BENNINGTON -- Five area dancers who study with Berkshire Dance Theatre have been accepted into renowned summer dance intensives in New York City, Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.

The dancers auditioned with thousands of students from around the world; the typical acceptance rate for all of these programs is less than five percent.

"The dancers’ acceptance to these prestigious and competitive programs is a testament to their hard work and dedication year round," said Michelle Francesconi, BDT executive director.

Juliet Mazzola of Old Bennington, a recent graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School, spent the last year at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She will return there later this summer before attending SUNY-Purchase this fall. Juliet plans to pursue a career in dance.

Mercedes Chen, entering her Junior year at MAUHS this fall, is attending The American Ballet Theatre program in Austin, Texas. In this four-week program she will dance new works and ABT repertory, originally performed by legendary dancers. Mercedes resides in Shaftsbury.

Noa Chaney of North Bennington is attending the Alvin Ailey School Summer Intensive, affiliated with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. While there, she will focus on a challenging study of ballet, modern, and jazz during her four-week intensive. Noa will be a a sophomore at MAUHS this fall.


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Ellis Broderick is half way through a five-week intensive at The School of American Ballet, the school of The New York City Ballet. She will be studying ballet with former and current principal dancers, many of whom worked with the late, legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. Ellis resides in Bennington and will be a freshman at MAUHS.

Elizabeth Malinowski, also of Bennington, is training at The Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program. This five-week program consists of eight hours of daily study in ballet, modern and character dance as well as dance history. Elizabeth, entering the seventh grade, attends The School of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales.

Francesconi continues, "We’re thrilled these students have the unique opportunity to participate in these comprehensive summer intensives to augment their training at BDT. The joy, confidence and mutual respect our students gain enhance their communities and continue to guide them throughout their lives."

Established in 1982, Berkshire Dance Theatre Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing the highest quality dance and performing arts education. Classes are offered in Bennington, Vermont, as well as Williamstown and Adams, Massachusetts.

For registration/tuition information visit www.berkshiredancetheatre.net