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Local dancers tapped for top programs

June 2, 2012
Special to the Town Crier

Six dancers from Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown auditioned for and have been selected to train with top ballet companies and schools around the country this summer.

Every January and February the most prestigious ballet programs in the United States travel to cities around the nation to audition dancers and select those with potential to study in their summer intensive programs. BWR dancers traveled to Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cincinnati for auditions. Six of them will now spend up to four weeks training with top instructors while staying in dorms and other housing in various U.S. cities.

BWR senior company member 16-year-old Caroline Ciferno of Howland, will attend American Ballet Theater's North Carolina intensive. She was also accepted to the Colorado Ballet program.

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Caroline Ciferno of Howland, Maeli Foley of Canfield, Lily Gelfand of Boardman, Nicole Noakes of Canfield, and Charli Littleton of North Lima have all been accepted to train with top ballet companies throughout the country. Also selected was 11-year-old Daria Sansoterra of Canfield.

Senior company member 16-year-old Maeli Foley of Canfield, was selected by and will attend the Cincinnati Ballet program. She was also accepted into Point Park University's summer program.

Senior company member 16-year-old Lily Gelfand of Boardman, was accepted into three programs, including the Mark Morris Dance Group. She plans to attend Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary program in New York City.

Senior company member 14-year-old Nicole Noakes of Canfield, was accepted to and will be attending the Atlanta Ballet program as well as The Rock School in Philadelphia. She was also accepted by Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.

Junior company member 14-year-old Charli Littleton of North Lima, was accepted into American Ballet Theater's Texas program, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and BalletMet in Columbus. She'll be attending BalletMet's program.

And 11-year-old Daria Sansoterra of Canfield, was accepted into Interlochen's program for ballet and violin.

"We are so proud of the accomplishments of these young dancers," BWR Artistic Director Virginia Hartman said. "These are top schools in the nation and often these intensives are the first step in moving toward a professional career in the highly-competitive ballet world."

Hartman, formerly a professional dancer in the Atlanta Ballet and Richmond Ballet, guided the students through the audition process. Hartman will be attending American Ballet Theater's professional program this summer in New York City to continue her certification process to teach the ABT curriculum at Ballet Western Reserve the only ballet school in the region to have such a designation.



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