Under the direction of Statesboro Youth Ballet director Jurijs Safonovs, students completed two weeks of rigorous study at the Averitt Center for the Arts Summer Ballet Intensive Friday.
Besides ballet, students took lessons in pointe technique, character dance, jazz, modern and dance composition. The program concluded with an hour-long showcase open to the public at the Emma Kelly Theater.
Safonovs, a Latvian native who is trained in the Vaganova classical ballet technique of Russia, believes it is important for dancers to maintain their technical proficiency and stay in shape, even over summer break. The intensive gives some students a chance to perfect what they have already learned while giving others a chance to learn some new skills.
Students were a mix of current Youth Ballet students and newcomers. Safonovs is excited about the region-wide interest, with students attending from Claxton, Pembroke and Atlanta. The Youth Ballet and the Averitt Center are currently exploring the possibility of expanding their dance facilities into Claxton and beyond to better facilitate participation.