Hudson – Many young girls attend dance class. Some learn grace, others enjoy the movement, and a few dream of being professional dancers.

A dozen dancers from the Hudson Conservatory of Ballet, 5170 Hudson Drive, participated in summer programs in a step to reach a professional level.

Some attended weekend workshops while others spent more than a month working on dance with a focus on ballet. One student is now in a year-round program.

Dancers don't sign up. They must audition and the summer programs began with auditions in January either in person or through a video, said Ballet Master Eric Carvill. The first step is to interview. The companies look at various skill levels and artistic value.

"Students learn at a local studio but during the summer, they can explore more professional options," Carvill said. "Then they want an apprenticeship in a company for a year-round program."

Some of the students who went to programs include Lacey Park, 16, of Kent; Brooke Noska, 15, of Medina; Caroline Moffa, 15, of Hudson, Madeline Flythe, 14, of Aurora; Leah Ploskunak, 14, of Hudson, Isabella Springer, 13, of Stow, Maggie Crookston, 12, of Stow and Makenna Johnson, 12, of Cuyahoga Falls.

Lacey attended Harid Conservatory in Florida on a full scholarship. She was also invited to San Francisco Ballet, Washington Ballet, Canada's National Ballet and Ballet West with scholarship. She also won first place in a ballet competition in Las Vegas.

In Florida in addition to classes on dance, she had a class on nutrition and providing fuel for her body.

"I liked how they instilled a work ethic," Lacey said.

The training had a Vaganova — or Russian — influence with slow, precise movements, she said.

Brooke attended the Houston Ballet Academy for the second year in their summer intensive and was accepted into their professional training program. She is taking classes in ballet technique, pointe, pas de deux, variation classes, contemporary, modern, jazz, body conditioning, Pilates and repertoire.

"The classes here at the Houston Ballet Academy are incredible," Brooke said. "Every teacher is so passionate and detailed about what they do that it makes the learning process amazing."

In addition to the Houston Ballet technique, she is learning pieces from classical ballets, Brooke said. Other styles are taught for a well-rounded dancer as well as strength training and Pilates.

"My favorite part of being a year-round student here at Houston Ballet is dancing all day," Brooke said. "It's really a great opportunity to improve and refine your technique quickly. Also the studio space is gorgeous."

Brooke was invited to The Princess Grace Academy in Monaco and the Dutch National Ballet in the Netherlands.

"I would love to travel and study overseas," Brooke said. "I was extremely honored to have received the short-term scholarships while I was a senior finalist at Youth American Grand Prix this past April."

Brooke said she would go overseas short-term but is more interested in studying with the Houston Ballet.

"It is my dream to be in the company with Houston Ballet," Brooke said. "But, I would love to keep my options open to companies such as the American Ballet Theatre in New York City."

Her dream roles would be Nikiya or Gamzatti from La Bayadere and Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker.

Caroline attended the School of American Ballet in NYC. She was invited to Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theater.

"We did classes on pointe, partnering, ballroom and Pilates," Caroline said. "I got a lot stronger. It was a different style with a lot faster movements and the actions were very precise."

Caroline says she hopes to attend ballet school year round in the next few years.

Madeline attended the Houston Ballet School and was invited to Caroline Ballet, Chautauqua School of Dance, Interlochen Arts and Joffrey Dance Chicago. She auditioned in Columbus to show her strengths. Besides ballet, she had classes in character, jazz, conditioning classes and Pilates.

"I'd feel sore going into class but better after," Madeline said.

Maggie did a video audition of basic combinations learned in class. 

"I'd like to stay in ballet," Maggie said. "I like how structured it is. It gives me a goal and what to work on."

She attended the Chautauqua School of Dance and was invited to the Interlochen Arts with scholarship.

"We had four classes a day with two in ballet," Maggie said.

Other dance classes included contemporary, character and Broadway.

The Hudson Conservatory of Ballet will perform its annual production of the Nutcracker ballet Thanksgiving weekend and more information will be offered closer to the event.

Ballet Mistress Sunita Joshi said they change choreography for the lead dancers to showcase their talents. The younger parts such as snow and flowers remain routine but more experienced dancers move up to take the lead of the younger dancers.

There will be some new things in the Nutcracker but nothing has been finalized, including parts, she said. There will be about 60 dancers in the cast.

The Hudson Conservatory of Ballet has classes in ballet, tap, acro (tumbling, strength and flexibility), creative movement, tap and tumble; and lyrical, a blend of ballet and jazz, for ages 18 months to 18 years.

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Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or