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Welcome to Ballet Talk, duffster; it's nice to have you with us. On this Welcome forum we like to get to know a bit about our new members, i.e. what is your connection to ballet, how long have you followed ballet, plus anything else you'd like to tell us. We hope you enjoy sharing in our discussions.


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hi everyone, happy to be here. from duffster new member

thank you for your kind reply and your interest about my background in dance. I started to study ballet locally in suburban pennsylvania with a teacher named Ursula Melita. I was awarded a Ford Foundation scholarship to the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet by Violette Verdy and danced with the company as an apprentice,all through high school. I auditioned for the Harkness Ballet and was made a trainee by Patricia Wilde. I later became a member of the company.This was the first company ,our principals included Larry Rhodes and Helgi Tommasson. After the company folded in europe, I was invited to join the National Ballet of Washington as a soloist, with Freddie Frankiin and Ben Stevenson as directors. Sadly that company folded as well. I was invited by Ben Harkarvy ,then director of the Pennsylvania Ballet,to return to the company where I ended my professional career.I taught locally for a few years , then as fate would have it I was hired by Estee Lauder.They felt that because of my experience with stage makeup ,I would have some of the skills required to work with them. Presently I am a counter-business manager with them.They are a challenging and wonderful company to work for. I am happy to have joined Ballet Talk as I do not have much contact with the dance world-because of my job-however I try to see Penna. Ballet when I can. I hope this reply is not too long winded but I still get excited talking about dance.Also my computer skills are at the kindergarden level. All the best to you. Duffster

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Thank you for the information, Duffster. It was extremely interesting. Odd how one career leads to another. We hope you enjoy using the board; there is a wealth of information here, plus people who share your love of ballet.

Giannina, another computer kindergartener

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