign up here: www.nutcracker.com/youth-auditions.


The selected children will perform in the Great Russian Nutcracker Tuesday, December 26 and 27 at Duke Energy Center for the Arts’ Mahaffey Theater. Tickets here www.nutcracker.com/your-city.


Ballerina Olga Aru will lead auditions and rehearse the young dancers in their assigned roles. Successful auditionees perform side-by-side with the Moscow Ballet company in the Great Russian Nutcracker in roles which were created exclusively for their age and skill levels such as Party Children, Mice, Snowflakes, Snow Maidens and more. The young dancers will participate in dress rehearsal with the Russian company the day of the performance. This is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience for aspiring young dancers. The Dance-with-Us program is in its 25th year of auditioning and rehearsing student dancers in each tour city to perform with the professional company. Auditions are free, there may be a casting fee.


Auditions and Master Classes:




Tutterow Dance Academy –  400 Alternate Keene Rd – Largo, FL 33771

Audition:  7:00-8:00

Master class:  5:30-7:00 – $30 fee, attendance recommended for students who are auditioning




Dance Tampa – 8120 Anderson Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

Audition:  2:30 – 3:00 pm
Master Class: 12:30 – 2:30 pm –  $30 fee, attendance recommended for students who are auditioning




Mirror Lake Studios – 559 Mirror Lake Dr. No., St Petersburg, FL 33701

Audition: 6:30-8:00 pm
Master Class: 5:00-6:30pm – $30 fee, attendance recommended for students who are auditioning



Dance Tampa – 8120 Anderson Rd, Tampa, FL 33634 – 813-968-8099
Audition: 6:30-7:30 pm

Master Class – 5:00-6:15 pm $30 fee, attendance recommended for students who are auditioning

5.Wednesday August 30 – CLEARWATER


Dance and Circus Arts – 1490 N Belcher Rd, Clearwater, FL 33765

Audition: 6:45-7:45 pm
Master Class: 5:30-6:45 pm – $30 fee, attendance recommended for students who are auditioning
Olga Aru received her degree in ballet and dance pedagogy from Kiev State Ballet College, Ukraine, in 2008. Since graduation, Olga has had a whirlwind of performance and teaching experiences; from dancing in ballet’s greatest classics to the most contemporary and to traveling around the world in those performances. She is a Laureate and award winner of the “Crystal Shoe – Dance Beyond Boards” competition and she performed at the “Mikkeli Ballet Festival” in Finland.


Host Dance Studio owner Judith Johnson is known for her extensive experience developing professional dancers, among them Daniel Ulbricht, Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet and protégé of Johnson. Student dancers, boys and girls, ages 7 to 17 years, and who have at least one year of ballet training, may audition for ancillary roles such as Party Children, Mice, Snowflakes, Angels and more. The auditions are free. Student dancers are also invited to attend Master Classes taught by Vaganova trained Audition Director and Moscow Ballet Soloist Olga Aru prior to the audition.


Host Dance Studio Judith Lee Johnson Dance School is the longest continuously operating studio in St. Petersburg and is one of the longest operating and best-known dance schools in Central Florida with 43 years of guiding scores of dancers into America’s most prestigious ballet companies. Former students have danced with many ballet companies including three dancers invited to the New York City Ballet, and others to Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ohio Ballet and many other companies.  The studio offers a variety of classes and special Master Classes. Johnson studied as a child with one of St. Petersburg’s few dance teachers, Lois Eborn who took Judith for her first audition at NYC Ballet where she was invited to return every summer thereafter. She also went to Cuba and studied at the world renowned Alicia Alonso School in Havana. She was one of 60 teachers nationwide to be invited by NYC Ballet to attend a week long teacher’s seminar with George Balanchine.  Judith built her own studio when classes were bulging with more than 300 students and many area companies came to rehearse there including Florida West Ballet, Moscow Ballet, Bay Ballet Theatre, and Southern Ballet Theatre. Daniel Ulbricht was Judith’s first student to be accepted into New York City Ballet where he is now a Principal dancer. More than 20 of Judith’s students have been accepted into New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet.


Dance-with-Us  is the Moscow Ballet education program which has brought over 100,000 (about 5000 per year) North American student dancers on stage to perform side-by-side with the company of 40 Russian professionals since 1994. Ballerinas from the company arrive in early fall and travel to cities on the tour to audition and rehearse the young dancers in 6+ student roles. Dance-with-Us is underwritten by Moscow Ballet. Partnerships with local Host Dance Studios in tour cities are developed by producer Mary Gianonne Talmi who also developed the choreography for the Dance-with-Us program. Click for more


Moscow Ballet – 2017 marks Moscow Ballet’s 25th consecutive year touring North America performing the acclaimed story ballets the Great Russian Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and more. The company is known for presenting award-winning Ballerinas and Danseurs, from Lilia Sabitova in 1994 to Honored Artist of Russia Tatiana Predenia in 2002 to Andrey Batalov, former Principal Danseur with the Mariinsky Theatre in 2016. The company performs more than 100 engagements annually across Canada and the United States’ to sell-out audiences in the some of the finest performing arts venues. In addition to public performances, Moscow Ballet’s North America tours have always included community engagement programs. “Dance with Us” shares the Russian Vaganova ballet training with over 6000 American dance students annually bringing them on stage in ancillary roles to perform side-by-side with the professionals. Underwritten by Moscow Ballet, the program was developed by choreographer and co-producer Mary Giannone Talmi. “New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life” is a cultural immersion program benefitting thousands of children across the country annually and Musical Wunderkind also connects the Russian  dancers directly with American children and young adults. In addition, many Moscow Ballet performances have a fund-raising component for organizations such as hospitals, children’s museums and more. www.moscowballet.com.

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