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Akron dancer makes most of scholarship, rises to lead role in 'Hansel and Gretel' 02/23/23

AKRON — Wendy Moreno-Garcia has come a long way from when she was 8 and began learning about the world of classical ballet.

The North High School 15-year-old, a Reach Out and Dance (ROAD) scholarship student for seven years at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance, has progressed from beginner ballet class at the Cuyahoga Falls studio to its second-highest level. She trains six days a week in nine pre-professional classes plus company rehearsals for Ballet Excel Ohio (BXO).

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Ballet Excel to perform ‘Hansel & Gretel’ 02/23/23

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Ballet Excel Ohio will present Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel & Gretel,” choreographed by Erich Yetter, March 11-12 at noon and 2 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St. The performers, from Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance Studio, range from ages 8 to 18.

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Busy with ballet: Wooster high sophomore dedicated to upcoming 'Hansel & Gretel' shows 02/21/23

CUYAHOGA FALLS − Wooster High sophomore Emma Graziano has been dancing since she was 3.

Her passion for ballet has led her to Ballet Excel Ohio in Cuyahoga Falls where Graziano is plying her skills in the spring performances of "Hansel & Gretel," a world premier by choreographer Erich Yetter.

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Mia Klinger, Artistic Director of Ballet Excel Ohio, Named National Visiting Fellow for School of American Ballet 08/29/22

Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Mia Klinger, Artistic Director, Ballet Excel Ohio, was recently recognized as one of five classical ballet teachers nationwide to participate in the School of American Ballet's (SAB) National Visiting Fellows program in New York City.

Every year, the School of American Ballet selects 5 classical ballet instructors who have demonstrated commitment to teaching students from diverse backgrounds. Klinger has been working with underserved youth for over two decades through Ballet Excel Ohio's Reach Out And Dance® (ROAD®) program. "I believe in the value of the arts being taught at the highest level possible, not watered down versions; Klinger said. "It brings students to a higher level of intelligence and achievement."

As a Visiting Fellow, Klinger will attend two week long SAB sessions to observe, meet with faculty to discuss SAB's curriculum and strategies for progression, teach SAB students, receive faculty feedback, and discuss relevant dance education topics with administrative staff.

Currently, one of her ROAD® students, Jonathan McCray, is attending SAB on full scholarship for his high school years. "I look forward to working with SAB faculty, and bringing back the knowledge to my current dancers to help put Akron, Ohio on the map for great classical ballet training."

Ballet Company Reveals Secret Behind 'Magic' in 'Peter Pan' Show: 'I Gasped' 02/10/22

A ballet group has shared the secrets behind the stage, revealing exactly how they make it look like dancers are flying off the stage, and it's far from what most imagined.

Pre-professional youth ballet, Ballet Excel Ohio, shared a behind-the-scenes look at its show of Peter Pan just four days ago, gaining over 10 million views already.

Like with many shows, the Peter Pan performance features a scene in which Wendy Darling and her siblings follow Peter Pan in flying from their London window to Neverland.

Of course, the ballet dancers are unable to do that, but they are able to reciprocate the look for the audience, using a surprising technique. As shown in the viral video, the young dancers are lifted from a doorway in the backdrop by a man on a ladder, swinging them smoothly into the air.

According to a comment left by the dance company, the man in question is a father of one of the children, aka a "dance dad."

Peter Pan was the first to lead with the flying and the lift creates a sweeping motion, which from the front appears from the audience like he's lifted himself into the air with one possible cause: magic.

Pan was followed by John, Michael and Wendy Darling, as well as Tinkerbell. All three followed suit, appearing to "fly" off stage.

The question left on most viewers' lips was how it looks from the audience, and the dance company happily obliged, sharing footage taken from the seats. Surely enough, the mini dancers did appear like they were simply flying out of the window.

"It does for real look like they're flying out of the window tho," commented one impressed TikTok user.

For most, the lack of technicalities in the flying process came as a shock, with expectations of a much more complicated process.

"Me thinking it's high tech pulleys and wires with safety harnesses and soft landing pillows," imagined one viewer.

"I am just picturing that guy describing how he hurt his shoulder to his doctor," joked another. Ballet Excel Ohio however confirmed that the dad "said it wasn't that bad."

This video certainly isn't the first to grace TikTok with secrets of the stage. In August 2021, a New Jersey theater company shared the truth behind the magic in its Matilda performance, similarly racking up views in the millions.

Performer Caleb Duffy of the Music Mountain Theatre shared a clip of fellow performer Emily Cobb manually working the "magic" of Matilda. As Matilda used magic to move objects on a table, Cobb sat behind the table, spinning the cup with a wooden stick underneath.

To the audience, who can't see Cobb, the cup appeared to be moving by itself.

