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Colorado Ballet Academy opens 2014-2015 class registration

Monday, July 07, 2014

DENVER – Registration is now open for Colorado Ballet Academy’s 2014-2015 session of dance classes for children and adults.  The session begins on August 25 and will take place at Colorado Ballet’s new studios, located at 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204.

The Academy offers a children’s program, pre-professional trainee program and adult and teen open program.  The children's program includes various dance classes for ages two to 10 in creative movement, ballet, tap and more.  Students in the children’s program study a variety of dance concepts while working on spatial awareness, problems solving and strengthening the body and brain.

Students must be invited to join the pre-professional trainee program and must meet the minimum standards regarding pointe work (for girls) and the physicality generally considered necessary for professional success in classical ballet.

“Several of our pre-professional students this fall will participate in online academic programs to allow for more concentration on their ballet training,” said Valerie Madonia, Colorado Ballet Academy Director.  “When not at work on academics, students will attend two daily ballet technique classes, augmented with pointe, pas de deux, modern, character, Pilates, variations and choreography classes taught by Academy faculty members as well as occasional guest artists. Art history and French language will also be introduced.”

Level 2 through pre-professional Colorado Ballet Academy students registered for the 2014-2015 session will have the opportunity to audition for roles in Colorado Ballet’s 2014 professional productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Nutcracker.

In addition to the children’s classes and the pre-professional classes, the Academy offers an adult and teen open program for ages 18 and up, with classes for various skill levels in ballet, tap and modern dance.

“We have so many things to look forward to at the Colorado Ballet Academy this fall including our new building,” said Madonia.  “Our new facility in the Art District on Santa Fe will allow us to grow the Academy by offering more classes in brand new, state-of-the-art studios.  We will also have better neighborhood parking for Academy families, a larger parent lounge and access to the new black box theater in the building, where we can present more Academy performances to the public.”

Colorado Ballet and Colorado Ballet Academy plan to move into their new building later in July 2014.  For more information about fall classes, visit

Preparing for Summer Intensive

Friday, June 06, 2014

In about a week and a half, Colorado Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program begins.  Throughout the duration of the program, more than 150 students from all over the US and the world will train at Colorado Ballet from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., six days a week.  With such an intense schedule, we wanted to help participating students prepare before they arrive.  If you are participating in Summer Intensive, please read your acceptance packet for a checklist of items to bring and additional information you will need to know before you start the program.  We want to make sure that all participants stay healthy during their time with us.

We feel that healthy eating and sufficient rest is essential to succeeding in our program.  As such, we will monitor the general well-being of all participants.

Nutrition is very important during Summer Intensive and all students will need to bring lunch (provided by DU if they are housing) and snacks with them every day.  It is difficult to focus on Pliés on an empty stomach, so please bring nutritious snacks and avoid snacks and lunches that include nuts, peanut butter or other nut butters due to the number of students with severe nut allergies.  Water is also very important, so bring a water bottle and hydrate frequently.  Students from a lower altitude should drink more water to help avoid headaches and altitude sickness.  It will take a few days to acclimate to Denver’s 5,280 feet above sea level!

Rest is also a key factor in recovering from the intense training.  Students in the dorms will adhere to strict lights out policies, but students who are not staying in the dorms should also make sure to get enough sleep, at least 8-9 hours every night.

Injuries are a common concern for dancers and we want to ensure that all of our participants are healthy and injury free.  As such, we reserve the right to stop any student from participating and ask for a doctor, physical therapist or other medical professional to evaluate any injury before allowing the student to return to classes.  Please understand that this precaution is to prevent injuries to our students.  We will have a physical therapist and massage therapist available by appointment to help our students work on and prevent injuries.  Please check your acceptance packet for more information about the physical therapist and massage therapist.

We want all of our Summer Intensive students to have a healthy and productive time during the program.  We look forward to seeing you at Summer Intensive!

Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

Summer open classes for adults and teens start on Monday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Colorado Ballet Academy offers many different open classes for adult and teen students who wish to have a flexible and less intensive training experience.  Summer open classes run June 2-August 9, 2014 and will take place at the Colorado Ballet studios at 1278 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203.  We will be moving to our new location at some point this summer, but we will announce more details of the move on our website, social media channels and via e-mails.  For now, all summer classes will remain at the existing studios.  Adult and teen open classes include:

Adult Absolute Beginners Ballet
Fridays 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Never taken a ballet class before but have always wanted to try?  This is the perfect class for you!  Learn ballet basics in this class for absolute ballet beginners.  Students can join at any point during the summer!

Adult Beginning Ballet
Mondays 5:30-7 p.m. or Tuesdays 7-8:30 p.m.
Suitable for the beginner adult as well as students who would like to work in a slower paced environment. This class progresses slowly and is open to adult beginners at any point in the summer. Students are encouraged to follow more experienced students as well as ask questions when needed.

