After a busy Spring Season, the Ballet 5:8 Company Artists have a few weeks off from rehearsals and performances before we head into the Summer Season and Summer Intensive. We are checking in with each of them to see what they're up to and what stood out to them during the Spring Season.
Summer Smith joined Ballet 5:8 as a Trainee at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season but was promoted to Apprentice mid-way through the year. In her bio, she said she "is so thankful for God's sense of humor, as he completely pushed her to Ballet 5:8 and transformed her mindset with his overwhelming grace." Well, we are thankful for both God's sense of humor and for Summer! She will be returning as a Company Artist for the 2015-2016 season, and we are very excited to continue to see her dance and to bring a wonderful sense of energy and passion to the company.
What was your favorite moment this season?
My favorite moment this season was probably while we were performing in Hopkinsville Kentucky. After the performance, audience members from around the community instantly started pitching in to help with the heaviest parts of the cleanup, while the company began packing up lighting equipment and sets! It was just really wonderful be around these people who were so eager to support us.
Which ballet challenged you the most this season? Why?
The most challenging ballet for me was definitely Belteshazzar. It was my first time performing in all three acts of a full length ballet, and it pushed both my technique and stamina. This was also a big growing period in my faith, as I would find that many of the different things we were studying in the book of Daniel during the choreographic process were aligning with my life. It was really amazing to see God using this ballet both through the dancers and the audiences.
Which has been your favorite ballet to perform this season? Why?
Again I'd have to say Belteshazzar, this ballet has a special place in my heart because of the emotional connections I found with the different characters. It is also a very fun ballet to perform as it contains many different styles of ballet, and many different time periods.
Do you feel like you have changed this year? How?
Definitely. I made my faith my own. It became something I was actually experiencing, rather than something i just heard a lot about from friends and family. I experienced so much of God's grace in ways I never could've imagined. He has softened my heart and made me willing to follow his will.
What are you looking forward to about this summer?
I am especially looking forward to the summer intensive because I experienced it as a student last summer and know it was a really great experience. I am excited to work with the students and just be an encouragement to them!
What are you looking forward to about next season?
I'm just excited to watch what God does next with Ballet 5:8. He keeps doing incredible things, and I feel like I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to experience even more.
What are you up to during summer layoff?
I'm currently at my family's house in south Jersey. I've been spending some time assisting the ballet photographer Deborah Boardman in Philadelphia, and guest teaching at studios in the area. I'm also trying to get to the beach as much as possible!