Feature: Ballet / Ballet - General


Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov (karma: 4)
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Sep 25, 2012 01:23 PM
Edited by nycsylph (206174) on 2012-09-25 14:01:13 forgot image
Edited by nycsylph (206174) on 2012-09-25 14:03:13
Edited by webdeadmaster (251) on 2012-09-25 15:26:43 Make feature
Edited by nycsylph (206174) on 2012-09-26 07:38:43 typo

Hello DDNers!

This month I am honored to present an interview conducted with the astonishing Gelsey Kirkland and her equally fabulous husband, Michael Chernov. As for posting bios, yes, I will post one for both, but really, if you need to read who they are, what on earth are you doing on a ballet board? I mean, I’m just asking.

If you’ve been following any of my posts (and why would you! Ha!), you’ve probably noticed that most of my advice to young dancers consists of finding videos of Ms. Kirkland’s performances and posting them … along with comments like “Do it like this,” “This is what you should strive towards,” and “This is how it’s done!” A long-time fan, Gelsey Kirkland is one of the most legendary ballerinas of our era. Undoubtedly one of my all-time favorites, I was always captivated by her flawless execution and charm. Attending a ballet in which she was performing meant being swept away, and carried on the back of a fluffy cloud to ballet heaven! So many things to love about her, there was her attention to details, integrity, physical prowess, intelligent choices, and characterizations. All blending perfectly, the mixture never failed to make my heart go pitter patter!

It’s for all those reasons and more that I nearly fell off my chair when she and her husband agreed to talk with me about their wonderful new dance academy. I’d been hearing good things about it and was eager to learn more—as I’m sure are all of you! Of course, a tumble like that at my age is usually lethal, so I was more than happy that my cat’s scratching post broke my fall! Able to still walk, I brushed myself off and hobbled on off to The Gelsey Kirkland Academy—leaving a very upset feline in my wake.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the very elegant couple. Both gracious and very kind, they sat with me for a face-to-face in one of their spacious dance studios. Not feeling at all guilty about the young dance aspirants chased out of the classroom so I could conduct the interview, the students had just finished class and probably would have liked to catch their breath first, but no matter. Leaving them to fend for themselves, I sat in a folding chair, happy as a clam to talk about dance.

Gelsey Kirkland
Gelsey Kirkland received her early training at the School of American Ballet, gaining early stage experience dancing children’s roles in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Harlequinade. She graduated to the New York City Ballet in 1968, was promoted to soloist in 1970 and principal dancer in 1972. While in the New York City Ballet she performed a variety of leading roles in their repertory, including Concerto Barocco, The Cage, Irish Fantasy, Symphony in C, La Source, Theme and Variations, Tarantella, Harlequinade, The Nutcracker and Dances at a Gathering.

Her desire to master roles in full-length works coincided with Baryshnikov’s defection and invitation to dance with him at American Ballet Theatre, which she joined in 1974 as principal dancer. Teachers most influential in her development as a classical artist include Stanley Williams, Maggie Black, David Howard, actress and mime Pilar Garcia and dramaturge Greg Lawrence.

Ms. Kirkland received worldwide acclaim for her performances in the classical repertory: the title role in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, Clara in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, the sylph in La Sylphide, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in The Kingdom of the Shades, the Mazurka and pas de deux in Les Sylphides, and the sleepwalker in La Sonnambula. For the entire bio, please go here: www.gelseykirklandballet.org . . .

Michael Chernov

Michael Chernov received his early ballet and theatre training at the National Ballet and Theatre School in Melbourne, Australia. He has worked with classical ballet companies nationally and internationally. From 1987 to 1994 Mr. Chernov worked as an actor performing Off–Broadway and in regional theatre with the Hartford Stage Company and the Alonso Theatre Company in plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Shaw and Coward, working under the direction of Tony Award winning directors Vivian Matalon and Brian Murray. In 1992 he studied theatre directing at T. Schreiber Studios in New York and has directed plays by Anton Chekov and Horton Foote, including directing the actor Leonid Satinovsky from Russia’s prestigious Moscow Arts Theatre in Chekov’s The Bear. In 2003 Mr. Chernov received his Graduate Ballet Teacher’s Diploma (Vaganova Method) at the Victorian College of the Arts, and in 2006 completed a Master of Arts Administration at the University RMIT, Melbourne Australia. He taught classical ballet at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004 and 2005, and at Danceworld in Melbourne, Australia where he was co-director of the ballet program with his wife Gelsey Kirkland. He has taught at Steps on Broadway, Peridance Studios and Ballet Hispanico in New York and in summer programs throughout the U.S. From 2006-7 Mr. Chernov worked in collaboration with Gelsey Kirkland and Kevin McKenzie on the staging and choreography for The Sleeping Beauty at American Ballet Theatre.

Q: First, I’d like to thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for Dance.net. Since this interview centers on your new dance academy, I’d like to ask about where the idea for it originated. Was this a long-term project, or something that came to you fairly recently? Could you please give us a little bit of the background.

A: [Michael] In answer to your question, it wasn’t a one day kind of a decision. It was something that just formulated itself over several years. We’d actually left the U.S., and were living in Australia …

Q: And how long ago was this?

A: [Michael] This was in 1998. We’d moved to Australia for awhile, and after a couple of years of minor teaching and a bit of directing ...

A: [Gelsey] … ‘taking’ teacher’s training … not ‘teaching’ teacher’s training.

Q: Oh, okay!

A: [Michael] Yes, that’s right. We did a full year’s full-time course in the Vaganova method.

Q: Oh, so you both did that?

A: [Gelsey] Yes, but we also did two or three year’s more with Nina Osipyan. We did about four year’s altogether.

A: [Michael] This is important because teachers need to be trained to be teachers.

Q: Yes, I was going to ask you about that!