Intermediate Ballet
Mondays 5:30-7 p.m. or Tuesdays 10-11:30 a.m. or Thursdays 6-7:30 p.m.
This is an intermediate ballet class for adults and teens who have had some ballet training.

Intermediate/Advanced Ballet
Wednesdays 6-7:30 p.m. or Fridays 10-11:30 a.m. or Fridays 6-7:30 p.m.
Welcomes students teen through adult with at least three years of committed ballet training. This class, like all of our open classes, are subject to the needs of the overall attendees of each class. Students attending this class are expected to know basic barre and center vocabulary as well as simple petite allegro, pirouettes, combinations from the corner and grand allegro.

Open program pricing:

  • Drop in per class - $15
  • 4 class punch card - $57
  • 10 class punch card - $125
To register for any of these classes, please click here to download a registration form and bring it with you to your first day of classes or arrive at least 15 minutes prior to class to fill out a registration form in the Academy office.

Academy Children's Summer Programs start on Monday

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Colorado Ballet Academy's Summer Children's Programs start on Monday, June 2 and run throughout the summer until August 14! The classes are for children ages 3-16 and will take place at Colorado Ballet's studios.  Colorado Ballet will move to its new location this summer, but for now, all classes and intensives will take place at our current studios at 1278 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203.  We will let you know on our website, social media channels and via e-mail when we move to our new location at 11th and Santa Fe Drive later this summer.

For prices or to register for any of these classes, visit  A few of the camps are full, but there is still time to register for the other great classes this summer!  Here are the summer children's programs:

Pre-Intensive Program
Ages 7-12
Dates: June 2-6, 2014 | June 9-13, 2014 - Full | July 28-August 1, 2014 | August 4-8, 2014
Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Our pre-intensive program is designed to prepare students to participate in the full 6 week intensive and build a solid foundation in ballet technique. Classes include ballet, modern, jazz , choreography, stretch, and history of dance to provide a well rounded day of dance. Each day will include a ballet class with the other disciplines alternated though the week. This program provides a semi-intensive experience.

Creative Dance
Ages 3-4
Dates: June 2-6, 2014 | July 28-August 1, 2014 | August 4-8, 2014
|Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This very popular program for young children explores various forms of movement through imaginative games, songs, music and rhythmical patterns as well as encourages taking turns and direction from the teacher. Students are also led in dance inspired crafts, story time and snack time.

Boy's Creative Dance
Ages 3-
Dates: June 9-13, 2014
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This class takes boys on a journey to the jungle and beyond, where we learn to jump like a cheetah and slither like a snake. Through imaginative games, music, rhythmical patterns and fun, dance takes shape in this class. Students are also led in dance inspired crafts, story time and snack time.

Ballet Princess Camp
Ages 4-5
June 2-5, 2014 | June 9-12, 2014 - full | July 28-31, 2014 | August 11-14, 2014
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The classic princesses featured prominently in the world of ballet come to life in this camp. Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Beauty and the Beast are some of the ballets that we will explore. We’ll listen to music, create ballet dances and make crafts inspired by these different princesses. Snack breaks included!

Sleeping Beauty Fairy Camp
Ages 5-6
June 2-5, 2014 | June 9-12, 2014 | July 28-31, 2014 - almost full
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

There are 11 fairies in The Sleeping Beauty ballet! We’ll read about them, listen to some of their music, create a dance and craft inspired by them. Snack break included!

Boys Movement
Ages 6-8
August 11-14, 2014
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This class takes boys on a journey to the jungle and beyond, where we learn to jump like a cheetah and slither like a snake. Through imaginative games, music, rhythmical patterns and fun, dance takes shape in this class. Students are also led in dance inspired crafts, story time and snack time.

Boys Introduction to Dance
Ages 9-11
June 9-13, 2014
Monday-Friday 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

An introduction and exploration of movement and dance in a supportive environment. This program will provide opportunity to try different forms of dance such as tap, jazz, modern and ballet as well as body conditioning.

Dancing Days
Ages 7-9
August 4-8, 2014
Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ballet, modern, jazz, choreography and stretch classes will provide a well rounded day of dance. Each day will include a ballet class with the other disciplines alternated though the week. This program is designed to introduce students to a variety of dance training.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Colorado Ballet Academy at the History Colorado Center!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Colorado Ballet Academy students perform at

the History Colorado Center in 2013

Make this Mother’s Day extra special by treating your mom to a Colorado Ballet Academy event, hosted by the History Colorado Center. At 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 11 students from the Colorado Ballet Academy will put on a dazzling performance inspired by renowned dancers Alicia Alonso and Alessandra Ferri. This intimate production will be danced to music from the classical ballets of Giselle and Romeo and Juliet, and will also feature a new work created especially for this Mother’s Day!

