May 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 75 F

Ballet Theatre of Maryland Recognizes Conservatory Students

Clara Atsinger poses in scenic Orlando during her two weeks spent at Orlando Ballet’s summer intensive program. Photo credit: Clara Atsinger

Ballet Theatre of Maryland students of its Conservatory participated in intensive training programs this summer. Jocelyn Gross attended Kansas City Ballet’s intensive for four weeks; Shivani Mutreja spent five weeks at the Rock School of Ballet, and Emily Sutton and Clara Atsinger attended Boston Ballet’s program for five weeks. Atsinger also spent two weeks at Orlando Ballet’s intensive and has been invited to join their Academy Program for the school year.

Says Artistic Director Nicole Kelsch, “Providing a supportive environment for growing students is an important focus of our conservatory, but we also seek to prepare young dancers for success in the wider world of ballet. For pre-professional students, part of that journey is attending summer intensives. We are proud of all of our students who participated in intensive programs this summer, both here in Annapolis and around the country.”

Securing a place in a summer intensive is a rite of passage for serious ballet students and begins with auditions in January. Acceptance letters go out to those who have been selected a few months later, with students commonly dancing 6 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week. Students focus on building strength, stamina, and new skills without their usual academic commitments.

For Clara Atsinger, this intensive summer schedule has prepared her to join Orlando Ballet’s fall program. Where she previously attended high school during the day and took ballet classes at night, she will soon be training 22-24 hours per week and completing her high school diploma online. Joining a full-day training program is an important step toward her goal of becoming a professional dancer.

As Ballet Theatre of Maryland applauds students for their successes this summer, it also turns toward the coming school year. Classes begin September 12 for ages 3-18+, with opportunities to audition for company productions such as The Nutcracker. To learn more about Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s Conservatory and other programs, visit

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