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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 28, 2009


Allen Free is only 11 years old, but already his resume is impressive.

A student at the California Area Elementary School in California, he has been studying ballet since the age of five. Now he has been accepted as one of only two boys in his age group to study this summer at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy at the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn.

From July 20 through August 9, Allen will hone his talents under master instructors from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, then perform with other academy students at the close of the summer intensive.

“After finding out about the program online, we had to prepare an audition DVD and send it in along with Allen’s resume,” said his mom, Carla Anderton-Sealy. Allen’s involvement in the program has huge implications in terms of his career and marks the first time he’ll be going away from home to study,” she said.

In addition to studying ballet during the day, the youngster will take Russian language classes in the evening and also enjoy side trips to area cultural institutions on select weekends.

Currently, the young dancer studies with Kelly Jenkins at the Fayette School of Ballet, with Brianne Bayer at Pennsylvania Southern Dance and Performing Arts Academy and also has a weekly class at the Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy.

Last year, he performed the role of Franz in Ballet Lafayette’s “Nutcracker,” and, in 2007, he performed with the Moscow Ballet in its production of the “Nutcracker” at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.

“Allen is one of 150 applicants chosen from a pool of about 500 to take part in the summer intensive,” said Dianna Mesion, academy director. “It’s an amazing and unique opportunity for students to study ballet under these wonderful teachers from the Moscow Academy.”


Copyright © 2009 PG Publishing Co., Inc.

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