Karlie Travis (2nd from the left) in performance in the 2012 LHU spring dance concert.
Karlie 2: Karlie and some of her ABT classmates. Karlie, wearing a brown-and-white striped tank top, is standing next to the teacher, Olga Dvorovenko.
“Those move best who have learned to dance…”
LHU dance minor refines technique at American Ballet Theatre summer program in NYC
July 12, 2012
Lock Haven University junior Karlie Travis has a passion for dance. The LHU dance minor spent three weeks in June on scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre summer collegiate program in New York City. She was one of only 107 dancers accepted into this three-week program which started on June 4 and ended on June 22.
Karlie describes the College Summer Intensive at American Ballet Theatre as the “experience of a lifetime.” LHU Dance Professor Jayme Host described it as “a huge accomplishment.”
Ballet is a demanding art, and the three-week ABT program required much of the students. An average day included classes in pilates, ballet technique, pointe or pas de deux, special class (modern, musical theatre or character), choreography or repertoire. Teaching these classes were many of the same teachers that ABT’s company members have every day. Among the well-known teachers that Karlie worked under were Raymond Lukens (founder of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dance school), Lupe Serrano, Olga Dvorovenko, Brian Reeder, Melissa Bowman, Ethan Brown and Kate Lydon.
ABT has a special curriculum for teaching students. Many dance teachers from all over the world come to ABT to learn their curriculum because of how amazing their students turn out to be.
At the end of the program, Karlie and her fellow students had a small show for the parents to see. “I was in a character piece from Raymonda and a ballet piece from La Sylphid.,” she said. “Three weeks is a very short time to learn two dances but we didn’t waste any time.” Because of how hard she worked all day, Karlie would simply “go home and go to bed” at the end of the day.
“Going through an intensive training like this has made me so much more appreciative of the arts,” Karlie said. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make a ballet like Romeo and Juliet or Swan Lake look effort less when it really is not.”
Karlie credits her dance training at LHU for preparing her for the rigors of ABT. “Being a student in the Dance Minor at Lock Haven University has been very beneficial to me,” she said.
Karlie explained, “Right before I left for ABT, I was enrolled in the advanced ballet class with Professor Jayme Host. Besides working on the technical side of ballet there was also a focus on what muscles were being used while dancing. I learned that it is very important to know what part of your body you are using while dancing so injuries can be prevented. This was very helpful at ABT because I was able to understand what my teachers were talking about when giving corrections to the class.”
Karlie is a senior majoring in accounting. Her main goal right now is to find a job in the accounting field and move to California. Eventually, she would like to be part of a small dance company or to combine her accounting skills and her love of dance by opening a dance studio. A resident of Bellefonte, Pa., Karlie is the daughter of Lori Travis.
Karlie summed up her dancing experiences at LHU and ABT. “The LHU dance minor allows me to keep up with dancing and strengthening. If it weren’t for the ballet and modern classes available at Lock Haven, I would probably not be dancing. If that were the case I would have never had the amazing experience like I did at the American Ballet Theatre.”
The Lock Haven University Dance Program is one of the university’s outstanding success stories. Over 100 dancers perform each semester, and over 40 students are minoring in Dance. The program is very active in community outreach and represents LHU at regional and national festivals such as the American College Dance Festival. Professor Host said, “I am very proud of Kaylie and all my dancers.”
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.