Andrei Ustinov, a graduate of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, will be teaching "Ballet Boot Camp" this summer at the Pottstown Dance Theatre.The Vaganova famous School was formerly known as the Russian Imperial Ballet School and has existed for over 270 years. This is the same school that trained Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Natalia Makarova.

Students audition at the age of ten, and after reviewing thousands of student dancers, only a few dozen are selected. The program utilizes an eight year syllabus where dancers study six days a week. Graduates of the school are guaranteed work as professional dancers somewhere, and the best graduates are invited to join the famous Kirov Ballet Company, now known as the Marinsky Ballet.

Both Mr. Ustinov and his wife Elena Martinson danced solo roles with the Kirov before moving to the United States in the 1980s. His work as a teacher is also impeccable. Former students have been accepted in Juilliard, North Carolina School of the Arts, and some dance for the New York City Ballet and other ballet companies across the country.

This summer intensive week is for serious dance students (age 13 to 18) that want to train utilizing the best instruction method and will run from August 13th to August 17th, 12 noon to 4 p.m. Students will take a technique class, learn stretching methods, study pointe work, and learn some balled repertory.

The Pottstown Dance Theatre is under the direction of Michelle Jones Wurtz, a strong advocate of the Russian Method.

Mrs. Wurtz is also a professional dancer herself, and she installed a state of the art flooriing system into the school a few years ago in order to protect the dancers' joints. Her ideology is consistent with Mr. Ustinov and they enjoy working together.

If you, or your child, are interested in studying serious ballet this summer, this is a perfect program. Students should bring juice for re-hydration, a small healthy snack, and an extra set of leotards and tights, as dancers will be working and perspiring pretty hard. For further information, please call the school at 610-323-2569, or visit the school's web site at

Our theater is located at 72 W. Main Street in South Pottstown.

comments powered by Disqus