A: [Michael] It doesn’t matter how great you are as a dancer if you have teachers that don’t know how to teach. People like myself who did not have a major career, I’m better as a teacher. So we did the course and went onto an apprenticeship with Nina Osipyan and then we started directing our own ballet program in Melbourne, Australia for a year. During that time, we were always talking about what we would do if we had a school without any real intention. We’d say, “Well, we’ve really got to do this kind of thing!” as we walked our dogs along the beach in the morning because we lived by the beach. And then I’d say, “We’d do this,” and then she would say, “No, no, no, no, we’d do this!” [laughter] and etc., etc., etc., until finally we came back over here and applied for jobs at one or two places and found that we’d be best doing our own thing.

A: [Gelsey] We were invited to work on Sleeping Beauty with ABT.

Q: [addressing Gelsey] Now did you set the ballet on them? And did you stage it? [addressing Michael]

A: [Michael] We both did. Gelsey, Kevin McKenzie, and myself, but what’s behind your question is why is this school important, right?

Q: Yes, exactly.

A: [Michael] We believe this school is important because, in general, the word for everyone else’s training now is “eclectic.” Everybody wants “eclectic” training because the repertoire in ballet companies is so eclectic that you are required to perform a wide variety of styles, and that is absolutely a fact. However, to be able to do the classics, you have to have real classical training vs. just eclectic training. At some stage, you have to have a real grasp of what the classics are so what we concentrate on is Russian training, and we also do Danish training in the afternoon.

Q: Oh, really!

A: [Gelsey] Yes, it’s the Russian system, but the principles that underlie how you use that system are different, I would say, because we have many different body types in America and you can’t force an image. You have to get the body to function at its best within its limitations, so it’s a different process than going by an image. From that point of view, there are differences.

A: [Michael] Also one should say that before one gets into systems, basically, if I were to generalize, I would say that the ballet world is looking for a body types … and shapes … and tricks …

A: [Gelsey] … at this point in time.

A: [Michael] Yes, at this point in time, and we’re more interested in dance quality. That is more our priority. Of course, everyone is interested in dance quality, but if you ask a certain company, you can see by who they take into that company where their focus lies. So we are very much into the theatrical side of dance. In other words, the expression of needing to dance—and the form comes on top of that.

A: [Gelsey] And also the intelligence of the person who can discern the difference between a gesture that is truthful and a gesture that is false. The student has to have a certain kind of sophistication and focus in order to be interested in what that is. Because of that, in the curriculum we have acting and mime, as well as character dance, and elements that bring that challenge to the dancer. And you can see very soon who is able to find that important … not everybody finds that important.

A: [Michael] So the mentality of the student has to be attracted to the mentality of the school because there are different mentalities. Our school has a very specific mentality, or in modern terms you’d call it a “mission” and all of that stuff. It’s a particular mindset that Gelsey is talking about. It’s a journey or a search for the truth of movement, where it initiates from, and not just the razzamatazz part. So there’s not a cover for a smile in a performance. It’s actually creating and sculpting beauty, and not just aesthetic beauty, but trying to get across the idea through the aesthetic.

A: [Gelsey] Also it’s a relatively new idea that you have to be trained to do all of these different styles because there are many examples of great classical dancers who were trained only in classical technique who had no problem. As a matter of fact, they were much better at it than people who didn’t have strong classical training because classicism isn’t abstract. It’s a very centered statement of something. It’s an expression of an idea. And then when you are trying to express another idea, the body can go off center, but it has to start from some place.

Q: I notice that your mission statement is “storytelling.” I’m wondering if that has gone out of ballet with the inclusion of this reliance on pure technique or body type or being able to do everything as opposed to concentrating on one thing.

A: [Gelsey] Definitely. The interesting thing is that, for example, the art of pantomime is very foreign now.

Q: Yes!

A: [Gelsey] So if you set up a scene, the general approach is people just imitating what they see because they don’t have mime technique. Therefore, it’s not really a mystery if you go to the theater and you’re not moved because the whole company, each individual, has to have these tools and techniques taught to them. Not when they’re professional and only have a few hours to rehearse, you know. It’s knowledge, and it has to get into the body, and ballet dancers are not necessarily the ones who can teach that. You have to be searching how those things are brought into the ballets that are set so that the acting doesn’t become artificial … or histrionic.

Q: Yes, exactly. I guess we’re touching on something that I’m finding missing in performances lately. It’s that emotional connection, I’m not feeling it as much as I used to. For me, that’s what it’s about for me when I go see dance. If I’m not swept away, what am I doing there? [laughter]

A: [Michael] One very famous actress in Britain used to say, “If I don’t walk half a mile in the wrong direction after leaving the theater, it wasn’t a performance worth attending!” [more laughter]

Q: Yes, that’s exactly right! To me, it’s a little like falling in love, in that, I want to be swept away.

A: [Michael] Yes, you want to be taken out of this humdrum existence and given a different perspective.

Q Exactly!

A: [Michael] Yes, that is what theater is meant to be. However, in the last 150 years or so, the art movement, and not just ballet, but the whole movement of art including music, has become intellectualized where they’re searching for a new way of expressing something. And so, it’s become about “the form,” so it’s become “form-alistic” vs. “I’ve got a story to tell.” What you’re talking about is that you’ve got be part of my story. I have to tell you a story where you want to know what happens next. And if that’s not happening, it’s not theater. It’s an experiment in … I don’t know in what …

A: [Gelsey] … rearranging intellectual …

A: [Michael] … intellectual ideas

Q: Yes, intellectually you can get it, but so what? [laughter]

A: And that’s what intellectual contemporary music is like. It’s interesting, and I’m sure to the expert it’s fascinating how they can split those notes … and split those atoms, but what you want, what we all want is a human connection.

Q: Absolutely! Totally!

A: [Michael] That’s really what our school is all.

A: [Gelsey] It’s about creating the atmosphere to make it possible because it has to be supportive because what the students are bombarded with in the general ballet world is the opposite—things like a lot of competition, get your legs up …

Q: … and your feet! Like if you don’t have banana feet, you should just …

A: [Gelsey] … stop. Yes, so it has to be a place where everybody is going in the same direction. You can’t do that without setting up a school which is why we started it because we knew it was needed.

