Awards & News Articles

Student Awards

Youth America Grand Prix TAMPA 2015

Outstanding School Award 2015
Grand Prix Award: Nicole Fannéy, 15
Hope Award: Parker Garrison, 11
Top 12 Senior Classical, Top 12 Senior Contemporary:  Anissa Bailis, 17
Top 24 Junior Classical: Sydney Ransbury, 14
Invited to the 2015 New York Finals:  Anissa Bailis, Cy Doherty, Nicole Fannéy, Parker Garrison

Youth America Grand Prix TAMPA 2014

3rd Place Junior Classical:  Cy Doherty, 14
3rd Place Junior Classical:  Hannah Summers, 13
Top 12 Junior Classical, Top 12 Junior Contemporary:  Nicole Fannéy, 14
Top 12 Senior Classical:  Samantha Schaubach, 16
Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Caroline Todd, 15
Invited to the 2014 New York Finals:  Cy Doherty, Nicole Fannéy, Hannah Summers, Samantha Schaubach

Youth American Grand Prix ATLANTA Semi-Finals March 2013

Update from Youth America Grand Prix Atlanta Semi-Finals 2013:
International Ballet Academy participated in the YAGP Semi-Finals in Atlanta from March 1-3, 2013 and was awarded the following:
Sydney Dolan: 2nd Place Classical Pre-Competitive. Invited to New York City Finals.
Nate Compiano: Top 12 Junior Classical.  Invited to New York City Finals.
Hannah Summers, Cy Doherty:  Top 12 Pas de Deux.
Sydney Dolan, Ryan Stradling:  Top 12 Pas de Deux.
Samantha Schaubach:  Top 24 Senior Classical
Hannah Summers:  Top 24 Junior Classical

Youth America Grand Prix TAMPA Semi-Finals January 2013

Update from Youth America Grand Prix Tampa Semi-Finals 2013: 

International Ballet Academy participated in the YAGP Semi-Finals in Tampa from January 4-6, 2013 and was awarded the following:
Preston Chamblee:  GRAND PRIX Winner. Invited to New York City Finals.
Rossana Gahagan:  Outstanding Teacher Award 2013.
Chandler Proctor:  3rd Place Men’s Classical. Invited to New York City Finals.
Victoria Wong, Chandler Proctor:  1st Place Pas de Deux. Invited to New York City Finals.
Nicole Fannéy, Preston Chamblee: 4th Place Pas de Deux. Invited to New York City Finals.
Regan Kucera, Victoria Wong: Top 12 Women’s Classical.
Regan Kucera: Top 12 Women’s Contemporary.
Nicole Fannéy: Top 12 Junior Classical, Top 12 Junior Contemporary. Invited to New York City Finals.

 

 IBA in the News

Cary’s IBA Scores Big in National Ballet Competition by Cary Citizen: January 2015

Cary’s IBA Scores Big in National Ballet Competition

January 22, 2015 | Story by: | Categories: Dance, Featured, News

International Ballet Academy dancers at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals

Cary, NC — The International Ballet Academy (IBA) opened five short years ago, but they are already making their mark on the national ballet scene.

The Grand Prix

In January 2015, the school sent seven of their top dancers to the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) semi-finals in Tampa, Florida. Two of the students won the top awards in their category. The greatest honor that can bestowed on a dancer at this competition is called the Grand Prix and, this year, that was awarded to Nicole Fanney, 15, who danced in the women’s senior division.

Her classmate, Anissa Bailis, 17, placed in the top 12 dancers in that division. Parker Garison, 11, won the Hope Award–the top award in the Pre-Competitive age group.

This was the fourth time that the school has competed in this prestigious international competition and, of the seven dancers that made the trip, four were invited to the Finals competition that takes place April 10-16, 2015 in New York City. The school itself was recognized with the Outstanding School Award. IBA managing director, Christina Fanney, says:

It’s a huge honor to receive this award from YAGP, as it reflects the caliber of training the students are receiving at IBA.

A Surreal Experience for IBA

Christina Fanney remarked, “It was a surreal experience, a perfect storm where everything was the right timing.” She went on to say, “IBA is very grateful to Larissa Saveliev, Gennadi Saveliev, and the entire Youth America Grand Prix organization for providing these wonderful opportunities for our students.”

