Live From New York, It’s Sarah Williams!

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams, Director of Keshet’s Pre-Professional Program, has been selected to attend American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training Curriculum this summer in New York City as a Project Plié scholarship recipient. Project Plié is ABT’s national recruitment initiative to identify, train and support ballet teachers who have demonstrated service to underrepresented areas across the country. ABT’s National Training Curriculum aims to assist beginning through advanced teachers in training dance students to use their bodies correctly, focusing on kinetics and coordination, as well as anatomy and proper body alignment. This training session is one of a series of three, focusing on Pre-Primary (ages 3 and up) through Level 3 (ages 10 and up). Sarah will be the only ABT certified ballet teacher in Albuquerque, one of three in the state of of New Mexico.  During her time in New York, Sarah will be posting about her experiences to share with the Keshet community. Click here for more information about ABT and Project Plié , and check back for updates from Sarah!




I have finished six days of American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training bootcamp! Only three more to go!

Each morning, all 112 of us file up to the 4th floor of an older building on Broadway and 19th street. We walk down the creaky wooden floors and cram into a relatively small studio to take hours of notes in some of the most uncomfortable folding chairs imaginable (I choose, instead, to sit on the floor). It doesn’t even matter that I can’t feel my derrière an hour into the day because the conversation has been fascinating. The system combines French, Vaganova (Russian), and Cecchetti (Italian) methods – meaning everything I’ve mentally tried to separate in the past, they’ve taken the best of each system and smooshed it together. They’ve put a great deal of attention and care into breaking down combinations and champion simplicity, cleanliness, and fun as pedagogical objectives.

We’ve discussed the Pre-Primary, Primary, Levels 1, 2, and 3 curricula (very roughly targeting ages 3 to 12). In addition to the lectures, we have the opportunity to take class targeted to a specific age group (based on physical, emotional, and cognitive development). After we take this class, we are challenged to design appropriate exercises for each level, which we then share in smaller groups. I’m happy to say that I have crawled and roared like a bear in front of the Artistic Director of the program, spring pointed like a cacti, performed a sassy foot articulation tango, and enveloppé-d to “O Mio Babbino Caro.” Today will be rond de jambe en l’air. :)

Sorry – they asked us not to take photos, so I have none to share. Can’t wait to come back to Keshet and integrate different ideas and methods into classes!

Best of luck with Nutcracker on the Rocks auditions. Miss everyone!

With love,

Sarah (Swill)