En Face

Congratulations Milwaukee Ballet II

This week marks the end of the season for the 2008-09 Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program. Each day these dancers come into the studio committed to the training and guidance we provide them as pre-professional dancers. We nurture and prepare them for the demanding world of ballet.

I am proud of what Milwaukee Ballet II has accomplished as a team—they were swept off their feet from the start of the season, dancing with the Company in The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. This spring they toured Maria and the Magnificent Dancing Doll Shoppe, capturing the attention of young audiences, providing lively entertainment and lessons on basic ballet steps, and of course interacting with their audience, many who have never experienced ballet before. Needless to say, we keep our Milwaukee Ballet II dancers busy.

We extend our congratulations to six graduates from Milwaukee Ballet II who have received professional dance contract offers from several ballet companies. Their success is a testament to the quality of the Milwaukee Ballet II program. Click here for information on Milwaukee Ballet II's graduation performance. The graduates are:

Lisa Barrieau • Offer from Minnesota Ballet
Ashleigh Doede • Offer from Ballet Quad Cities
Emily Long • Offer from Ballet Quad Cities
Claire Reibe • Offer from Ballet Memphis
Isaac Sharratt • Offer from Milwaukee Ballet
Tiffany Smith • Offer from Ballet Quad Cities

I traditionally share the following thoughts with incoming dancers. However these thoughts are just as appropriate for young dancers closing one door to open another:

You have made the commitment to be a professional dancer, one of the most demanding professions. You are among a minority to work in a profession you love. Your passion and commitment must feed you. This is not "just" a job; this is a way of life. Do not waste one minute of the precious little time you will have as a dancer. Do not neglect your mind. Remember there is a world outside of dance, a world you will have to return to at some point.

Strive for self-improvement. The art form, by its nature, is one in which we must accept that we will fail more often than succeed. Accept this and you will grow. There are no rights or wrongs; there are only choices. If you make a choice, you make it because you believe it to be the best at the time; tomorrow you may make a different choice.

Talent is work, work, and more work.

Wishing you every success,

Michael Pink, Artistic Director