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Local dancer headed to prestigious Boston Ballet School

Brittany Brostuen, an eighth-grader at Ridgetop Junior High School, was recently selected to attend the prestigious Boston Ballet School’s 2008 Summer Dance Program. - Courtesy photo
Brittany Brostuen, an eighth-grader at Ridgetop Junior High School, was recently selected to attend the prestigious Boston Ballet School’s 2008 Summer Dance Program.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Most Ridgetop Junior High School students will spend this summer taking it easy; cooling off in a pool, soaking up some sun, maybe taking a vacation.

Not Brittany Brostuen. The eighth-grader was recently tapped as an early selection to the Boston Ballet School’s 2008 Summer Dance Program and will spend five weeks pirouetting till she’s dizzy.

“I didn’t really expect to get much out of Boston, even though I did,” Brostuen said.

She auditioned for the program at Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet on Jan. 13 with about 2,000 other dancers, she estimated.

Three hundred girls and women and 50 boys and men, ages 15-19, will be picked for the program, though most won’t be accepted until March. Brostuen was one of a select few who were let in early.

As if simply getting into the program wasn’t impressive enough, Brostuen managed to do so fairly quickly. She’s only been dancing for about two-and-a-half years, but she’s spent nearly every day during that time dancing.

“This is the only thing she wants to do; she dances all the time,” Brittany’s mother, Myra said. “We (Myra and Ron, Brittany’s father) actually have to tell her to try and cut down a little bit.”

Brittany has aspirations to turn ballet into a full-time career and doesn’t have any intention of slowing down.

“I really like the artistry and the freedom of expression and being able to perform,” she said.

She’s spent most of her time training at Liberty Bay Danceworks in Poulsbo under Company Director Michael Falotico.

The dance studio has sent dancers to the Boston program for the last two years, Brittany said.

In Boston, she’ll get a chance to perform at a school that’s been touted as one of the best in the world.

“(This is) a company in the very first rank,” read a comment by Clive Barnes of Dance Magazine, posted on Boston Ballet’s Web site. “We are accustomed to Boston having one of the great symphonies of the world. The town has now gotten itself a ballet company that meets that standard.”

Myra admitted to being “a little apprehensive” at first about sending her 15-year-old daughter all the way across the country. But Ron, who will likely accompany Brittany and Myra knew the opportunity was once-in-a-lifetime.

“If they want to have a chance at being professionals ... they have to go to these schools,” she said of young dancers. “We can’t hold her back.”

The five-week program will be fairly grueling. According to Boston Ballet’s Web site, students will spend five to six hours dancing and learning in a classroom environment each day.

Brittany’s not fazed, though. She’s well aware of the speed at which she’s moved through the dance ranks and knows full well the challenges that are ahead of her.

“I’m really excited because a lot of people have to start dancing when they’re 2 or 3,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it and Boston looks like a lot of fun.”

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