Telluride Dance Academy Recital: "Fresh Twists"

Paulie Distefano

The Telluride Dance Academy presents its annual recital on Sunday, June 6, 3 p.m. on the stage of the Michael D. Palm Theatre. The theme, "Fresh Twists," suggests a program that reflects new ways of looking at dusty notions about dance and what dance academies teach: students who participated in the Academy's spring session, ages 3 – 18, are scheduled to perform dance forms ranging from classical ballet to hip hop, with all the stops in between.One of those students is the handsome young man in charge of all heavy lifting: Paulie Distefano. And "Fresh Twists"  is great way of summarizing exactly what's happening in his life.

After dancing only six months under the tutelage of the Academy's artistic director/former prima ballerina Valerie Madonia, Paulie, who was born and raised in Telluride, was accepted on full scholarship in to the Joffrey School of Ballet's summer intensive. He leaves just days after his performance. That's the kind of magic even Paulie, a trained magician, could not have conjured.

"As an adjudicator for students wishing to attend the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, I travel all over the country assessing talent, which includes, artistic quality, physical attributes, and the work ethic required to be a successful ballet dancer," explained Madonia."Paulie Distefano is one of those rare talents who fits the profile. The one quality he has that that stands above all else is his need to dance against all odds. The late great choreographer and director, George Balanchine, once said, 'I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who NEED to dance.'  If Mr. B were still alive he would take notice of Paulie."

For the Telluride Dance Academy, 2010 has been an incredible year of growth, including renovations to its studio in the old Silver Belle building, a collaborative performance with the State Street Ballet, "Nutcracker" performances in December with visiting guest artists, and the first time in the Academy's history, having students at an Intermediate level of ballet.

This summer, the Telluride Dance Academy is offering eight different specialized dance camps for students of all levels. Visit its website or call 970-728-9065 for further information.

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