Dancing through Summer

Alan Alberto, FBP Company Dancer
Alan Alberto, FBP Company Dancer

A few thoughts from Alan Alberto, Summer Dance Intensive Director-

The FBP Company may be on their summer hiatus, but in the studios there’s plenty of dance getting underway!

SDI 2014


We’ve been enthusiastically preparing for our Summer Dance Intensive 2014 and it’s finally arrived! It’s hard to believe the time has finally come – preparations have taken more than 9 months, and Mary Ann and I traveled to 12 cities on our National Audition Tour (Sponsored by MotionWear). Now, we are excited to host 105 students at FBP over the next six weeks in both the Senior and Junior intensives.

Our program is aimed to challenge, encourage, excite, and ultimately improve the technique and ability of our students. The rigorous curriculum includes a wide array of classes – from ballet and pointe, to modern and jazz, to men’s classes and even a few field trips!

The Senior and Junior programs will each have their own culminating performances in the FBP Black Box Theatre. All of these are open to the public, and we invite you to see what we have been working on this summer!

  • Senior Intensive performances: July 25, 4:00pm, 7:30pm; Tickets: $25
  • Junior Intensive performance: August 8, 4:00pm; Tickets: $15

The Senior Intensive performances will have an intermission reception with hors d’oeuvres. Tickets will be available for SDI 2014 families on June 28, and will go on sale to the public on July 14.


I’m very excited to announce that we will be returning to Waterfire to perform during the July 26 lighting. The entire evening is called “C is for Cure”, focused on raising awareness about the Hepatitis C virus, in partnership with RI Defeats Hep C.


The performance will take place at the amphitheater at Waterplace Park in the evening on the July 26th. I will pass along further details as we get closer to the event.

“The C Project” will involve dancers from SDI 2014 performing works by three choreographers: Shura Baryshnikov, Ashley Perez, and Andrea Dawn Shelley. FBP Company Dancers will be featured in a piece yet to be determined, but sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Together, these works will represent a unique and powerful collaboration between artists and the medical community to raise awareness about Hepatitis C.

Summer Dance Intensive students during an afternoon performance at Waterplace park in 2011.
Summer Dance Intensive students during an afternoon performance at Waterplace park in 2011.

Open Classes for the Masses

Dance is an experience worth sharing. There are plenty of ways to “partake” in dance this summer, and one of the most exciting – and rewarding – is by taking one of our Adult Ballet classes offered throughout the summer.

Our Adult classes are intended for a wide range of ages and abilities, offered in a supportive, inclusive environment. There are two levels (Beginner & Intermediate) of Ballet and Modern, as well as one level of Conditioning. The full schedule can be found here.

Adult Students in class earlier this week
Adult Students in class earlier this week

It’s going to be a fantastic few months here at FBP, and I can’t wait to see you in the audience, or the studio, or both!


A foundation for the future

A word from FBP School Director Mary Ann Mayer:

An education in dance enriches a child’s overall development and contributes to positive self-esteem and a sense of belonging and worthiness that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

In our Culmination performance this weekend, this positive energy will shine through each of our students. I’m so proud of all of them for their hard work – from the adorable Pre-Ballet II students to our dedicated advanced students.

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

This year our students’ accomplishments have been many and varied:

  • 9 Students participated in IonaFest (video below),
  • 22 students performed in Together We Dance 3 (photos below),
  • 20 students performed in chatterBOXtheatre performances,
  • More than 100 students performed in Nutcracker,
  • 25 students competed in the regional Youth America Grand Prix competition, two of whom were invited to New York for the finals,
  • 2 students performed a work choreographed by one of their classmates at the Kozlova International Contemporary Choreographers and Dancers Competition,
  • 21 students participated in the first annual Worcester County Dance Festival,
  • 9 young girls went en pointe for the first time,
  • And this Sunday, 25 Pre-Ballet II students will perform on stage for the first time.

FBP School Students reprising their performance of "IonaFest Parasols" piece in "Together We Dance 3", October 2013.
FBP School Students reprising their performance of “IonaFest Parasols” piece in “Together We Dance 3”, October 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Together We Dance 3
FBP Adaptive Program students Sean Muldoon (front left) and Alyzabeth Bertrand (front right) along with FBP School students in “Together We Dance 3”, October 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

FBP School students in class
FBP School students in class. Photo by A. Cemal Ekin.

For a handful of our students, training here would not be possible without financial aid from a scholarship program that offsets or covers their tuition. But the need for scholarships is far greater than we can currently grant. As a result, many of the financial aid applications that come across my desk are approved for a lesser amount than is needed. In more extreme cases, the students’ needs are met in full, but FBP absorbs the cost without a funding source.

Recently, an anonymous donor joined with the FBP Board of Trustees to present our supporters with a challenge: they will match every “Funding the Future” gift dollar-for-dollar, until we reach our goal of $21,500. “Funding the Future” gifts are split between the newly established “Christine Hennessey Scholarship Fund,” and FBP programming (including commissioning new choreography). Together, these gifts fund the future of dance at both an educational and professional level.

Click here to give a “Funding the Future” gift

Christine Hennessey believed passionately in the power of classical ballet training. Having a strong school would not only enrich the lives of the students, it would also strengthen the company as a whole. It it gives me great joy to take our scholarship program to the next level, and in doing so honor Christine – FBP’s guiding light for its first two decades.

We are currently half-way to our goal of $21,500. Please join the donors who have already voiced their support for the future of dance at FBP. And join us this Sunday for Culmination 2014 (1:30pm or 6:00pm at Sapinsley Hall at Rhode Island College) to see firsthand how truly inspiring these young dancers are.

I am so proud of all of our students, whose dedication and passion is on display daily. Seeing the great joy that dance brings to these children and young adults brings me an even greater joy.

Mary Ann Mayer
Mary Ann Mayer; School Director, Festival Ballet Providence

Mary Ann Mayer
Director, Festival Ballet Providence School