Ballet JourneyS

A SAFE SPACE TO BE YOU.

Shaping the Future of Ballet One Story at a Time

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Ballet-Journeys.com provides learning and inspiration through conversation, interviews, and physical workshops from some of the world’s leading ballet voices. It is a place for BALLET dancers (13 years old and up) to find inspiration for their dreams, refresh ideas, renew their body, and synthesize future possibilities.

At Ballet-Journeys we know that everyone has a story worth sharing! If you were called to ballet and feel most connected to life when dancing - then your journey is real. You and ballet have been intertwined in some fashion.


Ballet-Journeys is an online source of information and a place for you to pause upon your path and reflect upon your journey while listening to the wise words of those who came before you, or to the hopeful words of the trailblazers etching out a new ballet voice!


Join us as we journey together through ballet stories, secret lessons, shared advice, and most of all the realization that all of our individual stories merge together to create the future of ballet.

Welcome to

Ballet Journeys!

A Safe Space TO BE YOU.

Join Ballet-Journeys Inaugural Event

A Weekend with Gavin Larsen

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Being A Ballerina  

The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life


Ms. Larsen’s poetic memoir is a treasured glimpse into the often elusive life of a ballerina. Her beautiful lush writing brings to life stories that provide a walk down memory lane for retired professionals, a hopeful light in an often dark tunnel for pre-professionals, and a sense of deep camaraderie for current professionals. Anyone with a heart for dance will enjoy these conversations!

 

Witness Stories

Experience what it means to live with dedication and join Gavin as she sits with chosen professionals to talk about her book, their reactions to her story, and the life lessons that are embedded in the process of Being A Ballerina.


Live with Gavin

Ms. Larsen will host a relaxed live get-together where you can ask questions, interact with others, and have a fun time with new and old friends.

Gavin

Larsen

Gavin illuminates her timeless story and the process of living a dancer’s life. Instead of focusing on the dark underbelly of the ballet world, she stays true to the path of being where the details are deliberate, the attention is clear, and the feeling is united in connection with passion for one's art. 

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#OURBallet JourneyS

CATRINA CHOATE-HERETOIU

Founder SomaStudies & Ballet Journeys

Ballet Journeys Mission Statement

With Ballet’s embrace of uniformity and conformity it is often easy to forget your unique path. Ballet Journeys is here to remind you that there are multiple ways to enjoy ballet, have a career in ballet, and a healthy relationship with ballet. No two paths are alike and it is important to remember that first and foremost - ballet is a personal practice and a process to be nurtured and cherished. Ballet is a journey and if you’re on it - it is your unique path to shape. 


It is my mission with Ballet Journeys to share as many different ballet stories as possible to reveal journeys of success, exclusion, recovery, endurance, and resilience. By sharing these stories it is my hope that they will offer learning and inspiration to current people in ballet to etch out their own path and embrace their unique journey. 


Catrina Choate-Heretoiu


How can we help?

On a journey, a traveler needs guides, mentors, and friends.

Guest Teaching

Ballet-Journeys welcomes Teachers from the Ballet world to share their experience and knowledge, passing the torch from one generation to another.

Community

Ballet-Journeys will maintain an active and private community for all Ballet dancers and teachers. We will hold a safe space for everyone, and we welcome you with open arms.

Support

Oftentimes we need guidance to better understand what our next step needs to be. Whether a career move, choosing the right School or Style, or even finding a tribe in a new place. Start here.

We’re here to support making your ballet journey a fulfilling and happy part of your life.

Our Guests

Meet our Guests, Make New Friends,

Share Your Dreams

What is an everyday Ballerina? ” A Weekend with Gavin Larsen.

Ballet Journeys provides learning and inspiration through conversation, interviews, and physical workshops from some of the world’s leading ballet voices. It is a place to refresh ideas, renew your body, and synthesize future possibilities.  

Catrina Choate-Heretoiu

Host

Gavin Larsen

Writer, teacher, and former professional ballet dancer.

Author, "Being A Ballerina"

Dena Abergel

PhotoCredit: Blaine Truitt Covert

About Ms. Gavin Larsen

Gavin Larsen is a writer, teacher, and former professional ballet dancer.

