By Hannah Nuccio for The Island Connection
When Lindy Mandradjieff opened the Dance Conservatory of Charleston in June 2017, she set out to raise the bar for dance curriculum in the Lowcountry.
Today, Mandradjieff is attracting world-famous industry names to her studio for hands-on training to connect students of all ages and skill levels with dance professionals through a formal master class series. After training at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, Mandradjieff began her career at 17 with the San Francisco Ballet and later the New York City Ballet where she was highly regarded by critics. Today, Mandradjieff leverages her connections in the dance world for her master class series at the conservatory, a first-of-its kind program that fosters continued education, training and networking through a series of workshops led by world-renowned dance professionals. “My vision for the conservatory was to combine the technical training of a preeminent American dance academy with the heart and accessibility of a community dance center to develop the next generation of artists,” said Mandradjieff. “Less than six months after opening, we’ve attracted incredible teachers and developed a rigorous program that promotes elite training in a supportive environment.” To date, the conservatory has hosted more than a dozen professionals specializing in a variety of styles, including instructors from the New York City Ballet, School of American Ballet, Broadway, the Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil, and more. Well-known teachers include Suki Schorer, senior faculty at the School of American Ballet and former principal with the New York City Ballet, Jock Soto former faculty at the School of American Ballet and former principal with the New York City Ballet; Melinda Roy, Tony-nominated Broadway choreographer and former principal with the New York City Ballet and South Carolina native Jennifer Ringer, head of the Colburn Dance Academy and former principal with the New York City Ballet. Winter Performance The company has been granted permission to stage works by George Balanchine and Peter Martins, which allows dancers to perform special works, such as “The Nutcracker’s” Waltz of the Snowflakes in the conservatory’s Winter Performance.
Apart from Stephen Hanna, former principal with the New York City Ballet and current Broadway dancer, every role in the program will be danced by students of the conservatory. “Performing is the essence of ballet and a key part of our student-centered approach,” said Mandradjieff. “When our students experience principal and soloist roles on stage, it instills in them the confidence and tools to prepare them for future careers in the arts or otherwise.”
About the Dance Conservatory of Charleston The Dance Conservatory combines the elite technical training of a preeminent American dance academy with the heart and accessibility of a community dance center. To learn more about the Dance Conservatory of Charleston, visit danceconservatorychs.com.