And how does it feel to get this going? [b]

A: [Michael] Exhausting! [laughter]

[b]Q: I can imagine. Did you stop to congratulate yourselves at any point or do you get right back on the treadmill?


A: We do congratulate ourselves just to have survived this far. I mean, it amazes us when reflect on the fact that we incorporated the school in February 2010, and we opened the doors in August 2010, so this is our third academic year that started last week. We started at zero, and now have an operating budget of $1.8M—all in such a short period of time. And that’s with virtually no donations, it’s all earned income.

A: [Gelsey] Small donations.

A: [Michael] Yes, small donations, but no grand sort of foundations which we’re coming up for next year. So, yes, we do congratulate ourselves like when we’ve recovered after a couple of days rest. [laughter]

Q: Like when you’re soaking your feet! [laughter]

A: [Michael] Exactly, and we’re not getting any younger so the bodies are finding ways of trying to teach without moving. [laughter]

Q: Yes, I remember taking with Melissa Hayden, and she always had this young demonstrator! So that double or doppelganger is important for you at some point.

A: [Michael] Yes.

Q: So I wanted to ask you what you’re looking for. This question is for the young girls and boys on DDN who might be thinking of sending in an application to come your academy.

A: [Gelsey] People that want to be here, and they just need to audition.

A: [Michael] Yes, and people who love classical ballet. People who aren’t here to show what they can do, but to learn … and to fall in love with beauty. And those that are on a search for what is true. It’s trying to find beauty because there’s very little beauty out there. [cars honking outside] Lots of noise, plenty of colors, and lots of rearrangement and images, but real beauty which is very quiet is hard to find. So if they develop that in a discerning way—what Gelsey talked about earlier … about developing that taste. So if they’re hungry for something totally different from this world, and yet, truthful, then that’s what we’re looking for.

Q: So it sounds as if you’re more trying to create artists than just somebody that’s proficient at executing steps. It seems you want to bring that out of them.

A: [Michael] Right.

Q: There was a young dancer on DDN that had auditioned for your summer intensive. She had actually wanted to switch and come to your school. She raved about this one teacher, Alexandra Lawler. She said that she had a different approach to teaching in saying things like, “the sun is on your cheek,” as opposed to saying that you should tilt your head. Is this something that this individual teacher does, or is the use of imagery something that you’re a proponent of doing?

A: [Gelsey] Well, Alex was a student of ours in Melbourne, Australia so she studied with us. She also studied under Nina Osipyan so it’s a combination. We do use a lot of imagery instead of just technical adjustments, but it’s connected to the curriculum so she understands that. The technique and imagery and creating an artist are all one. It’s not like you take a class in technique and go somewhere else to learn how to act. It’s built into the technique in part. It’s not actually breaking down moments when you do pantomime and acting, but for the technique, you have to radiate a certain energy. The simplicity has to be there so instead of mechanically turning their head to the right, you need to know what the focus is. It’s like the lens of a camera really, so that you’re radiating. And if you feel that you’re moving towards the light on one side of your face, in turning your head, it’s going to make you want to live in that place.

A: [Michael] But we use the other method as well. We use …

Q: [laughing] … everything!

A: Yes, throw everything at them! Sometimes you say, “Turn your head.”

A: [Gelsey] Yes, because sometimes you’re not getting the response. Sometimes you can only make a good dancer. Students have to be giving 100% of themselves. You can only lead them to it, and they have to be willing to go in. They have to be willing to go on that journey, and some don’t want to do that, but it’s still important to turn out a good dancer.

Of course. And you were mentioning this earlier, how some good dancers are not necessarily good teachers. You [addressing Michael] said you were good at teaching, so [addressing both] what makes a good teacher? I remember going to some classes, and I needed another class just to undo that class.

A: [Michael] Well, you have to understand what the technique is. That’s the first thing. It’s no good just showing it because sometimes what people see is actually the opposite of what you’re actually doing, right?

Q: Yes.

A: [Michael] [demonstrating by lifting left leg as if to go into a developpé] So you’re pushing down [pointing to hip], and they’re seeing up [pointing to leg]. So you have to know exactly, and understand scientifically and anatomically, how the body works. For example, how the hip joint works so you’re not swinging it and getting this look [demonstrating incorrect developpé by lifting hip]. How the hip drops down, which muscles to use so that you don’t break. You have to then use exercises to build up those muscle groups that are weak so that’s one thing. Then you need to have a system to know what order to teach things in, and what kind of exercise should follow another exercises. For example, a soft plié followed by a sharp movement exercise. A simple exercise followed by a complex exercise. There is a system, and we won’t talk about the system because it’s too complex, but there is also a need to pass on the information. A teacher, and again this is like artistry, you can’t really teach this part, either one has a burning desire or doesn’t. And, of course, we don’t always have it because we get tired and don’t have any desire to do anything, but generally, the teacher has to have to the desire to pass on this information … this information that they think is phenomenal. Then you’ve got to learn who’s worth teaching and who isn’t because if you’ve taught the same person fifty times the same thing and they’re not listening, you’ve got to go, “Well, there’s not that much point there,” and something else has to happen to that person. So all those different parts have to be there, and of course, those are only the ones I’ve thought of at the moment, but they all go into making a good teacher. And the love of the art.

A: [Gelsey] But also what makes a good teacher is being creative with students that need remedial training. If somebody’s been trained badly, to undo those patterns, you have to a lot of knowledge and everything that Mischa is saying. You also have to understand that when you look at that body, that very often they look a bit cold because their placement is back [pushes torso back a bit so it’s out of alignment]. You have to be able to reorganize their instrument because an actor on stage has a certain alignment in a neutral stance. And so you can’t be pulled in all directions which bad training will do. So you can’t necessarily see the potential really until you’ve gone through quite a long process of undoing bad patterns. Not everyone can see that potential, and so that is part of being a good teacher in terms of remedial work for people who have not come from good training. It does not mean that they can’t be retrained, but you have to be very creative.