Born and raised in New York City, Gavin received her professional dance training at the School of American Ballet, the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the New York School of Ballet.

Career

Over the course of her 18-year professional career, she was a member of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alberta Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre, dancing prominent roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, James Kudelka, Christopher Wheeldon and Paul Taylor, as well as the major classical works and numerous original contemporary pieces.

From the Book

We all deserve to feel our spirits expanding past the boundaries of our skin, to be powerful without needing to hold power over anyone else.

Dancing takes the most beautiful, extraordinary, and universal instrument - the human body - to its fullest, highest, most complete capacity.

Physical body, intellectual mind, emotional spirit, interpretive artistry all unite in even the simplest classroom exercise.


“Everyone should dance.

Everyone should let their soul sing.”

Gavin's Special Guest

Dena Abergel

Professional Ballet Dancer

Ballet Faculty

Dena Abergel


About Ms. Dena Abergel

Dena Abergel began ballet classes at the age of 6 with Dorit Koppel at Progressive Dance Studio in Englewood, New Jersey. She attended the School of American Ballet’s 5-week Summer Course at the age of 12 and enrolled as a full-time student in the School’s Intermediate division one year later.

Career

Over the course of her 18-year professional career, she was a member of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alberta Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre, dancing prominent roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, James Kudelka, Christopher Wheeldon and Paul Taylor, as well as the major classical works and numerous original contemporary pieces.

On Stage

In 1989, she joined other advanced students on a trip to Amsterdam’s Holland Festival to perform on a program with Russia’s Vaganova Academy. She also accompanied SAB faculty member Suki Schorer to La Baulle, France, for a student performance of Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie.

At SAB’s June 1990 Workshop performances, she danced featured roles in Stars and Stripes and the pas de deux from Kermesse in Bruges. Peter Martins invited Ms. Abergel to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1990, and she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 1991.

During 18 years as a member of New York City Ballet, Ms. Abergel performed in numerous works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She originated roles in Robbins’s West Side Story Suite; in Peter Martins’s Chichester Psalms, HarmonielehreSymphonic Dances,  The Sleeping BeautySwan Lake and Romeo+Juliet; and in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals, Variations Serieuses, and An American in Paris.

Ms. Abergel performed featured and soloist roles in a number of works by George Balanchine, including The Nutcracker®FirebirdCoppélia,  Swan Lake, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Upon retiring from performing in 2009, Ms. Abergel joined SAB’s faculty and became NYCB’s Assistant Children’s Repertory Directory. She was named Children’s Repertory Director at New York City Ballet in the fall of 2012.


Executive Producer

Catrina Choate-Heretoiu

Ballet-Journeys Founder

Ballet Educator, Feldenkrais® Practitioner

Dena Abergel


About Ms. Choate-Heretoiu

Catrina is a somatic practitioner and dance educator who works with recovery and learning through movement. She is the co-founder of Soma Studies which includes online/live somatic classes and is the creator of Ballet Journeys.


While young, she trained at the prestigious School of American Ballet and then continued to dance professionally with Miami City Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Miami Contemporary Dance Company. Catrina thrived in her performance career but she also understood movement from a healing perspective and chose to nurture an academic and somatic path. 

Teaching

Catrina has a B.A. Degree in English Literature from Florida International University, an MFA Degree in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and is certified in The Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Education. She has taught all levels of ballet and Feldenkrais® at many conservatories throughout the U.S. and Europe such as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Dance Department, Northern California Dance Conservatory, and Sacramento Ballet.  

On Movement

Throughout Catrina’s life, movement has been the trusted language of communication and she understands that a somatic conversation through movement can reveal unexpected experiences that can promote learning, growth, relief, and ultimately connection.

 

“Movement is everything and

everything is movement.” 

 

Gavin's Special Guest

Steven Houser

Grand Rapids Ballet

Steven Houser

PhotoCredit: Isaac Aoki

About Steven Houser

Steven began his ballet training at the age of six in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He has studied at Metro Dancers, Portland Community Ballet, Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. He also spent summers studying on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Career

Steven joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2004, was made a company member in 2005, and was promoted to soloist in 2007. He joined the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011, and became an assistant ballet master with the company in 2017, staging and rehearsing works by Penny Saunders, Dani Rowe, Brian Enos, Olivier Wevers, and Christopher Stowell.