The Academy will present three different pieces, from students of Levels 1, 3, and 4. Carolina Pahde, one of the Academy’s choreographers, has said that the new work in this year’s collection will feature a special solo performance inspired by the popular 2013 animated film Frozen.

Colorado Ballet Academy is thrilled to be participating this year in the third annual Mother’s Day event at History Colorado. Visitor Experience Coordinator of the History Colorado Center, Alison Salutz says, “Each year, we invite families to the museum for brunch and a performance, and we're excited to have Colorado Ballet Academy dancers participating in this event; we will also have another performance that day by the Rocky Mountain Youth Dance Foundation, so it will be a day of dance!”

The cost of the performance is free, with museum admission - adults are $12, seniors and students are $10, and children are $8. However, if you are planning to attend the brunch buffet prior to the performance, the total cost including both the brunch and the performance will be $35 for adults and $15 for children. The brunch will feature a selection of salads, oven-roasted sirloin, salmon en croute, frittata, breakfast pastries, a waffle bar and more! Adult tickets will also include one mimosa or sparkling cider.

Seating for the brunch will be at 1 p.m., followed by the Colorado Ballet Academy dance performance at 3:30 p.m. Please note that reservations for the brunch are required by Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

The History Colorado Center is located at 1200 Broadway, Denver and parking for this event can be found at the Civic Center Cultural Complex Garage at 12th and Broadway, or in the public parking garage located directly north of the History Colorado Center.

So why should you attend this event over the other Mother’s Day happenings around Denver? It’s not every day that you get to be a part of a live ballet performed inside the designated steward of Colorado history. Show your support to the students of Colorado Ballet Academy. The Colorado Ballet Academy is committed to excellence in dance education and provides the highest quality of dance training available in the state. Spending your afternoon in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District, while enjoying a spectacular brunch and an exclusive dance performance will surely make for an unforgettable day of honoring your mother!

For more information on the History Colorado Center, please visit

For more information on the Colorado Ballet Academy, please visit

Colorado Ballet Academy: Q&A with instructor Kathi Crum

Friday, March 07, 2014
Kathi Crum

Colorado Ballet is thrilled to present one of its newest instructors, Kathi Crum. Since August 2013, Kathi has supported the Academy’s quality training program, allowing all of her students a strong foundation of ballet technique, discipline, and self-confidence to achieve their greatest potential of artistic and technical expression. Teaching classes in creative movement through level 3 and eventually level 4, her inspiration has come from her passion for the art since a young child. “My philosophy for teaching ballet is to first honor the 400 year discipline, and my teachers, by maintaining high standards of technique, expectations, and artistry,” said Kathi.

During an interview with Colorado Ballet, Kathi revealed her true passion for dancing and shed light on what the art has meant to her. Below are a few Q&A’s with our new academy teacher:

What's your favorite part about teaching with Colorado Ballet?
Kathi: It is an honor to work with other distinguished members in the ballet community to maintain and elevate the caliber of ballet.  But having the company on-site to be an example for the students to strive for is a wonderful opportunity.

What’s your philosophy on dancing?
Kathi: Wow - a big question with a big answer... I'll try to make it short.  My philosophy for teaching ballet is to first honor the 400 year discipline, and my teachers, by maintaining high standards of technique, expectations, and artistry.  So I consistently evaluate the effectiveness of my own teaching and continue to learn from the best in the field internationally. To pass on the art I have to to get each child engaged, interested and excited about what they are learning.  Ballet and dance is a joyful expression at its essence, I take the balance of maintaining a hardworking, productive class in a positive, encouraging, atmosphere very seriously. Children thrive and learn best when acknowledged, are happy, and understand the expectations.  I insist that correct execution of the movement be strived for. I like smart dancers... when they are ready they learn why and how a movement is executed as well as to how to 'self-correct'.  In the end, I want each student to achieve their individual best technically, artistically and with good character.

Who do you look up to? Who are your mentors?
Kathi: My mother for always infusing the arts, beauty, curiosity, and compassion into my life. My first ballet teacher, Marsha Ismailoff Mark, for developing my eye for artistry. Trinette Singleton, for being exacting in her requirements for sound and clean ballet technique. And Marcia Dale-Weary for demonstrating the possibility of effective, high quality teaching and results with an unconventional performing career.

What does ballet mean to you?
Kathi: Ballet... I am honored to be a part of such a long-standing art. Ballet has been a part of my life since first watching it on TV as a 4-year and then live productions that my mother would take me too.  I have been very blessed to have had so many wonderful opportunities and to use those experiences to enrich my ability to teach my students.  Whether it's a student or an audience member, I get to brighten their day through the joy and beauty of ballet - how wonderful is that?!

