As a dancer in training, I traveled to three different countries representing Venezuela and my two ballet schools at the time. These trips helped me enrich my knowledge and compare myself to other dancers of my age.
During every trip or master class I would take, I found myself at the average level (technique-wise). I always thought that traveling to other countries help us, dancers, meet and explore other techniques and have the opportunity to network with potential schools and companies.
My first ever plane ticket said, "London - Heathrow," and it was my first stop out of Venezuela when I was 8 years old. This was the time when my mom, uncle, and I moved to London for 6 months.
Before going, my old ballet teacher told me that I was going to travel to the city that hosts one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. I didn’t even know that The Royal Ballet existed. (Can you imagine?!)
We arrived there and, after a month, I enrolled in Central School of Ballet, located about an hour away from my house in Tube (Underground, Subway, Metro). In this school, I got first exposed to RAD method.
The most exciting thing I lived in London was going to the Royal Opera House for the first time. This is when I first made the decision that being a professional ballet dancer was going to be my planned career.
In 2008 and 2011, I traveled to La Habana, Cuba with my ballet school. I can say that these trips to Cuba were the most fulfilling, as both the teachers and students in Escuela Nacional de Ballet teach you so much about hard work and dedication.
I took classes with inspiring teachers, like Maestra Marta Iris, and Mme. Ramona de Saá. And the most exciting part was that I got to dance at the Gran Teatro Nacional de La Habana Garcia Lorca (now Gran Teatro Nacional Alicia Alonso).
In October of 2011, I traveled to London for the second time with my mom and teacher. This time, I took two Audition Workshops at both the English National Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School. They were such great opportunities and of course, part of my dream was complete when I put my feet inside those schools.
In May of 2012, I visited the United States for the first time. In San Francisco, I took a Prix de Lausanne’s Master Class at San Francisco Ballet School taught by Davit Karapetyan, who won the Prix when he was a young student.
After a few days there, I traveled to London for the third time (and that was the last time I stepped in the UK, I hope it is not the last one). In here, I took another master class with the ex Étoile of Paris Opera Ballet: Carole Arbo. This was my first ever exposure to the French style.
Finally, in July of 2012, I traveled for the second time to the U.S., this time to Miami to take Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida's Summer Intensive. This became the first intense summer course I ever took and ended up repeating it when I finally moved to Miami in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
In these intensives, the training was focused on the Vaganova technique. We had teachers that danced at the Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky) and teach at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Who else could be better to learn the Russian technique from? Moreover, I had the opportunity to explore other styles of dance for the first time: Modern, Flamenco, and Character.
Now that I am in my 20s, I hope I get to travel more in the future!