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Professional Ballet Company


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We are extremely proud and happy to announce that we have received our Nonprofit status, and now we will be able to establish our professional ballet company, Alma Dance Theater! 

We have been working on this endeavor for a long time and are overjoyed that we will be able to finally begin this process. Our classical company will provide talented dancers with the opportunity to become a member of our unique group and further their careers. We are ecstatic that we are able to provide such a wonderful opportunity to dancers in the Chicago area.

This is truly an achievement for Alma Dance School. The company will benefit our students because the school will now be associated with high caliber and visible group of professional dancers. Our students will be inspired as they train to prepare for their future careers. They will now have the opportunity to audition for Alma Dance Theater and potentially gain a job in their home city. More details concerning the company's progress will follow in the future. We look forward to the wonderful addition Alma Dance Theater will make to the school and the dedication it will inspire. 

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Vilma Machin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

Everything started in Cuba, my native country, where my love for ballet originated. Cubans dance with passion and without hesitation. We are people who understand that dancing begins in the soul. My mom remembers that I would always drop whatever I was doing and run into the room with the TV if any classical ballet was on one of the channels. I would sit in front of the screen, entranced by the dancers until the final note of the ballet. I also loved to dress up and imitate the many dance movements I had viewed on television. My mom could not help but notice how much I enjoyed classical music. My parents can also recall how I would constantly ask them to take me to the ballet school [National Cuban Ballet School]. If you ask anyone on the street, they will know about the National Cuban Ballet Company and its dancers. It is likely that this individual would even be able to tell you when and where the company will be performing next, Cubans appreciate ballet to that extent. Dancers in Cuba are admired, well-known and highly respected. Thousands of children audition each year in the hope that they will be accepted into the National Cuban Ballet’s prestigious school. In Cuba, one has to pass a number of tests to be selected for the school. An applicant must have the ability and facilities to become a dancer (i.e. specific body conditions such as natural back, legs and feet flexibility, turn-out from the hips and pleasing body proportions). Prospective students must also pass a musicality exam to ensure that the student has a good ear and can count the music. One also has to undergo a physical exam to look for any bone abnormalities or any other factors that could limit the dancer’s training.                         READ MORE ------------->

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  • Open House and Master Classes Workshop
  • Alma Dance School is happy to announce our upcoming Open House and Master Class Workshop. Join us on this unique occasion to tour our newly renovated studios and to discover the amazing dance opportunities offered through the school. Visitors can also learn more about Alma Dance Theater, our nonprofit professional ballet company. Students are offered the superb prospect of taking classes with Stacey Keller, a former dancer with The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and Randy Duncan, a famed choreographer world-wide. We welcome you to observe our magnificent master classes and to gain insight into the aspects of our school that makes it a splendid place to train! For more information.    

Master Class with Sarah Lane

VERY EXCITING!! We will have a MASTER CLASS with Sarah Lane, a member of the famed American Ballet Theater (ABT) on Wednesday, July 19th from 1:00-3:30pm (Ballet & Pointe). This is VERY SPECIAL and we are in for a real treat. This company is the home of Misty Copeland and is exceptional on all levels. Each dancer is outstanding and this Master Class will be fantastic. In fact, Sarah was dancing double for Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures' feature film Black Swan. Please see Sarah’s biography below. All dancers 12 years or older outside of Alma Dance School are also invited attend the Master Class. The cost is $40 for the ballet and the pointe class.

SARAH LANE: Born in San Francisco, California, Sarah Lane began her dance training in Memphis, Tennessee under the direction of Pat Gillispie at the Memphis Classical Ballet. When her family moved to Rochester, New York, she continued instruction with Timothy Draper and Jamey Leverett at the Draper Center for Dance Education. When Lane was 16, she received a full scholarship to the Boston Ballet's Summer Program. In 2000 and 2001, she was awarded first place and the Capezio Class Excellence Award at the North American Ballet Festival. In 2002, Lane was a National Young Arts Foundation Winner in Dance/Ballet, and through Young Arts became a 2002 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Lane was the Silver Medalist, the highest medal in the Junior Division, at the Jackson International Ballet Competition (2002). During the competition, she traveled to Washington, D. C. to perform at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. That same year, Lane also won the Bronze Medal at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition. Lane joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in August 2003, became a member of the Company's corps de ballet in April 2004 and was appointed a Soloist in August 2007. Her roles with the Company include a Shade in La Bayadère, Galya in The Bright Stream, the Fairy Spring in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Blossom in James Kudelka's Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Gulnare in Le Corsaire, Amour and a flower girl in Don Quixote, Anne in Christopher Wheeldon's VIII, the Flames of Paris pas de deux, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, the Two of Diamonds in Jeu de Cartes, Vera in A Month in the Country, The Young Girl in The Green Table, Clara in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Olga in Onegin, the Youngest Sister in Pillar of Fire, one of Juliet's friends in Romeo and Juliet, Celestial in Shadowplay, Princess Aurora, Princess Florine, the Fairy of Charity and the Fairy of Joy in The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de deux from Stars and Stripes, the pas de trois, Polish Princess and a Little Swan in Swan Lake, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, a Goat in Sylvia, the principal role in Theme and Variations, Spectre de la Rose and roles in Bach Partita, Birthday Offering, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Chamber Symphony, Désir, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Glow-Stop, In the Upper Room, Kaleidoscope, The Leaves Are Fading, Raymonda Divertissements, Seven Sonatas, Sinatra Suite, Some Assembly Required, Symphony in C and With A Chance of Rain. She created the Chinese Dance in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Miranda in The Tempest and a role in Demis Volpi's Private Light. Lane was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 2007 and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts in 2008. She was the dancing double for Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures' feature film Black Swan. She has written essays for the Wall Street Journal Online and Dance Magazine. She has been featured by numerous magazines and newspapers, including Glamour, Elle, Pulp, Interview, Timeout, Dance and Pointe magazines. She has modeled for Payless Shoesource, Capezio and The Suffolk Pointe Shoe Company. Sarah is, also, a certified Gyrokinesis instructor. Sarah is a mentor for Ballet Mentor.