The best thing about the NEXT STEP performances is that you never know what to expect. The reason you do not know what to expect is because most people involved with this process are new to it; not only the choreographers, but the Professional Division students as well. They will be the ones onstage, driving the performance that you will see in eight short weeks, and feverishly working and being taken out of their comfort zones while learning about the process of what will soon be their own next step in their careers.

The students drive the performance since they are the ones on stage, but the NEXT STEP performances have a much larger influence than that. They represent youth, new ideas, and the concept that a vision from a choreographer can relate to practically anyone and result in a newfound appreciation for this art form. Which is why we have created an opportunity for the youth of the Seattle area to witness some of these ideas entitled PNB’s TEEN NIGHT on May 4, 2011.

During this teen only event that will take place at PNB’s Phelps Center studios, you can meet with your friends and come see live excerpts of what you can expect at the NEXT STEP performance. You will hear from choreographers (who are PNB company dancers) and what their ideas are, how they got their start, and where they are headed. You can ask them questions, and get closer to everyone involved more than most people ever do. Imagine your favorite band, actor/actress or sports star and the chance to meet them up close…that’s what this is! Even if you are new to dance, this event is an exciting introduction to something fresh and vibrant that will not disappoint.

One of these dancers who will be seen on June 18th is Carlie Mills, and she is a first year Professional Division student at PNB, and a choreographer favorite. She has a lot on her plate right now, as most of the PD’s do, and is experiencing this wonderful opportunity and taking full advantage of it. She states it best in her own words:

“The NEXT STEP choreographic process has been an adventure since the first rehearsal. It has been interesting to witness the different approach each PNB Company member takes to choreographing. Some choreographers know exactly what they want to see, while others prefer to experiment on the dancers. Some choose to work step by step with the music whereas others prefer adding that element after the movement is set. Altogether, NEXT STEP has been artistically challenging, physically demanding and loads of fun. To be part of a brand new ballet-something fresh and unique-is simply phenomenal.”

We hope to see you at TEEN NIGHT, and we are almost ready for NEXT STEP, are you? For tickets or information about either event, visit or call 206.441.2424.

Nicholas Ade
NEXT STEP Coordinator
Principal, Eastside School

Featured photo: Professional Division Student Carlie Mills in rehearsal. Photo by Lindsay Thomas.