passion -- so much so that he is considering moving from his home in
Palos Verdes to be closer to Media City Ballet.
"It's good for me, because they don't hesitate to make me do
things that are well above my skill level," Jones said.
Dancing alongside the company's principals is a challenge but also
good motivation, he said.
"It's intimidating, because you see what you have to be able to
do," Jones said. "But everybody is always so encouraging."
For several of the students at the Media City Ballet's first-ever
summer intensive, the workshop ended with Saturday's "Pasion de
Espana" at the Alex Theatre, featuring Spanish-themed excerpts from
"Don Quixote," "Bolero," "Carmen" and "Swan Lake." Students are
generally not invited to dance with the company's principals, but
about 12 danced in Saturday's production, artistic director Natasha
The summer intensive was a success, and the company plans to host
another one next year, Middleton-Kettebekov said.
"They did a fantastic job," she said. "They have all really
Friends Amara Baptist, 15, and Samantha DiMatteo, 16, have
participated in other summer intensive workshops during their five
years of dancing, but working with the Media City Ballet this year
was a challenge for them.
"It was tough," Amara said. "This one was all ballet."
Zaakirah Daniels, 12, had the honor of being the youngest student
in the workshop. She likes to participate in summer intensive
workshops because they present the opportunity to meet and work with
so many different people.
"In an intensive, you get to refine your skills with new teachers
other than those at the studios, and you get to meet people from all
over," Zaakirah said.