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From Studio to Stage

A Unique Program in Ballet Performance
Ages 1224 or HCD students currently in level 2B and above
June 27July 23, 2016

“We provide an atmosphere of creative freedom with focus on clarity of intention to help
students find their genuine artistic voice.” 
- Amanda McKerrow & John Gardner

Join Artistic Directors Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner for this exceptional program designed to provide a rigorous technical schedule, individual coaching and daily intensive rehearsals culminating in a professionally produced evening of ballet.

Amanda McKerrow & John Gardner, 2016 Artistic Directors

Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.

McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of Mary Day, where she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Killian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full length classics such as, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world. Among them, American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.

John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he began his ballet training with Gwen Ashton. He subsequently trained at the National Academy of Dance in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre School summer program in 1977, and was invited to join the second company thereafter. In 1978 Mr. Gardner joined the main company of American Ballet Theatre, and was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1984. Mr. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many Soloist and Principal roles, represented an extensive range of styles, and afforded him the opportunity to work with many of the master choreographers of the twentieth century, including Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp.

In 1991 Gardner was invited to dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. He danced with the company for five years, and worked closely with many acclaimed modern dance choreographers, most notably Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and David Gordan. Mr. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with White Oak Dance Project, and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. He returned to American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in 1996, and continued to perform with the company  until 2002.

After retiring from the stage Mr. Gardner began to pursue a career as a teacher and coach. He taught the graded level program at Ballet Academy East in New York City for three years. During this time he also taught at various dance studios around the city, including Broadway Dance, where he had the privilege of working as a substitute teacher for the Master Teacher David Howard upon his request. Mr. Gardner has enjoyed his development as a teacher, coach, ballet master, and choreographer over the years, and has worked extensively at both the professional and student levels. He is a sanctioned repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied. He has been invited to work in these many capacities for ballet companies and schools around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Mr. Gardner is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur Amanda McKerrow.

From the Artistic Directors

Dear Students,
It is with great pleasure that we will be serving as your Artistic Directors for the From Studio to Stage summer program. We are excited for this truly unique opportunity, and are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and experience of this very special process. The journey that begins with work in the studio and culminates with live performances on stage is like no other, and affords us all the possibilities for growth in ways limited only by our imaginations.

We have both been very fortunate to have spent the majority of our lives in the pursuit of excellence in dance, and have much gratitude for having had the opportunity of working with many of the great choreographers and dancers of today, and of the twentieth century. We have found through our experiences as students, performers, and especially as teachers, that of the myriad of approaches used in the process of building a dance or a dancer, one must first master the given vocabulary, and then act with great purpose, patience, and perseverance.

The studio is in essence a place of discovery. A place to feel safe and to take chances. A place to explore and find yourself through your art. A place to test your boundaries and push beyond them. We enjoy providing an atmosphere of creative freedom for all of our students, and will focus on sensitivity through musicality and clarity of intention in all areas of your work. We feel this is the best way to help you find your most genuine artistic voice, and reach your highest potential as a dancer and as an individual.

We look forward to seeing you all in Hartford this summer, and hope you will enjoy this experience as much as we know we will!

With much happiness,
Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner

From Studio to Stage Program Details

Students will:

  • Participate in a rigorous technical schedule of ballet technique, pointe, variations, contemporary technique, composition, men's classes, and body conditioning.

  • Work in daily intensive rehearsals and perform in a professionally produced evening of ballet at the culmination of the program (4-week participants only).

  • Be coached in a classical variation by Artistic Directors Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner.

  • Perform a classical variation on stage and receive constructive feedback from a panel of faculty (3- and 4-week participants only).

  • Participate in Preparacion Fisica to increase turn-out, extension, strength and stamina, and build your body into a strong and healthy instrument.

  • Build confidence for the stage.