Q: On this question of training, there are quite a few questions on DDN that have to do with dancers who have gone on pointe at 11, and now that they’re 13 or 14, and they find that they’re at almost at the same place in training. For example, they still are having trouble with one-footed releves. At that point, is it the school? Is it them if something is not clicking? What should the student be doing to proactively take their own training in hand?

A: [Gelsey] Well, one of the things that we do at the school is give core dynamics to everybody. Every muscle group has to be prepared so that when you’re in a standing position, you can support pointe work. Usually first-year ballet students start pointe work without any floor work at all, so all of the wrong muscle groups are working and all of the muscle groups that should be working are asleep. So all of that is part of our training here to set you up for preventing injury and supporting your technique.

A: [Michael] We can’t answer your question because it obviously depends on the individual.

Q: Yes, it’s variable.

A: [Michael] But very simply put, the core dynamics that Gelsey was talking about are setting up the alignment of the core. [Stands up to demonstrate] Most children around 11 years of age have a tilted pelvis. [shifts pelvis backward so that butt is slightly sticking out] That’s natural for them. So instead of doing this movement [does plies correctly with hips in alignment] they do this [again shifts pelvic back so that with each plié, butt is forced backwards becoming more pronounced.] So if they’re doing that, as soon as they go into releve, they’re going to go onto pointe by turning in. [Demonstrates this. Butt is out, feet are turned in, weight shifts to outer area of body and toes, and inner thighs/ankles are not activated. Center is no longer over big toe.] These muscles, [runs hand up to groin, psoasis, inner thigh] the rotator muscles, can only work when the pelvis is neutral. [demonstrates what happens to turnout when pelvis is neutral. Demonstrates again by shifting back.] As soon as the pelvis is tilted, these muscles disengage and the legs turn in, and you’re not over your box, you’re over your little toe. So there’s no point in doing releves like this and that is exactly what they are doing. You can’t improve if you’re not in alignment. So the answer is that you have to correct the alignment, improve the rotation until the rotation can be held, and then do the exercises. And you can’t go from one to one which is what you’re talking about, releve from one to one or two to one, until you can two to two. So the teacher has to be able to guide you through and see that yes, this person can maintain their turnout with two legs. Now I can put them on pointe because now they can maintain their turnout with two legs, so I can put them two to one, now I can take them to releve on one leg which is one on one. That kind of understanding has to be in the school.

A: [Gelsey] And, unfortunately, there’s the pressure from parents asking, “Why isn’t my child on pointe yet?” So you put them on pointe and they never get it right because they’re just not ready. Pointe is just an extension of demi-pointe.

Q: So the child should start with working on the core.

A: [Gelsey] You know, for example, some people never even get around to thinking about a Pilates Reformer bed until they experience a major injury. They go to a doctor and are told that the only way they can get back to dancing, is to get on a Reformer bed and, blah, blah, blah, blah. So they do it, and then they go back to working badly again. You have to make all those things part of the school.

A: [Michael] And in addition to the regular training, we have stretch classes every day taught by a rhythmic gymnast.

A: [Gelsey] Apart from core dynamics.

A: [Michael] Yes, apart from core dynamics which are taught every morning before class for 45 minutes. At the end of the day, we have the stretch classes with conditioning. We have cardio/aerobics.

Yes, cardio. The other question that comes up a lot is about cross-training. I’m of the opinion that you should cross-train because if you’re not balanced, something will undoubtedly give or not be utilized, but in terms of aerobics, what do you use?

A: We’ve just hired a teacher to take care of that. The class is starting tomorrow.

A: It’s Cardiovascular fitness and it’s so the kids are burning/energy because ballet is not aerobic.

Q: Right, exactly! So you have to get that from somewhere.

A: [Michael] Yes, the class will be taught by a rhythmic gymnast. It’s all stamina building stuff, but she did say that they’ll be dead in a half hour! [laughter]

Q: Oh, perfect!!! [more laughter]

A: [Michael] Yes, it’s all I wanted to hear. [more laughter] But they say that running is the best kind of movement. Second best is elliptical training, but you have to do it for longer periods.

Q: And in terms of the core work, that’s a given in your philosophy or approach. It’s a given or something you have to do?

A: [Gelsey] Yes, you’re not allowed to take classes without it.

A: [Michael] Absolutely. We’re very short of boys, but we even turned down a boy that didn’t want to do the core dynamics.

A: [Gelsey] Because you cannot communicate that. These dancers have to feel these muscles. It’s not about talking to them about them. They have to locate them.

A: [Michael] And if you notice in the lobby, we have three Reformer beds. And so the kids work together as a group and it’s really fantastic.

Q: And in terms of your summer intensive, what are you looking for? Is it again, just children that want to learn ballet? What are these intensives looking for? Who is going to be asked to come here and participate?

A: We’re looking for potential year-round students. Whether they come immediately after the summer, or whether they come in two years when they become 14 years of age. Ultimately, we’re trying to instill in people what good training is—so that they actually experience it. If they come from small studio, they can experience what professional training is. In this way, they’ll have something to measure against. Then it goes with the talent, ability, and desire so that they’ll seek that later on, whether immediately or later. Rather than talking about what kind of dancer we’re looking for, we’ve all kinds.

Q: I suppose what I’m getting at is body type. That seems to be the main concern of dancers thinking about auditioning. They say things like, “Oh, my legs are short,” or “I don’t have banana feet.” Some are focused on that and that’s what they think you’re making the decision on and that’s why I’m asking. So I can get some kind of answer from you as to what part that plays in your decision.

A:[Gelsey]Well, there has to be some resemblance to a ballet dancer! [laughter] I mean, you can’t be a dinosaur! [more laughter] We have so many different body types here. Even natural dance coordination can be taught. In general, a person who has some gift, in some way.

A: [Michael] Heart.

Q: Being able to move.

A: [Michael] Desire.

A: [Gelsey] Desire, is very, very important.

A: [Michael] Desire has to be there. We’re not interested in cold. People who are dead cold, but who have great legs and feet tend to leave. We had a student here last year, she had the perfect set-up, but she was not interested and gone! We have plenty of people with those attributes, but we’re casting a wider net. We try not to take people that are obviously never going to dance.

