Philly students experience week of rehearsals with professional dancers at Pennsylvania Ballet

They took up ballet, jazz, modern and African dance classes.

Steve Tawa
June 30, 2018 - 9:45 pm
Delphi Project Summer Camp

Steve Tawa | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Dozens of Philadelphia public school students got some keen insights into the life of professional-level dancers, at a five-day summer camp at the Pennsylvania Ballet. They took up ballet, jazz, modern and African dance classes. 

A longtime soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet, James Ihde, who just retired in May, after 25 years with the company, enjoyed mentoring 9th and 10th graders.

"It's a good opportunity to let them try things they've never tried," Ihde said. "The great thing is that they all seem to be very open to it and obviously have great spirit."

Sarah Cooper, Director of Community Engagement with the Pennsylvania Ballet, says they brought in 5th to 10th graders.

"It runs the gamut," she said. "We didn't audition. Some kids had a lot of training. Some had none, and just wanted to explore."

Teenagers Sierra, Kylie, Ciani, and Kiana were game to move through their ballet exercises.

"It's more like perfecting some of the things I've already learned."

"I've never done African dancing before, with the drums playing."

"I hope to be a professional dancer one day."

"It's fun."

The Delphi Project Summer Camp was led by teachers from the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, the University of the Arts, and the School District of Philadelphia.