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51° Good Evening

Boys of the ballet

I am 11 years old and I take ballet lessons with about 20 other boys at the School of American Ballet ( at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. This is my third year and I love it. I take four 90-minute classes a week. I take three technique classes and one gymnastics class. Ballet is super fun!

Fifteen minutes before class I change into my dance clothes -- a white stretchy top, black leggings, white socks and white ballet slippers. Sometimes I like to watch the older students lifting each other and gracefully doing pointe while I stretch.

When we go into class we start off with plié at the barre to warm up. Then we do jetés and at the end we get in the center to do our jumps. A pianist plays music for us to dance to. In gymnastics we do flips and exercises to strengthen our core muscles.

This year I performed in "Romeo and Juliet" with the New York City Ballet at the Koch Theater. My role was Mandolin Boy and I had to dance and do some gymnastics tricks. I had to rehearse two or three days a week for two months with four other boys. When it was time to perform it was totally worth all the rehearsal time. We got to have makeup and really cool costumes. Backstage all the dancers stretch their legs on the walls and carefully pirouette. It's very busy!

For each performance we waited backstage for one to two hours. While we waited we met some of the principal dancers. And finally when it was our turn we leapt on stage. I could not see the audience with the lights shining in my face so I was not scared. I danced so hard it was difficult to smile as I was dripping with sweat. It was great.


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