Steven has performed nationally and internationally in Japan, Korea, Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska, and at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Gavin's Special Guest

Cherilyn Lee

The Ballet Herald

Cherilyn   Lee


About Cherilyn Lee

Cherilyn's lifelong passion for ballet has opened the door to the next chapter of her journey. Her strong foundation includes training at the School of American Ballet, being a featured dancer with Hartford Ballet and Carolina Ballet, and being co-director/owner of City Ballet Raleigh. She was granted the Affiliate Teacher Award after successfully completing the ABT National Training Curriculum®.

Career

A professional career in the industry along with extensive global travel provide her with a unique set of experiences to draw upon as an audience member. Cherilyn is excited to be sharing her insight about ballet around the world.


Gavin's Special Guests

The Quiner Sisters

"6 Sisters Who Love To Dance"

Cherilyn   Lee


About The Quiner Sisters

We are 6 sisters that love to dance and display our art form! We enjoy choreographing our own solos and performing ones by top choreographers.

Career

We have been featured in Dance Spirit magazine and Inside Dance magazine. Michelle and Rachel have danced as Clara for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. We have won over 10 national dance titles! We have won scholarships at various dance workshops including: NYCDA, Nuvo, Jump, 24 Seven, Radix, Adrenaline, West Coast Dance Explosion, Revive, and ASH. We have been featured on the news and have been to YAGP Finals. Our solos have placed first overall at many dance competitions.


BALLET

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LIFE

Our Virtual Journeys

Ballet Journeys Presents:

A Weekend with Gavin LARSEN

Shaping the Future of Ballet

One Story at a Time.


nov

19/21

A Weekend with Gavin Larsen

Starts Friday, Nov 19th 2021

Time: TBA

Timezone: New York

nov

20/21

Saturday, Nov 20, watch Gavin's unique interviews with guests and enjoy connecting with new and old ballet friends worldwide. Part I.

Time: TBA

Location: New York

nov

19/21

Saturday, Nov 20, watch Gavin's unique interviews with guests and enjoy connecting with new and old ballet friends worldwide. Part II.

Time: TBA

Timezone: New York

nov

21/22

Sunday, Nov 21, Ms. Larsen will host a private, unforgettable and friendly LIVE VIRTUAL Sunday Brunch where you can ask questions, interact with others, and have a fun time with new and old friends.

Time: TBA

Timezone: New York

Our Stories.

Ballet is Us. It is the people.

"We make the choices. We choose what to normalize and how to react. We choose to see or to turn away. We choose to speak up or stay silent. We do have a choice to push boundaries or help those who are pushing boundaries. We have a choice to join together, to connect, and to acknowledge each person’s journey."

Catrina Choate-Heretoiu

the BOOK

Ballet Journeys (the book) is a collection of personal stories from ballet professionals around the world.

Each story is revealed in the form of a letter addressed to Ballet which expresses hidden treasures within each person’s intimate relationship with ballet.

No two paths are alike yet every path shares the love and respect for the artform.

By sharing these stories - lessons can be learned, guidance can be given, clarity can be remembered, and love can be experienced.


BLOG

For some people, ballet is a holistic experience that flows easily with their personal progression, for others it is not so.

Many people have been excluded, degraded, and traumatized by their ballet environment and this is why Ballet Journeys presents stories weighted in experience, endurance, and resilience.  

One person’s story is not everyone’s story, however, we can relate to and learn from each other’s stories which can therefore help to inform our choices and actions.


WHY

What is your relationship with ballet?

Not with the ballet world or business, but rather you and ballet - how are you together?

Why do you work hard to perfect technique? What does ballet give you and what do you give to ballet?

So often, people seem to misalign and replace their values of passion, love, and respect for externalized ideas of limited portrayals of ballet.

Although ballet is a presentational artform, I don’t think that your ballet relationship should be externalized. It should never be something for which you pause your self worth. It’s never something you need approval to belong to. Ballet is yours, always. It is a process and it is your practice. Ballet is a way of being with life.  


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