What is your favorite ballet?
Kathi: I love watching the contemporary or neoclassical ballets, like Colorado Ballet's upcoming Ballet Director's Choice performances, for their innovation, creativity, and dynamics.  However, of the classical ballets, Don Quixote is always exciting to watch. 

*For information on Colorado Ballet Academy and classes please visit
*Kathi Crum’s full bio can be found at

Summer Intensive Special Guest Instructor: Sascha Radetsky

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Sascha Radetsky
Colorado Ballet’s official school is known as the Colorado Ballet Academy, where thousands of students have been exposed to the highest quality of dance training and where many have started their careers as professional dancers. The Academy offers a Summer Intensive Program, where students are considered for the year-long pre-professional program as well as the opportunity to join the Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company. In addition to the various classes offered during the Summer Intensive, Colorado Ballet hosts special guest instructors. Students at this year’s intensive will have the opportunity to take class from special guest Sascha Radetsky, an actor and soloist danseur of the American Ballet Theatre.

Many recognize Sascha Radetsky from starring in the popular 2000 American teen drama film Center Stage, where he played Charlie. He also appeared in the hit Mandy Moore music video “I Wanna Be with You,” from the movie’s soundtrack. Radetsky had leading roles in the PBS television movie Home at Last, and the NBC television series Midnight Caller. Currently, Radetsky has been working on set in New York City for a new ballet drama series, Flesh and Bone, which is expected to debut on Starz in 2015!
Scene from Center Stage
This gifted dancer has studied on scholarship at various renowned summer programs including one of Colorado’s very own, at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, in Vail. He has also danced the works of acclaimed choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Along with Sascha Radetsky, other special guest appearances during Colorado Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program will include Stella Abrera, Dana Benton, Gil Boggs, Erica Fischbach, John Gardner, Domenico Luciano, Valerie Madonia, Amanda McKerrow, Judy Rice, Igor Vassine, Dominic Walsh, and Sharon Wehner.
For more information regarding Summer Intensive 2014 click here:

Colorado Ballet hires Valerie Madonia as Academy Director

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Colorado Ballet has hired Valerie Madonia as its Academy Director and she will start on August 19, 2013.  Madonia most recently served as the artistic director of the Palm Arts Dance Program in Telluride, CO.

“It's an honor to be chosen to lead Colorado's premiere ballet Academy at this exciting time in the school’s history as we prepare to move into our new state-of-the-art studios in the Art District on Santa Fe in 2014,” said Madonia.  “I'm confident that as we refine our vision and raise the school's standard of excellence, we will become a desired destination for dance students from around the globe.”

Colorado Ballet Academy provides training to students age three through adult, beginner through professional.  The Academy has honed the dance skills of thousands of students and has started the careers of many professional dancers.  Students train alongside the professional Company dancers and have the opportunity to audition for roles in Colorado Ballet's professional productions, including Colorado Ballet's annual production of The Nutcracker.

About Valerie Madonia

Valerie Madonia started her training with Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY and then trained at the National Ballet School of Canada from 1975-1979.

She danced professionally for more than 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada from1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), at American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino).  She began her career as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually established herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey.  Madonia had the honor of dancing with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Configuration Ballet and at Le Gala des Etoiles numerous times in Montreal and Greece.  She performed the role of the Princess in Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and with the New York Philharmonic in 2005, conducted by Alan Gilbert and accompanied by Pinkus Zuckerman.  In 1995, Madonia began organizing performances with other professional dancers to tour Southwestern Colorado and established her own company, Alpine Dance, Inc. from 1998-2001.

Madonia appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books including Classical Ballet Technique by G.W. Warren.

She has been teaching for 17 years, served on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 2000-2003, taught for the Joffrey Ballet School since 1996 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop in Georgia from 2003-2010.  She teaches biannually in Yokohama, Japan and teaches master classes at The Four Corners Dance Experience and for the Regional Ballet Association Festivals.  She is also an adjudicator and master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix.

Madonia has been a guest teacher for: The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Alaska Dance Theatre, Louisiana Delta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Boulder Ballet.  During her tenure as Artistic Director of the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts from 1998-2002, she helped found the Telluride Dance Academy.  She served as the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Telluride Dance Academy from 2006-2010.  Since the fall of 2011, she has been teaching and directing for Palm Arts Dance in Telluride, CO.

Her choreographic credits include a full length Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Polar Express, Appalachian Spring, solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in Colorado Ballet, Ballet West and Dayton Ballet.  Critics and audiences alike enthusiastically received her newest work, Shapeshift, commissioned for Boulder Ballet in 2012.



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