Q: Yes.

A: [Michael] And if you don’t have turnout, you can’t do classical ballet.

A: [Gelsey] Right, but there are exceptions. There are some people that love it so much, and so it becomes important that they know what good training is. Perhaps they’ll become a teacher. And we do make exceptions.

A: [Michael] But it is frustrating. What we’ve found as we’re getting more experience is that people who really are not set-up at all physically, and I’m talking about extremes, they might love it and want to do everything, but then they can’t be cast in anything that’s classical. Therefore, they feel as if no one likes them. In that case, it becomes a depressing experience for them so we have to be realistic. We’re not a kindergarten. We’re not a club giving everyone equal opportunities. We have pretty serious concerts and we cast according to who can do the role.

A: [Gelsey] But we do have a lot of character dance, and people who aren’t suited to the more classical roles might be very well-suited for these roles.

Q: And you also have a studio company?

A: [Michael] We have an embryonic studio company. There is no pay yet. The dancers are receiving free pointe shoes, and there is the nucleus. We’re waiting for funding before we can really begin.

Q: But they’re also getting the experience of performing, working with a choreographer, and learning variations.

A: [Michael]Yes, we have three shows a year.

Q: So how would a dancer who’s interested in getting into this company go about submitting their information? Should they send you a tape or a link to a video of what they’ve done?

A: [Michael] Yes, if you look on our website, it’ll tell you specifically what we’re looking for and how to submit. If they’re still not sure, they can just call up and ask.

Q: I also saw a video on Youtube on costume design. A designer was asking for people interested in being interns in that department to contact your academy.

A: [Michael]Yes, if we went downstairs to the sub-basement, you would see we have a costume workshop. We have a very large costume collection, and we have a full-time costume person who is making costumes for us. We’re also connected with Tutu.com. Claudia Folts is the person in charge. She has a daughter that studies here. She actually holds workshops here in the summer on how to make tutus.

A: [Gelsey] And we’re associated with a college.

A: [Michael] Oh, yes! Good thinking. We’re affiliated with Pace University which is a ten minute walk from here, so all of our students get college credits.

Q: Oh, that’s fantastic.

A: [Michael] Yes, so they can use the credits or not use them. They can do their BA later on, or at night. And if they haven’t finished high school, they can still get advanced credits and build them up for when they do enroll.

Q: And you’re also offering residencies for choreographers.

A: [Michael] Yes, that’s right. Part of our mission is to create new works. We have spent the first two years really training up people, getting them prepared. In this coming year, we’re really going into creating more.

A: [Gelsey] Yes, you had started to mention that we have a wonderful woman from Denmark that sets Bournonville ballets and teaches it along with Alexandra Lawler.

A: [Michael] So in every concert we do one or more Bouornonville pieces.

Q: Oh, that is fantastic! Now again, is that on the website? Are there instructions on making a proposal to you?

A: Yes, just write to info@.

Q: And these new works will be set on your studio company?

A: [Michael] Yes.

Q: So basically, they’ll be using in-house, trained dancers. In talking to another choreographers, it was mentioned that sometimes it’s difficult to find dancers. So they’ll be able to have a ready-made group of professionals to choose from.

A: [Michael] Exactly. The thing is the work has to be connected with our mission. In other words, we’re not interested in choreographers coming in here just to do an abstract piece set to electronic music. I’m just using an extreme example here, you know what I mean.

Q: Yes, of course.

A: [Michael] But if someone is interested in workshopping real ideas, with some kind of story that is reflected in a movement, then that’s someone we would want to hear from. And funders!

Q: Yes, funders!!

A: They may not be your readers, but …

Q: Oh, it never hurts to put it out there! And I’m sure there are a lot of people that would love the opportunity to support such an endeavor. So thank you both so much for your time. I think everyone will love reading about your approach and the amazing things you’re up to! We have a lot of people supporting classical dance so I’m sure this information will help people reach decisions about your school in terms of getting great training.



* * * * * * * * * * * *

For those interested, the official website of the Gelsey Kirkland Academy can be viewed here:
www.gelseykirklandballet.org

EVENT NOTIFICATION:
Gelsey by Sorine
Exclusive reception and silent auction featuring enlarged photographs of Gelsey Kirkland taken by esteemed New York photographer Daniel Sorine in 1979 and 1980.
When: Monday, November 5th, 2012 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: Society of Illustrators | 128 East 63rd Street, (between Park & Lexington Avenues) New York, NY 10065
What: Silent Auction | Cocktails & Hors d’oeuvres | $75.00 per person
R.S.V.P. By October 26th – tickets are limited.
Reserve now at 212.600.0047 ext. 26, or ddistasio@gelseykirklandballet.org.
Reservations will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.

23 Replies to Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov

re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By NDow
On Thu Sep 27, 2012 02:13 AM
Thank you for this AWESOME interview! You are so lucky to have spent time with them. I'm glad Gelsey is doing what she is doing. She will touch so many lives, and she will offer them such a terrific opportunity. It's a relief to hear there is a school out there that is concerned with artistry as well as technique.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By pols
On Thu Sep 27, 2012 03:38 AM
Oh, sylph, what an incredible interview! I too have always loved Gelsey and it's nice to see she and Michael Chernov are up to some wonderful things. Their philosophy of ballet and the teaching of ballet is very close to my own and it just puts the biggest smile on my face to read that such high-profile people are out there *doing* it.

Thank you!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By hummingbird
On Fri Sep 28, 2012 02:31 PM
Thank you for posting this fantastic interview.

It's so refreshing to see that such well known and respected professionals realised that just because they could dance didn't mean that they knew how to teach and they went to get training. It's a shame that more don't do the same.

And with all of the questions about cross training recently it's very interesting to read what their views are and to see that they mention Pilates as well. The Reformer is indeed an incredible machine and it's a shame that more dancers don't know about it's capabilities that go much further than just injury recovery.

