Fantastic. I got to see three performances and I would have gladly watched three, or thirty more, had it been possible. These CPYB productions are always impressive and Cinderella was no exception. To see Daniela in the lead role Sunday was a very special treat. All of the dancers were incredible, even the littlest ones. It was especially nice to see Daniela surrounded by the girls she has been with for so long in other leading roles. And of course, Marcus as her Prince was great. (In the top photo, Daniela with Marcus in Gambol, in 2006; left, Daniela with Mary Aldrich's niece Melanie after the performance Sunday.) Her development as a ballerina has been so fast and amazing! Asun and I are tremendously grateful to Marcia Dale Weary and all the faculty at CPYB for giving Daniela these opportunities. There's no doubt that CPYB is an exceptional and unique institution. Two of the best articles available on line are "Setting a High Barre" and a 2001 article published in the The New York Times. In addition to Marcia, we owe special thanks to Leslie Hench, Lazlo Berdo, Alan Hineline, and Darla Hoover for all of their work with Daniela. And it sure is a lot of work. If it weren't for the obvious passion that Daniela has for ballet, there is no way we would consent to this intensive training. I keep telling Daniela that we'll support her in this as long as it's fun. If it weren't fun it would be complete madness. And she no doubt has loads of fun, especially when it comes to performing. That's quite evident when you see her on stage. Very, very few children have this kind of experience. Daniela has danced on stage in professional productions over a hundred times. Literally. For tens of thousands of people. I don't think giving a book report in class is going to unnerve her. This is just one of the benefits these kids get from the ballet training. They are poised, mature, and very, very disciplined. On Tuesday just prior to heading for the airport, I had the opportunity to sit in on Daniela's private class with Leslie Hench. (The day following three days of intensive performing it was back to class–there's no rest, no letting up! And today after the private with Leslie, another three and half hours of class.) Very interesting. Even the stretching and strengthening exercises at the barre were extraordinary to me. The work between teacher and student is so intensive. And all that French terminology–many of the terms are familiar to me, but I can only link a couple of them to the movements they refer to. Then seeing the dynamic of working with the video monitor was fascinating. Step by step. Repetition. Critique. Correction. Again. (And again, and again, and again...) And during the class Leslie announced that this week Daniela would be working with Anna-Marie Holmes. Holmes is a genuine legend in the ballet world and was the first non-Russian to dance as an invited principle with the Kirov. She is at CPYB this week to rehearse La Vivandiere for the June series; Daniela and Grace will be the leads. And so it goes at CPYB. Seven days a week.

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