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For aspiring ballerinas, summer intensives can provide a leg up

by Mary Plummer | Take Two

Ballet student Adele Hall stretches before a Level 6 class at Westside Ballet on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Hall was one of 90 students that tried out for Boston Ballet's summer intensive program in January at the Santa Monica dance studio. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Minutes before her audition with Boston Ballet, 16-year-old Anna Barnes ran through her list of things to remember: Shoulders down, legs turned out, stretch. Oh, and keep the nerves in check.

"It's really hard," she said. "You can just go crazy in your mind and that never helps."

Barnes was one of about 90 aspiring dancers who gathered at Westside Ballet in
Santa Monica in late January to try out for Boston Ballet's summer intensive program.

Summer intensives, which run for several weeks at ballet companies across the country, are seen as a critical stepping stone for young dancers wanting make it in the ultra competitive professional ballet world. 

KPCC's Mary Plummer has the story

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