It's fantastic that they're going to train a new generation of dancers to understand mime properly. I learnt it when I was younger, but as the fashion changed to technique and tricks it was dropped even from professional programs. There are huge chunks of older ballets that are now missing because of this. For instance, who's ever seen the section from Giselle where Hilarion mimes that he kisses the ground that Giselle walks on. I know I haven't.

I wish them all the best in their new venture.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Sep 29, 2012 03:04 PM
NDow wrote:

Thank you for this AWESOME interview! You are so lucky to have spent time with them. I'm glad Gelsey is doing what she is doing. She will touch so many lives, and she will offer them such a terrific opportunity. It's a relief to hear there is a school out there that is concerned with artistry as well as technique.


NDow -

You're very welcome!

I totally concur with your comments. The opportunity is amazing!

As for Gelsey, yes, I couldn't be happier that she's doing this and passing on her gift in this way. It's an amazing opportunity and with everything they said, I was nodding my head, thinking, "Yes, yes, yes!"

Hope the young dancers out there seize this opportunity and take full advantage of what is being offered!

Oh, sylph, what an incredible interview! I too have always loved Gelsey and it's nice to see she and Michael Chernov are up to some wonderful things. Their philosophy of ballet and the teaching of ballet is very close to my own and it just puts the biggest smile on my face to read that such high-profile people are out there *doing* it.

Thank you!


Pols -

You're very welcome!

Obviously, it was my complete pleasure! I've got to admit it was a total thrill to be sitting opposite someone that I did/do idolize. She's given me so many hours of dancing pleasure that to be able to reciprocate just a bit in being able to help spread the word about what's she's doing, well, I felt good, grateful, happy, humble, inadequate, and everything in between!

Totally agree about having sympathetic leanings towards what they're doing. Their philosophy is indeed on track with my own thoughts and I'm completely jazzed about them actually creating this academy to help young dancers become not just dancers, but artists! So many things to love about what was said, I especially like the "seamless" approach to teaching ballet. Yes, why indeed would you have one class for this and another for that when dancing is acting, physical prowess, technique, and characterization? Even worse is the methodology of not teaching a rounded program. This leaves dancers to questioning and inventing on their own. It leaves open going down so many wrong roads!

With this curriculum, the young dancers get a firm foundation that they can take and build upon to complete their own individual journeys!

Thank you for posting this fantastic interview.


Hummingbird -

You're very welcome! Who's happier than me? :P

It's so refreshing to see that such well known and respected professionals realised that just because they could dance didn't mean that they knew how to teach and they went to get training. It's a shame that more don't do the same.


Yes, it's why I followed up with "both of you?" I was taken aback by the thought of Gelsey Kirkland being taught anything about ballet, but she's always been about integrity. Integrity in performance, integrity in seeking out training, and integrity in doing the work. When she talks about being "genuine," it applies to the care she takes in doing what is necessary to do a certain task right. She's meticulous in her attention to detail.

And with all of the questions about cross training recently it's very interesting to read what their views are and to see that they mention Pilates as well. The Reformer is indeed an incredible machine and it's a shame that more dancers don't know about it's capabilities that go much further than just injury recovery.


Yes, I was chomping at the bit to get into this area since I'd seen the numerous posts on the subject. Even back in my day when there were dinosaurs running around and George Washington was cutting down the cherry tree, dancers were flooding a certain Pilates studio, taking yoga, and doing many other things, but it was sort of a secret that professionals used to get the maximum benefit out of ballet training.

Love how this philosophy is forming good habits in these young aspirants and preventing them from going onto pointe with the wrong technique. Think that is so wise! By insisting on core training, the dancers work the correct way from day one! How crucial is this to building upon the right technique and muscle groups? No more wasting two or three years going down the wrong bunny path!

It's fantastic that they're going to train a new generation of dancers to understand mime properly. I learnt it when I was younger, but as the fashion changed to technique and tricks it was dropped even from professional programs. There are huge chunks of older ballets that are now missing because of this. For instance, who's ever seen the section from Giselle where Hilarion mimes that he kisses the ground that Giselle walks on. I know I haven't.

I wish them all the best in their new venture.


Yes! Standing up on my chair and cheering and applauding what you said. This is exactly the reason this school is so needed!

I was always shocked to learn that dancers have to learn mime on the fly. Ms. Kirkland refers to that and addresses it in the interview. Yes, if something is thrown at you, you are going to imitate it and not necessarily understand it. Huge difference in how the move is performed since it really hasn't had time to be internalized. It needs time to be digested and for it to come out with an individual, unique stamp on it for it to be authentic. I mean, we all smile, but do we all smile in the same way? No, each of us gives a genuine smile that is wonderfully unique and yet it is a smile! That's exactly what this fantastic couple is doing! Giving dancers that opportunity to express their authentic selves!

It's very exciting to think of this really being a ground floor opportunity. I mean, for anyone becoming involved with the school, it means being a part of shaping the future in terms of being able to perform in a truthful kind of way. And it means possibly having the opportunity of being able a part of this studio company that is fast coming to fruition. How amazing is that? I can't wait to see what is produced by offering this residency program to choreographers. Even performing older works in the proper way, with these parts cut out back in the program is fantastic. But then throwing in the option of new works based on classic technique and the excitement increases ten fold! Even from the few photos of the performances given, I can see the direction headed. Love the attention to detail shown, as well that adherence to tradition. Think that's also something that should be mentioned. The Russian system has been so successful in terms of producing classical dancers because of this adherence to tradition. Think this is also something crucial that was touched on. Dancers have to have a firm grasp on what is original, what is truth, what is the foundation of the classic system. From there, they can go anywhere, but without it? They never understand the heart of it. It's like saying you love someone, but you don't know where they work, what they like, or even their name.

I also really wish them good luck also! Would love to attend this silent auction also. How much would I love to have a photo! Especially the one with the blue scarf! Love! Can you say "iconic?" :P

Can't wait to see how this academy grows and thanks for your wonderful feedback! Love you all!

