Metropolitan Ballet Academy Announces Guest Artists Teaching “The Bridge” Master Classes for Student Dancers, June 7-14, 2017

May 25, 2017  |  Posted in Guest Artists, The Bridge

Jenkintown, PA – Intermediate and advanced dance students in the greater Philadelphia region will have a unique opportunity to learn with acclaimed guest artists Ronald K. Alexander, Colby Damon, Olga Kostritzky, and John Selya during “The Bridge” master class series, presented by Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) from June 7-14, 2017. The Bridge will be held at the MBA studios at 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

Ballet instructors Selya and Kostritzky return to The Bridge by popular demand. Alexander and Damon, new to The Bridge for 2017, will also teach ballet technique. All classes are taught with piano accompaniment, and class size is limited to 25. Classes for Intermediate students (levels 3, 3X, 4) will be held each weekday June 7-14 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm; Advanced classes (level 4x, V, Adv) will run from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  An additional Saturday weekend class will be held this year on June 10 with Intermediate class running from 11:00 to 12:30 pm and advanced running from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.  Tuition for The Bridge is $175.

Ronald K. Alexander is an independent arts consultant, dance educator, and choreographer. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a certificate in School Supervision and Administration from the City College of New York, NY. From May, 2008 to December, 2011 he was the Academic Principal of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, and on the dance faculty. Choreographed to favorable reviews: “A Chorus Line,” in 2009 and “Titanic,” in 2011 at the Warner Theatre, one of New England’s premiere community theatres. In February 2011, Mr. Alexander was the subject of an article in Dance Teacher Magazine, “Five Teachers, Five Venues.” In December 2011, he returned to New York City, and and is presently working as a ballet instructor, choreographer, and consultant at the following schools: the Ailey School, the Joffrey School New York, the French Academie of Ballet and Peridance Capezio Center among others.

Colby Damon was born and raised in Richmond, VA and received his early training at the Richmond Ballet. At age 15 he left home to attend the Virginia School of the Arts, where he trained under the late Petrus Bosman. He has danced professionally for Sacramento Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, and BalletX, among others. As a choreographer, he has received commissions from Sacramento Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Opera Philadelphia, and BalletX, in addition to having been selected to perform original works in the Current Sessions NYC, Vivadança Festival International in Bahia Brazil, and the International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City. Colby has taught dance in a number of institutions including NYC Public School for Dance – Ballet Tech, The Rock School, Sacramento Ballet School, and University of the Arts, in addition to teaching company class for BodyTraffic, Ballet Hispanico, BalletX, City Ballet of São Paulo, and Pennsylvania Ballet among others. Colby holds a BA Magna Cum Laude in Performing Arts from the LEAP Program, and is currently a freelance choreographer, teacher, and performer based out of Philadelphia.

John Selya trained at the School of American Ballet (SAB) from 1980-1988, where he received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Mr. Selya performed works created by Balanchine, Robbins, Tharp, and Mark Morris, Tetley, Kudelka and Kylian, as well as the classical repertoire, during his 11 years with the company. He also choreographed three works for ABT: Moondance, Disposition and Don’t Panic. After joining Twyla Tharp Dance, the noted choreographer’s touring company, Mr. Selya created and performed the central role of Eddie in Tharp’s Tony Award-winning Broadway show, Movin’ Out. His performance earned him a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, an Astaire award for Outstanding Dancing on a Broadway Stage, and a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway debut. Mr. Selya has also appeared as the Mambo dancer in “Damn Yankees,” Scranton Slim in “Guys and Dolls” and Sid in Twyla Tharp’s recent Come Fly Away.  In 2008, Mr. Selya was an Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Joyce SoHo, where he created two works: Tweaker and La Voix Humaine. In addition to appearing on stage, he also has performed in the films Everyone Says I Love YouAcross the Universe and Romance and Cigarettes. Most recently, Mr. Selya directed the touring company of Come Fly Away. He will be performing in Twyla Tharp’s upcoming 50th Anniversary tour. This is Mr. Selya’s third visit to Metropolitan Ballet Academy.

Olga Kostritzky lives in New York City and teaches worldwide. She is a highly acclaimed Ballet Teacher/Ballet Mistress who served for 20 years as a faculty member at SAB, where she created and developed The Boys Program.  Since 2009 Ms. Kostritzky has been a guest teacher and coach for the Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theater.  She has also served as Ballet Teacher/Mistress for Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, founded by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, and the 2007-2008 Vail International Dance Festival.  Ms. Kostritzky received the Senate State of New York Award for her contributions to the arts and the Mae L. Wien Award for distinguished service to the art of ballet.

MBA founder and Artistic Director, Lisa Collins Vidnovic says, “We are thrilled to provide Metropolitan’s student dancers as well as visiting students with the extraordinary opportunity to study with these four highly regarded artists. The Bridge has become an integral and very popular part of MBA’s summer classes. As classes are limited to 25, we encourage interested young dancers to register early.”