Dance Beat: Roberto/Simon, Ellie, the Arts

CRoberto MunozOFFEE KLATSCH. It was great to meet with Roberto Muñoz, former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre ballet master who has moved on to head schools at the Colorado Ballet and summer sessions at Saratoga Springs Dance Intensive, which has also been expanded to Vail, Colorado. With him was Simon Ball, a former protégé and now principal dancer with Houston Ballet . They were in town to audition prospective students for Saratoga Springs at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre studios. We all go back a long way, to when Simon and his sister April (now a leading dancer in Les Ballets de Monte Carlo) were training with Roberto (then at Point Park University) for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. We talked about it all at the Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange — what fun memories! Also quickly apparent was that Roberto hasn’t lost his passion for teaching — he will never stop. And Simon is starting to give back himself, with the help of his mentor. Simon talked about Houston Ballet, where he was a mainstay in the transition over to artistic director Stanton Welch and about the great company studios, where he can now teach wherever he likes. See him talk about his favorite role, Onegin, on YouTube, followed by a tour of the  six-story HB studios, the largest in the U.S.

Ellie MorrisELLIE. Elenora Morris competed in the Prix de Lausanne this past week and, by all accounts, enjoyed herself immensely. Of course, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School  is glad to have her back and looking forward to her continued development. Read all about it on Facebook/Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

ARTS ADVOCACY. We’ve seen how people can effect change through the social media and the arts, such a valuable resource, are starting to inspire a similar momentum. Keep the arts alive by supporting Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania (also on Facebook).

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