Cyber hugs!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By lartiste
On Sat Sep 29, 2012 08:30 PM
Thank you so much for this interview nycsylph! It's so insightful and inspiring! I was reading this article in the New York Times

www.nytimes.com . . .

and it immediately made me think of your interview. I've read on other boards comments that suggest those whom have had a professional dancing career always make the best teachers but that is not always the case. Some of the best ballet teachers I have had went in to teaching because that was their passion rather than entering the profession following the end of their performance career and I find it so refreshing that Gelsey actively sought to be taught to become an effective teacher and is endeavouring to pass on her knowledge in a structured way.

I've taken so many different classes in so many different studios from Cechetti, Vaganova, Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, British Ballet Organisation syllabus, floor barre and the barre method and I've been taught by former and practising dancers of the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Matthew Bourne and out of all of these styles and differently trained teachers I have to say Vaganova method is my favourite. It's such an all encompassing style there is focus upon every element of the dancer from head to toe and from traditional character dances to contemporary so I think it is excellent that this is the style Gelsey and Michael will offer in their school. I only wish I was young enough and talented enough to attend - the dancers they will develop will be so well rounded!

I would love to read more interviews with dancers if you are planning to produce them and it would be great to be updated on the success of the Gelsey Kirkland Academy!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:45 PM
Loved it!! Thanks for putting it on here!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Oct 02, 2012 03:53 PM
lartiste wrote:

Thank you so much for this interview nycsylph! It's so insightful and inspiring! I was reading this article in the New York Times

www.nytimes.com . . .

and it immediately made me think of your interview. I've read on other boards comments that suggest those whom have had a professional dancing career always make the best teachers but that is not always the case.


lartiste -

You're very welcome!

And, yes, teaching is a separate arena -- not necessarily in line with how successful someone was in having a dancing career. Would always suggest someone get training, and I love that Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Chernov did.

Agree with the insights you offered on training.

I would love to read more interviews with dancers if you are planning to produce them and it would be great to be updated on the success of the Gelsey Kirkland Academy!


Yes, more interviews are scheduled and on their way. As for updates, it is a wonderful idea, but I really don't have that kind of relationship with the school to be able to do that. I would check their website for event updates. It seems the best method of doing it. Naturally, if I receive any updates I will post!

Loved it!! Thanks for putting it on here!


Serendipity -

You're very, very welcome!!

This really was my pleasure! It was quite a thrill!

I was very happy that both were so forthcoming. It always makes for a good interview!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By macnatt
On Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:01 PM
Edited by macnatt (225356) on 2012-10-05 20:03:22
That was quite an inspiring interview. Fabulous to see the links to Australia and amazing to think that with their great experience they would come here for their teacher training. Although, I do believe we have some great schools and teachers in Australia, it is the professional opportunities for our dancers that are lacking. I love the idea of getting back to basics and embracing the artistry and entertainment aspects of classical ballet through mime. My own daughter, whilst a perfectionist when it comes to developing technique, has a true passion in the creation and portrayal of character through classical ballet, sometimes I think that is lost in pursuit of perfect technique and even more so with the creeping in of acrobatics.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Oct 06, 2012 03:07 AM
macnatt wrote:

That was quite an inspiring interview. Fabulous to see the links to Australia and amazing to think that with their great experience they would come here for their teacher training. Although, I do believe we have some great schools and teachers in Australia, it is the professional opportunities for our dancers that are lacking. I love the idea of getting back to basics and embracing the artistry and entertainment aspects of classical ballet through mime. My own daughter, whilst a perfectionist when it comes to developing technique, has a true passion in the creation and portrayal of character through classical ballet, sometimes I think that is lost in pursuit of perfect technique and even more so with the creeping in of acrobatics.


Macnatt -

Thanks so much for your comments.

I totally agree with you about it being almost taking a backseat to technique. Of course, everything is cyclical, but it does seem at the moment, that technique is paramount. That technique minus the other elements takes it really out of the realm of theater since theater is about characterization and portrayal of that character.

And if you think about characterization which includes pantomime, it is something that is usually coached when someone is set to perform a role. That really doesn't give the information time to internalize. Yes, if the role is repeated it will be, but initially, no.

It's why this school and what they're doing was and is so needed. And I believe they're the perfect people to see that this classicism continues on to the next generation. And very few ballerinas were more adept at finding the heart of a character. Ms. Kirkland always took on that exploration and discovered what made sense in order to give a captivating performance.

Both she and her husband are very committed and passionate about what they're doing. I've been hearing from the feedback that it came through very strongly in this interview, and I'm glad about that. Also happy that Dance.net is a platform that allows them to explain about the opportunity they're presenting which is based on their unique philosophy.

Yes, they are already a major player in training because of what they're offering. If your daughter, or anyone else is interested in learning true classicism with all the pieces connected, it seems to be a terrific place to learn.

All I can say to young people availing themselves of this is that they are truly fortunate to have people that really care about them ... and the future of ballet.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By balletgirl54
On Sun Oct 07, 2012 05:32 AM
I love this so much, I come from a small ballet school and one of our best dancers left this year to train at GKA. I think her philosophy is perfect, and the training is great! Definitely auditioning here this year! :) Thanks so much for this!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 07, 2012 05:04 PM
balletgirl54 wrote:

I love this so much, I come from a small ballet school and one of our best dancers left this year to train at GKA. I think her philosophy is perfect, and the training is great! Definitely auditioning here this year! :) Thanks so much for this!


balletgirl54 -

Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I really do appreciate!

Yes, the school fulfills a very important need. It's can be described as a niche, and yet it's really the foundation of the art form that we practice/watch. And to be able to study it with such a legend and exquisite artist has got to be a thrill and valuable learning experience!

And I'm happy you're reading these interviews. They are geared to going underneath the text on the website in allowing the school to speak directly to you and explain what they're about. It's sort of a personal introduction.

I'm very happy for your friend and for you! Hopefully it'll be the right choice for both of you!

Keep us posted on how it goes for you, and thank you again for your lovely remarks! You definitely made my day!

