From hip-hop to breakdance to ballroom, UConn hosts a variety of dance organizations for students to get involved in. For Angelia Prip, however, she was disappointed to hear that there were no student organizations on campus that offered ballet. As a result, she formed the University Ballet Company (UBC).
Prip, a first-semester education major, has been dancing since she was four years old and wanted to find a way to bring ballet back into the lives of many dancers on campus.
“Up until coming to UConn, I spent hours each day in ballet and pointe classes,” Prip said. “ … Ballet has always been such a large part of my life that it is devastating to no longer have it.”
Whether you are new to ballet, or have had years of training, UBC is open to dancers of all skill levels.
According to Prip, UBC’s mission is to “promote appreciation for and accessibility to classical ballet and live performance to its members and the surrounding community.”
Prip mentioned she focused on four core values that are central to the dance company’s mission. The first of these values is appreciation and respect for classical ballet and performance, choreographers, other members of the company and the audience. The second is excellence, which refers to UBC’s goal to do everything to the best of its ability, from communication to organization to technique. The third value is kindness, support and inclusivity towards all members of the company and the surrounding community. The fourth and final value is professionalism, maturity and pose both on and off the stage and within the company.
In order to promote UBC’s mission of inclusivity and accessibility, there is a no-cut policy. While there will be dancers of varying skill levels, Prip mentioned that nobody will be rejected from the company.
“I strongly believe that ‘we are less when we don’t include everyone’ and that excellence and inclusivity are not mutually exclusive. In starting UBC, I wanted to create an organization that has a welcoming and inclusive community. I also think college is a great time to try new things, and I love ballet so much that I want everyone to be able to experience it the way that I have been able to,” Prip said.
Meetings will comprise of a classical ballet class and a separate rehearsal period for the end-of-semester performance that will showcase pieces of classical ballet repertoire. According to the company’s Google interest form, the ballet class will be an hour and a half with the rehearsal taking place immediately afterwards for a half hour.
At the time of writing, there are over 100 dancers registered for auditions, according to Prip.
Students can follow the University Ballet Company on Instagram @uballetcompany and fill out the interest form to join.
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.