RAPID CITY, S.D. – Becoming a professional ballerina is the dream of many young girls, but a lack of access to necessary training can put dancers in a tough position.
“I fell in love with ballet at the age of ten and at that time I was living in Sioux Falls, and there were not many professional training opportunities available,” explains Madeleine Scott, founder and artistic director of South Dakota Ballet. “So I moved away at the age of 13 to pursue a professional career. I moved to Philadelphia, then on to New York, then started getting jobs, which took me to Salt Lake, Sacramento over to Europe and into Spain, and now I’m with Dance Aspen in Aspen. So my career has just continued from there and I hope to see South Dakota Ballet bring that opportunity to South Dakota and make it accessible for kids to do this without having to leave home.”
To provide opportunities in rural locations, South Dakota Ballet brought their first summer intensive to Rapid City this year, with another out east.
“We have two different summer intensives taking place, one in Rapid City and one in Sioux Falls. These programs generally bring kids from all over the region. I know at our Sioux Falls program, we have kids from Omaha and Sioux City and Minneapolis, from all over coming to them, and this is only our first year here in Rapid City. So we do intend to see this program grow for next year,” Scott adds.
Students are taught by professionals and then get to dance alongside them to also gain professional performance experience.
“So while we’re having company rehearsals, we have them over in the other studio working with the professionals, learning from amazing dancers from all over the country,” says Kaya Wolsey, dancer and choreographer for South Dakota Ballet.
The result of the intensive is a performance title ‘Invisible Threads’, with professional dancers as well as the students.
“Invisible Threads is our big summer gala production here at South Dakota Ballet,” Scott adds.
It will take place on Thursday, June 16 at the Monument, with tickets available here.
“A lot of the pieces you’ll see in the show are along the vein of contemporary ballet…it’s just our true foundation and what we’ve done forever and our passion. And it’s really fun to see the show come together because there are beautiful ballet dancers and you’ll see the beautiful lines, but you’ll get to see something new and exciting that’s never been seen before,” says Wolsey.