Highlights of this unique program

  • Full and partial merit-based scholarship opportunities available.
  • Located in state-of-the-art facilities of The Hartt School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, two hours away from NYC and Boston.
  • Train from 9 to 5:30, Monday through Saturday for 4-week participants.
  • Opportunities for 2, 3 or 4 week options.
  • Secure, supervised housing available.
  • Daily transportation, meals, and linens included in housing packages. (Box lunches provided under the housing packages. Commuter students should bring their own packed lunch everyday.)
  • Excursions to area attractions.
  • Weekly group dance talks and an American Ballet Theatre full-length ballet.
  • Individualized coaching in a classical variation and panel feedback for 3- and 4-week participants.

2016 Tuition:

Audition Fee: $25.00

Registration Fee: $50.00

Full Program: $1,800.00

Optional Housing for Full Program: $2,275.00

3 Week Program: $1,500.00

Optional Housing for 3 Week Program: $1,975.00

2 Week Program: $1,100.00

Optional Housing for 2 Week Program: $1,375.00


Registration is 30 minutes prior to audition time at each site.

Hartford, Conn.

The Hartt School
Handel Performing Arts Center
35 Westbourne Parkway
Hartford, CT  06112

  • January 10, 2016
    23 p.m. (FSTS II)
    3–4:30 p.m. (FSTS)
  • February 7, 2016
    2–3 p.m. (FSTS II)
    3–4:30 p.m. (FSTS)
  • March 27, 2016 (Please note that this event falls on Easter Sunday.)
    2–3 p.m. (FSTS II)
    3–4:30 p.m. (FSTS)

Houston, Tex.

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
4001 Stanford Street
Houston, TX 77006

  • December 11, 2015
    1:30–3 p.m. (FSTS)

Brookline, Mass.

The Brookline Ballet School
1431 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

  • January 30, 2016
    4:30–6 p.m. (FSTS and FSTS II)

New York, N.Y.

Joffrey Ballet School
434 6th Avenue 
New York, NY 10011

  • January 31, 2016
    12 p.m. (FSTS and FSTS II)

Los Angeles, Calif.

LA County High School for the Arts
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

  • January 28, 2016
    1:30–3 p.m. (FSTS)

Chicago, Ill.

Lou Conte Dance Studio
1147 W Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60607

  • January 31, 2016
    9:30–11 a.m. (FSTS)

Columbus, Ohio

BalletMet Dance Academy
322 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215

  • January 31, 2016
    3:30–5 p.m. (FSTS and FSTS II)

Miami, Fla.

Artistic Dance Center
10181 NW 58th St #13
Miami, FL 33178

  • February 13, 2016
    4:30–6 p.m. (FSTS and FSTS II)

Philadelphia, Pa.

Pennsylvania Ballet
323 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

  • February 21, 2016
    12–1 p.m. (FSTS and FSTS II)

Full and partial merit-based scholarship opportunities available
Room and Board available.
2- and 3-week options available.

Housing and an improved meal plan are available on the beautiful and safe University of Hartford campus.  Students will be supervised by capable and knowledgeable staff.

From Studio to Stage: Past Years

Summer 2015

  • From Studio to Stage Artistic Director Xiomara Reyes
  • Giselle
  • From Studio to Stage II Artistic Director Zoica Tovar
  • The Little Mermaid

Summer 2014

  • From Studio to Stage Artistic Director Angel Corella
  • Don Quixote
  • From Studio to Stage II Artistic Director Jessica Kilpatrick
  • Encounters with Alice

Summer 2013

  • Artistic Director Laura Alonso
  • Le Corsaire

Summer 2012

  • Artistic Director Bruce Marks
  • Coppelia

Dress Code

Any solid color leotard, pink tights, ballet slippers, pointe shoes*

*Auditions may or may not include a pointework section dependent upon the audition location and at discretion of the auditioner. Students auditioning for FSTS  will participate in a pointework section if given.Students auditioning for FSTS II at a location wherein levels are combined need not participate in the pointework portion of the audition for admission into the program.

Required Materials

  • $25 Audition Fee
  • Headshot
  • Photo in 1st arabesque
  • Photo in tendu a la seconde
  • No resume is needed

Registration is 30 minutes prior to audition time at each site.

Click here for video audition information.

2016 audition form.

For more information, contact the Hartt Community Division office at (860) 768-6000 or dancedesk@hartford.edu

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