About the Author:
Interview with Ashley, a student at the Professional Children's School
132 West 60th Street
NY, NY 10023
Head of School, Dr. James Dawson
John Tucker, Coordinator of Public Relations
Carol Kleban, Principal
By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 4, 2003
In the Library of Professional Children's School (PCS), I had the opportunity to interview Ashley and Kate, students of Dance and seniors at PCS. This was another very enjoyable visit to PCS, courtesy of John Tucker, the amiable and professional Public Relations Coordinator, who carefully arranged these interviews. Ashley is the subject of this Inside Perspective.
REZ - Tell me about your background.
Ashley - I'm from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I studied dance with Edna Dieman at the Dance Theater of the Hemispheres. While I was at Dieman Bennet I trained with Edna Dieman and Julia Bennet - they were my first mentors. I was a junior in High School in Cedar Rapids and then moved to Virginia. When I moved to Virginia I was there because of the Virginia School of the Arts. I studied a very classical ballet style with some Modern dance technique. But, I wanted to do contemporary, Broadway style. Then, in 2002, I was accepted to the Summer Program of the Alvin Ailey School. I am now at the Alvin Ailey School and have to work three hours/week in exchange for my classes. I assist a teacher, Miss Blair, who's a PCS and SAB graduate.
REZ - John (Tucker) said there was a special story.
Ashley - I live on my own here in an apartment. I'm 18 years old, and my family is in Iowa. It's tough, but I'm doing it.
REZ - Do you have friends here?
Ashley - Yes, I made most of my friends from PCS.
REZ - Have your relatives seen you perform?
Ashley - My parents came to NY and will come again this week. I'm dancing at All School Night, and everybody will perform.
REZ - Tell me about your performance.
Ashley - I work with a choreographer named Alan Barnes, who choreographs for the Frankfurt Ballet. Last summer I auditioned for Alan Barnes' Repertory Workshop, and he chose me.
REZ - As a senior at PCS, what are your courses?
Ashley - I take Advanced Physics, Pre-Calculus, English, and Current Politics. My teacher of Current Politics is Mr. Savage.
REZ - And French?
Ashley - I took Spanish for three years, but not this year. There are a lot of Spanish-speaking people here. And, I took Health last semester.
REZ - What are your professional goals?
Ashley - I'd like to dance in a professional contemporary company or on Broadway or be a Rockette.
REZ - Who inspires you as a dancer?
Ashley - Desmond Richardson, because he was in the original cast of Fosse and is now in Complexions. Also, I'd love to dance the way Ann Reinking did. I met her, and she's very positive. I auditioned for the Broadway Theater Project, and she was so nice and so supportive of everyone. She studied with the San Francisco Ballet.
REZ - Tell me what your typical day is like.
8-9:40 AM, School at PCS
10:30 - 12 noon, Ballet at Ailey with Ballet Slippers
12:30 - 1:15 PM, School at PCS
2:00 - 3:30 PM, Tap at Broadway Dance Center
4:30 - 6 PM, Graham Technique at the Ailey School
Then home, dinner Pilates exercises, then maybe the gym for another workout.
Ashley - I'm really thankful to be at PCS. They've really worked with me. And, my parents work really hard and are very supportive.