;)
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By Aridancer
On Sun Oct 28, 2012 05:30 PM
thank you for posting this interview! gelsey kirkland is such a beautiful dancer!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By JigEnPointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Oct 28, 2012 09:55 PM
I'm so glad that they're doing what they're doing; I've been worried for years about ballet's departure to mere "tricks." It's nice to see that I'm not the only one! :)
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Nov 03, 2012 04:51 PM
Aridancer wrote:

thank you for posting this interview! gelsey kirkland is such a beautiful dancer!


Aridancer -

You're very welcome! It was truly my pleasure!

And she is/was/and always will be an exquisite dancer. If you watch videos of her, her technique holds up. There's nothing dated or askew going on that would mark her for a certain period in time and I think that's the point they're making.

I'm so glad that they're doing what they're doing; I've been worried for years about ballet's departure to mere "tricks." It's nice to see that I'm not the only one! :)


JigEnPointe -

Yes, I feel the same way ... as I'm sure do a lot of us!

Basing movements and adhering to classicism is needed and appreciated. I mean, why is there story if it wasn't meant to be told? I feel that this is well worth preserving and am very happy about it being in such capable hands!

I'm really excited and looking forward to where they will take this!

Thank you both for your comments and feedback!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By spandex_lover
On Tue Dec 04, 2012 02:15 PM
This is such a good read! I think Gelsey is absolutely beautiful.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 08, 2012 04:52 PM
spandex_lover wrote:

This is such a good read! I think Gelsey is absolutely beautiful.


Spandex_lover -

Thanks so much for your comments!

Yes, she is just exquisite! And she's lovely on the inside, too. Think that's important to note.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to talk to her. I'm glad you enjoyed!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By motherandteacher
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 07:13 PM
I am very happy to read your post and was thrilled to read your blog for "Behind the Veil". Thank you. I saw that December 2012 performance and kept pinching myself confirming our daughter's presence on stage. What a thrill! Our daughter is indeed very blessed to be in the midst of the GKA training from two of the most amazing artist. Misha is a man with many hats who though busy in every direction is very careful and wise with each decision they make together. And Gelsey, even though she doesn't care for accolades, I adore her and am blessed that she desires to pass on her knowledge with a humble heart. Please continue to post as I enjoy your well thought writings.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Feb 07, 2013 05:43 PM
motherandteacher wrote:

I am very happy to read your post and was thrilled to read your blog for "Behind the Veil". Thank you. I saw that December 2012 performance and kept pinching myself confirming our daughter's presence on stage. What a thrill! Our daughter is indeed very blessed to be in the midst of the GKA training from two of the most amazing artist. Misha is a man with many hats who though busy in every direction is very careful and wise with each decision they make together. And Gelsey, even though she doesn't care for accolades, I adore her and am blessed that she desires to pass on her knowledge with a humble heart. Please continue to post as I enjoy your well thought writings.


Motherandteacher -

Your daughter was in that performance? I can see why you were so excited. It's always wonderful surprise to see someone we know on stage. Most likely it's doubly so when the person is a son or daughter! And by surprise, they do take on a different level of professionalism. Even if we've seen them in class, on stage it's like, "Oh, my gosh! They really can dance!"

Yes, your daughter is blessed to have this training. It's why I was so happy to see this school open! It meets a very real need. And it's very strange about careers. Sometimes a dancer is brilliant, but when they can give back in a giving and meaningful way, the journey morphs into a very different and unique direction. I'm extremely glad that both Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Chernov are garnering the respect deserved for this latest endeavor.

I'm also very excited about the studio company. It's why I wanted to give my two cents on what I experienced in attending that performance. As a New Yorker, it presents yet another glorious opportunity for classical dancers to present what they do best. I'm one of those who will opt for the "classical" program when offered by major dance companies. I also love other forms of dance and definitely enjoy modern, contemporary, and neo-classical, but there is something about classical ballet that sings to me in a singularly beautiful way.

Thanks for your comments. I wish I knew which dancer your daughter was, but if she was on stage she did a great job! All the participants were stellar in presenting the excerpts. I hope I was clear in getting that across. And to do that much work in shaping and forming the direction of the company, it's impressive to say the least. I look forward to more works by the company and can't wait to see how they grow!

Thanks so much for your kind comments. It's nice to know that people inside the loop are so appreciative and recognize the importance of this program!
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By motherandteacher
On Thu Feb 07, 2013 08:38 PM
Maybe we can meet at the next performance and introduce our daughter to you? I didn't use her name so as not to move away from highlighting my praise for Gelsey and Misha. I will say though that your descriptive words in the review captured my observations beautifully. They were spot on, many of my same thoughts such as no unnecessary steps were choreographed with none extra and the classical technique was up-to-date yet timeless. And yes, I found myself loopily smiling after the whole performance. I am glad I can return to the DVD many times until their next performance.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Feb 07, 2013 09:49 PM
Definitely sounds like something that could happen.

Look forward to meeting all of you.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By kaileemc
On Sun Feb 10, 2013 04:05 AM
Hi motherteacher,

My daughter has been accepted to the GKA this summer for the pre-professional program and the year round program. I would love any information about housing and other "mom concerns from someone who is there and loving the experience.

Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By motherandteacher
On Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Congratulations. How old is your daughter? Our daughter was floating on air when she came out of the audition. She was coming down a three story spiral staircase and she really looked like she was floating. There was an instant bond with both Gelsey and Misha and she is now finishing her second year with them. Tell me more about your daughter and I will get back to you with my "motherly" tidbits. We could do email if you would like. Blessings and enjoy this wonderful adventure ahead for you and your daughter.
re: Inspiration #11: Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov
By kaileemc
On Mon Feb 11, 2013 03:03 PM
It sounds as if your daughter has found the perfect place for her. I know that must be thrilling. My daughter is 15 and she felt the same excitement when she was auditioned by Gelsey...just to be in the same room with her. I would love to correspond by email if that is acceptable with you. I have so many questions as a mother and sending my daughter off into the world at such an early age is a bit overwhelming. Thank you for responding and my email address is: klokfamily@embarqmail.com.

Looking forward to talking with you,

Karen

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2021 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS