NYC Ballet Dancers Offered Private Lessons In Newtown

Photo: Kendra Bobowick

New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Tiler Peck walks through a room of students, helping them with postures and positions as needed. Ms Peck and her fiancé, fellow NYCB Principal Robert Fairchild, made a special visit to Sandy Hook on April 22 to lead a pair of master classes at The Graceful Planet. Students from Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet were also part of the special sessions.

New York City Ballet (NYCB) principal dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck briefly chose a smaller stage from which to share their talents, visiting Sandy Hook this week.

With his arms outstretched and body rigid, Mr Fairchild held his position as students of The Graceful Planet and Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet mimicked his pose. Ms Peck moved through the room, gently repositioning students, encouraging them to check their appearance in the mirror. Throughout two afternoon classes on April 22 the girls and several boys followed the ballet principals’ lead.

Among those watching quietly was resident Cindy Carlson, an NYCB fan and attendee. Through NYCB Patron Services Director Faith Shaw Petrides, Ms Carlson learned that Mr Fairchild hoped to reach out to Sandy Hook after 12/14.

On Monday, as Mr Fairchild met with the local dance studio instructors and students, he said that in December while dancing in The Nutcracker he chose to dedicate the performance to Sandy Hook. He remembers thinking at the time, “I don’t feel like I can do much.”

When he and Ms Carlson spoke, he said, “We wanted to make something happen.”

He and Ms Peck, recently engaged, spent a few hours with Newtown’s students, offering them an “amazing” opportunity, said Graceful Planet cocreator Grace Barton Harvey, who hosted the master classes at her Berkshire Road dance studio. She called them “rock stars of the ballet world.

“It’s such an opportunity to have dancers of this caliber come here,” she said

Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet Artistic Director Jennifer Johnston said, “This is a great opportunity for the kids to see professional dancers.”

According to NYCBallet.com, Mr Fairchild attended the 2002 and 2003 summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and enrolled as a full time student in the fall of 2003. In June 2005, Mr Fairchild became an apprentice with NYCB, and the following June, he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet.

He was promoted to soloist in May 2007, and in October 2009 was promoted to Principal Dancer.

At the age of 12, Ms Peck entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, for most of the 2000-01 Winter Term. She returned to SAB during the summers of 2002 and 2003, and that fall began as a full time student.

In September 2004, Ms Peck became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. In February 2005 she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist in December 2006. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in October 2009.

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