Charleston Ballet hosting Master Class

January 19, 2019

CHARLESTON — The Charleston Ballet will hold a Master Class on Saturday, Jan. 26, at their studios in downtown Charleston. The Master Class will be taught by Sarasota Cuban Ballet School co-founder and co-artistic director Ariel Serrano. The Master Class takes place in connection with the Sarasota Cuban Ballet’s Summer Intensive Auditions.

The class is open to all area dancers, ages 11 and up, at $20 per student. Interested students should register through the Charleston Ballet office by calling 304-342-6541. The Master Class will take place on Jan. 26, from 3-5 p.m. in the studios located at 100 Capitol St. on the Mezzanine Floor.

“Ariel and I have a long history of dancing together in many ballets, often right here on the Charleston stage,” said Kim Pauley, artistic director of the Charleston Ballet. “Ariel has become an incredible teacher and coach and we are lucky to have him return to Charleston for this class.”

The Sarasota Cuban Ballet will hold their Summer Intensive Auditions at the Charleston Ballet Studios on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 2-4 pm. There is a $30 audition fee. The Summer Intensive takes place June 17- July 27 at SCBS in Sarasota, Florida. The six-week program includes ballet, pointe, repertoire, variations, pas de deux, dance conditioning, character and contemporary dance. More information may be found at http://srqcubanballet.com/summerintensive.

Born and raised in Cuba, Ariel Serrano trained at the Cuban National School of Ballet and the National School of Arts in Italy. He danced with Ballet Camagüey under the direction of Fernando Alonso and the Youth Corps of the National Ballet of Cuba under Laura Alonso and artistic director Alicia Alonso. Next, he became a principal dancer with the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico. In 1993, he and his wife, Wilmian Hernandez, defected from Cuba. A year later, they were invited to join the Sarasota Ballet, then under the direction of Robert de Warren, where they both danced principal roles until their retirement in 2000.

In 2013, the Serranos co-founded the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS), with a goal of fostering global understanding and nurturing culturally diverse talent for the enrichment of America’s ballet scene. Under his direction, the school has earned top accolades — including UBC Best Teacher and Best School — and its students have taken home multiple awards including scholarships and several gold and silver medals. Mr. Serrano has guest-taught at many prestigious schools throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, South America and the Caribbean. He also has served as an expert judge in several international ballet competitions.

The Charleston Ballet was founded by Andre Van Damme in 1956 and named the Official West Virginia State Ballet in 1972. Its ballet school, American Academy Ballet, offers classes for ages 4 to the professional level. For ticket and season information call 304-342-6541 or visit www.thecharlestonballet.com.

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