Immaculate Heart Academy

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Kristina Arriaga’19 Dances Her Way to the Top

This particular program has earned a reputation for being the most thorough and rewarding dance experience a dance student can have during the summer months.

Kristina auditioned for the program in the beginning of January. The school affiliated with ABT has one of the largest summer intensive programs in the country, with four different locations in New York City, California, Alabama, and Texas. Each location accepts about two hundred students, and New York is the most competitive. Kristina was very surprised when she received an email informing her of her acceptance to the New York location. The summer intensive will be five weeks long for dancers age eleven through eighteen.

“It was unbelievable considering that my audition number was 285, out of three age groups and one audition location,” Kristina reflected. “The school still had to tour the rest of the country and Europe. I am so grateful for the opportunity this summer and cannot wait to go!”

Students participate in a minimum of four classes a day with ABT’s renowned faculty, and enjoy a comprehensive curriculum that includes exposure to American Ballet Theater artists, history, and repertory. The summer intensive focuses on developing well-rounded dancers by exposure to a wide variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on classical ballet technique and key elements of ABT’s National Training Curriculum.

Kristina first attended the School of American Ballet in New York City, and presently attends the New Jersey School of Ballet. Although she is not interested in majoring in dance in college, she would like to minor in it or take class at a nearby studio. Kristina wants to pursue a dance-related career such as a physical therapist or dance orthopedic. She said that practicing ballet almost every day while managing the IHA workload is not easy.

“I hardly ever go to bed before midnight because I’m always in rehearsal or class,” she said. “Being in STEM makes it especially difficult; it seems as if there is double the amount of work and stress! But, I know that in the end it will all be worth it and that IHA will give me the tools I need to be successful.”