Read the article on Newsweek

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Ballet Excel Ohio Awarded 2020-2021 Morgan Impact Award 11/11/21

Ballet Excel Ohio (BXO), under the artistic direction of Mia Klinger, has received the esteemed 2020 -2021 Morgan Impact Award for Excellence in Arts. On November 11, Peg’s Foundation recognized BXO as was one of five recipients at their annual grand event held at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

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After last March's cancellation of the original ballet "The Snow Queen: A Frozen Fairytale" the night before opening and three more attempted reschedulings, the show finally will go on 15 months later, June 12 and 13 at the Akron Civic Theatre.

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Ballet Excel Ohio dancers 'Happy' to bring pop-up performance to Falls 9/30/20 - Akron Beacon Journal

Young dancers from Ballet Excel Ohio brought some joy to the Front Street area of Cuyahoga Falls Saturday by giving two pop-up performances to diners and passersby next to Leo's Italian Social and near the amphitheater to the south.

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I ❤ SHAPES and The Snow Queen: dance in the schools, costumes, and costs 3/12/20 - Cleveland Concert Dance

Ballet Excel Ohio (BXO) has been combining hard-working, talented young pre-professional ballet students with original choreography since 1975. The school and company are notably diverse, with 30% of the young dancers from minorities or underserved groups. We want to talk about the dancing in the program, look into the reason for the company’s diversity, and tell a recent success story.

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Young ballet dancers warm to frozen fairy tale 3/11/20 - Akron Beacon Journal

Ballet Excel Ohio (BXO) is performing the new work “The Snow Queen,” created for the pre-professional company by longtime collaborator Tom Gold, a former soloist with the New York City Ballet. The ballet, dubbed “a frozen fairy tale,” is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale that inspired the hit Disney movie “Frozen.”

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Ballet Excel Ohio dances new steps in ‘The Snow Queen’ 3/8/20 - Akron Beacon Journal

The audience will have to take a deep breath to keep pace with the Ballet Excel Ohio dancers as they create the world premiere of “The Snow Queen” ballet to the fast-paced choreography by Tom Gold.

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Ballet Excel’s ‘Snow Queen’ offering magic, fun 3/5/20 - Akron.com

The Akron Civic Theatre stage will become a magical winter wonderland as Ballet Excel Ohio presents “The Snow Queen” March 14-15. Ballet Excel Ohio started out as the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet in 1975 and was renamed in 2013 “to simplify and expand the coverage region,” according to Artistic Director Mia Klinger.

“We are one of the oldest companies in the country and are presenting our 45th season,” said Klinger.

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THE REPERTORY

Ballet Title Choreographer Season Premiere
A Christmas CarolTom Gold37th
A Midsummer Night's Dream (variations)Erich Yetter38th
American VignettesCatherine Oppenheimer, Frances Patrelle20th
At my BESTTom Evert33rd
Ballet of the Angels (woodland scene from Hansel and Gretal opera)Nan Klinger1st
Beauty and the BeastTom Gold38th
Bus StopLori Klinger16th
Carnival of the AnimalsJames Sewell16th
City of AkronFrances Patrelle25th
CliquesTom Smith38th
Color Me Red, Color Me Yellow, Color Me BlueTom Evert15th
Fancy NancyFrances Patrelle34th
Four Decades of Dance: A Tribute to Nan KlingerTom Gold40th
FriendshipNan Klinger2nd
Girls SchoolVladimir Dokoudovsky2nd
HappyTom Gold39th
I Love ShapesTom Evert13th
Ida's FlowersMichael Vernon8th
Johnny AppleseedMichael Vernon9th
Joplin JamboreeTom Gold37th
Madeline at the CircusFrances Patrelle28th
Miss Spider's Tea PartyJames Sewell21st
Mole MusicBill Hastings26th
Nancy Drew's Scarlet Slipper MysteryMichael Vernon14th
Nutcracker SwingsFrances Patrelle32nd
Out on a LimbJohn Selya23rd
Peter and the WolfVladimir Dokoudovsky1st
Peter PanLaszlo Berdo32nd
PinocchioErich Yetter40th
Romantic SuiteMichael Byars17th
Scherzo a' la RusseGeorge Balanchine22nd
School DazeMichael Vernon29th
SeasoningTom Gold28th
Snow QueenTom Gold44th
Snow WhiteLaszlo Berdo31st
Spirit of the CuyahogaJames Sewell17th
Symphonic NANsenseTom Gold35th
The Adventures of Wynken, Blynken and NodMichael Vernon11th
The Birthday WishDavid Richardson5th
The Empty PotFrances Patrelle24th
The Enchanted ToyshopNan Klinger4th
The Fly Away FlockMichael Vernon13th
The Little MermaidTom Gold36th
The Magic FluteErich Yetter42nd
The Magic LeafCatherine Oppenheimer19th
The Nutcracker, Act IIJohn Prinz3rd
The Princess and the PeaMichael Byars15th
The SunflowerNan Klinger1st
The Wand of YouthKaren Gabay30th
Three Visions of BachJames Sewell, Catherin Oppenheimer, Tom Smith18th
Through the Looking GlassMichael Vernon12th