The screening of First Position was sponsored by former Boston Ballet dancer and Ballet School of Stamford Board Member, Melinda DeChiazza.
First Position is a documentary that follows six young dancers as they prepare to perform in one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions. The dancers compete with hundreds of their peers for the chance to enter the world of professional ballet.
“The best ballet schools are the school with see them, the directors, and invite them to with full scholarships to their ballet schools.”
First Position was presented at the Avon Theatre Monday to benefit the Ballet School of Stamford. Flavio Salazar, a retired dancer and instructor at the school, is featured in the film. A native of Columbia himself, Salazar mentored a young Columbian dancer performing in the competition.
“I help a lot of young Colombian dancers to come to the United States and continue with their status as a dancer,” he says.
Salazar says the film shows the hard work young dancers put behind every performance, something that often goes unnoticed.
“It’s not only those 5 minutes,” he says. “It’s just before these kids arrive to these competitions, there’s a lot of things going on.”
Salazar says he’s proud to call himself an instructor at The Ballet School of Stamford, a place where everyone is welcome.
“There are offering and opening the doors to everybody to come and enjoy the beautiful world of dance no matter who you are, what color you are, or what language you speak,” says Salazar.
And while every student won’t become a professional dancer, Salazar says knowing the art of ballet is an invaluable life lesson.
“Dance requires a lot of discipline, focus, timing, space, color, lights,” he says. “And all those things, if you learn them when you’re a child through dance, really help you whatever you decide to do.”
To find out more about the Ballet School of Stamford, visit balletschoolofstamford.org