Southeast 7th grader accepted into renowned ballet program

After a three hour audition where she was shown routine after routine in a short amount of time, and then had to repeat them, Madison Warner has been accepted to participate in the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive program. The Southeast 7th grader dances with the Pittsburg Parks & Recreation Dance Team (PPRD) and she auditioned in Kansas City on March 4. She learned she was accepted on March 7.

Madison said dancing for several hours wasn’t as stressful as dancing for the Joffrey teachers, which was different than dancing for a crowd.

“It was a challenge learning the combinations in like 10 seconds, so it was pretty hard to remember and having to do dances over and over and over again all in a row,” Madison said. “Getting it done, after the first audition was very relieving. When it was all over I was just really tired.”

Madison has now qualified for several one-to-four week programs, including Ballet and Jazz in several locations – Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Madison’s coaches at PPRD, Beth Bradshaw and Summer Warren, beamed with pride that she was accepted.

“This is a big deal because she had the opportunity to audition for a world-renowned Joffrey Ballet program, which is huge alone, but then to be picked is even more amazing,” Coach Warren said. “They see thousands of dancers across from country in their auditions, and because the space is limited for summer intensives, they only take the dancers that they feel are ready and able to do the work.”

“The Joffrey Ballet School is a very well known and well established school in NYC,” Coach Bradshaw said. “They have an amazing staff for their school and summer intensives including well known choreographers and dancers like Mia Michael and Desmond Richardson to name a few. There are thousands of dancers that audition for a chance to attend their summer intensives. So the fact that Madison was accepted out of those thousands of dancers is phenomenal.”

“Her dance teachers brought it to our attention,” said Kaley Warner, Madison’s mother. “They thought it would be good experience just to go through the audition process.”

With only a couple of days notice before last year’s audition, Madison waited until this year to go through the process.

“I think Madison can tell you just how much it opened her eyes to what’s out there,” Coach Bradshaw said. “Being exposed and stacked up against other dancers who have been put on the ‘professional dance track’ from a very young age can be very humbling and amazing.”

“This audition showed her that there are opportunities around here – even though we are in a small community, Kansas City and Tulsa are close and easily accessible,” Coach Warren said. “And the dance community is not small, so the connections she makes in auditions and intensives will be invaluable to her and her future.”

“What makes it even more special is the fact that, although Madison is very dedicated to dance, she still only takes three to four hours of dance a week (while) many of the dancers she was auditioning with take 20 plus hours a week,” Coach Bradshaw said. “This was also her first experience auditioning in an environment like they had, which is very different than the weekly classes she is used to. But even with all of these different factors- she was still accepted!”

“Just the audition process can be intimidating, so getting the experience of auditioning at this age will help with her confidence in auditioning for programs in the future, such as college programs,” Mrs. Warner said. “She really came out determined to work even harder. The smile on her face usually tells me if she is enjoying herself.”

“We stress to our dancers that even if you don’t plan on becoming a professional dancer someday, these same skills that you learn from opportunities like audition and performing, will carry over and help make you successful in whatever they choose to pursue,” Coach Bradshaw said. “So having the opportunity to experience these things, even in a small community, will only help build her to become a better dancer, student, and person in the long run. I’m just so proud that she stepped out of her comfort zone and took a chance to audition and follow her dreams. She is an amazing representative from our program and our town!”

“Madison likes all things art – she likes drawing, dance, music,” Mrs. Warner said. “I think it’s just a combination of all of those things that she gets to do and have fun at the same time. She has some really great dance friends that she dances with or just enjoys going to dance competitions with.”

“I learned you have to work hard and keep going through everything, even if you don’t get it, you just have to keep working until you get it right,” Madison said of the auditions.

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Madison Warner checks her phone and finally relaxes following her audition for the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive program. Photo courtesy Kaley Warner.

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