Making the Connections
As we were putting the Pro Dance Experience program together, it occurred to me that one of the main reasons we are creating this workshop is to bring the larger world of dance to our students here in the Phoenix area….but also that our students’ view of that larger world of dance can be limited to the bubble of the southwest competition scene, and that we wanted to open up the larger world of dance to our students.
One of the most important aspects of attendance at a world-class summer intensive is making the connections with others of like-mind and passion (or obsession) about ballet and dance. Those people end up becoming colleagues as careers develop, and those childhood friendships become deep seated life-long kinships. To look into the eyes of another soul and recognize oneself in them, to feel that bond of kinship likened only to that of blood relations, is a game changer for many students. It solidifies in them the confidence that they are not alone in their desire, that they are supported by these peers in the dreams and goals, as so very often, they feel that others don’t “get” them. Being immersed in the atmosphere of passionate and educated study, and being schooled at the highest levels by professionals who have already walked the path, is a unique experience. It is one that can fuel the fire of commitment and sacrifice necessary for the development of talent in the pursuit of a career on the stage.
And so, I thought that perhaps you out there might like to know how all of us on this side of the Pro Dance Experience equation got our connections started….and how our specific family trees are connected through our meandering paths. So here goes….
Mid 1980’s: Joshua Brooksher and Jason Davis meet as young boys at various Phoenix master classes and auditions
1989:Joshua Brooksher attends Kirov Academy of Ballet Washington DC and meets Oscar Hawkins
1990: Natasha Brooksher meets Jason Davis at School of American Ballet summer program.
Early 1990s: Joshua Brooksher begins teaching Laura O’Malley at Phoenix School of Ballet. Jason Davis joins Kirov Academy of Ballet.
Mid 1990’s: Laura O’Malley attends Kirov Academy of Ballet. Jason Davis attends San Francisco Ballet school. Carlos Santos joins Boston Ballet. Sascha Radetsky joins Kirov Academy of Ballet (meets Josh, Jason and Oscar).
1992: Natasha Brooksher joins Boston Ballet and meets Carlos Santos. Joshua Brooksher joins Kirov Ballet.
1994: Josh visits Boston Ballet (Josh and Natasha almost meet). Boston Ballet on tour in DC (Josh and Natasha almost meet).
1996: Joshua competes in NYIBC….he and Natasha finally meet! Josh joins Boston Ballet (meets Carlos Santos). Robert Moore joins Boston Ballet (meets Josh, Natasha and Carlos). Roman Baca attends Nutmeg Conservatory summer session as a student of Joshua and Natasha. Sascha Radetsky joins ABT.
Early 2000’s: Josh and Natasha move to Phoenix to join Ballet Arizona…meet Robert Dekkers (student in the school). Carlos Santos helps to start Andanza in Puerto Rico. Josh and Natasha retire from BAZ, Erica Felsch joins BAZ (meets Josh and Natasha).
2006: Joshua invites Oscar Hawkins to perform his choreography Veritee Tressee. Natasha gives birth to Ian Brooksher (Oscar is at the hospital after dress rehearsal).
Mid 2000s: Josh and Natasha ballet masters for Nova Ballet, Erica Felsch company dancer, Robert Dekkers company dancer and choreographer. Erica teaches as substitute teacher for Josh and Natasha. Laura O’Malley joins Boston Ballet and meets Robert Moore.
2014: Robert Moore and Erica Felsch dance with Smuin Ballet. Laura O’Malley dances for Robert Dekkers in Post: Ballet.
2015: Joshua Brooksher, Natasha Brooksher, Carlos Santos, Roman Baca, Robert Dekkers, Robert Moore, Erica Felsch, Laura O’Malley, Jason Davis, Oscar Hawkins, Sascha Radetsky TOGETHER for Pro Dance Experience 2015!!!!