Her daughter, Nicole, who won the Grand Prix award and who was invited to perform in “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala,” has competed in Tampa previously. Nicole’s growth as a dancer is due to the hours of training that she has received at IBA with her teachers Rossana Gahagan and Servy Gallardo and with her hours of coaching by Haydée Gutierrez.

She added that, “For whatever reason, this year, the culmination of many factors created a good moment for her [Nicole]. It was the best performance I’ve ever seen her do.” Christina then stated that:

Since the school has been coming to the competition the last few years, the people backstage were now rooting for them to perform well. It made them feel more relaxed. The judges have been watching the progress of the little school from Cary.

After the awards, the dancers and their families went to a nearby restaurant to catch their breath and celebrate. While there, one of the judges, Bruce Marks, came over to their table and took a few moments to not only congratulate them on their artistry “but also to make sure they understood how lucky they were to have these teachers who helped them achieve.”

He was impressed with the consistency that all the dancers from the studio exhibited. Lead instructors Rossana Nesta Gahagan and Servy Gallardo have a passion for “their kids” and put in many extra hours of practice necessary to rehearse routines of this caliber.

YAGP Semi-Finalists

Four IBA dancers, Anissa Bailis, Cy Doherty, Nicole Fannéy and Parker Garrison will move on to the next round of competitions in New York City during the week of April 10-16, 2015. The Youth America Grand Prix finals require a dancer to have scored a 95 out of 100 to be invited to compete. For IBA to send four dancers is quite an accomplishment!

For the final round, they will be competing against ballet dancers not only from the USA but from around the globe. About three hundred dancers who have been selected by YAGP from their respective semi-finals will converge in New York City to see how they stack up.

During that week, dancers take intense classes with instructors from professional ballet schools. This exposure can lead to scholarships and even job placement for the students who are ready to take that next step.

We wish them all luck on their journey.

Harold's Blog: A Lot of Late Nights by Cary Citizen: March 2012

Harold’s Blog: A Lot of Late Nights

March 19, 2012 | Story by: Harold Weinbrecht | Categories: Featured, Harold’s Blog, News, Opinion

From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, covering the week through March 18, 2012. Photo courtesy of IBA.

Cary, NC – This was a busy week for me with a lot of events and a lot of late nights.

International Ballet Company and the Philharmonic Association

Sunday afternoon I attended the spectacular performance of the International Ballet Company and the Philharmonic Association. This ballet company is putting Cary on the map by winning national competitions and giving these wonderful performances. The ballet company is run by some of the best teachers in the county and lead by world renowned Miguel Campaneria. We are blessed to have them here in Cary.

IBA Adds Spice to Caribbean Festival by Cary Citizen: September 2011

IBA Adds Spice to Caribbean Festival

September 29, 2011 | Story by: Lindsey Chester | Categories: Arts, Dance, Featured, News

 

Cary, NC – Salsa Dancers from International Ballet Academy (IBA) added some new spice to the third annual Cary Caribbean Festival last Saturday, Sept 24. Dancers in the photo are Thalia Hernandez and Xavier Nunez.

This 3rd annual festival was held at the Herb Young Community Center in Downtown Cary. It featured food, activities for the children, dancing, handcrafts and cultural information.

Cary’s Caribbean Festival was co-sponsored by the Town of Cary and the Asociatcion de Peurtorriquenos Unidos de NC.

This is the first year the ballet academy participated in the festival. IBA’s artistic director Miguel Campanera specially choreographed a salsa dance en pointe that will become part of their repertoire for the winter performance in December at NC State’s Thompson Hall.

IBA Wins Accolades at World Ballet Competition by Cary Citizen: June 2011

Dance: IBA Wins Accolades at World Ballet Competition
http://carycitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/IBA-worlds-dancers.jpg

June 23, 2011 | Story by: Lindsey Chester

Cary, NC- International Ballet Academy (IBA) took nine dancers on their first trip to the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.

The studio opened a year ago with hopes of sending some of their students to this international competition and then on to professional ballet careers. Artistic Director Miguel Campaneria’s had high hopes also for his male dancers, several of whom moved here with him from Hartford, CT last summer. They did not disappoint.

The Road to Compete

In January, each dancer sent audition videotapes of themselves performing.  By early February, IBA knew they were preparing to take nine dancers on the road for the week long competition. Each student prepared 1-3 pieces of classical ballet chosen from list of dances, and was allowed to choreograph their own contemporary piece.

During the short time from February to May 30, the dancers had to perfect their routines, and have costumes created by Mary Baylus and Diane Schaubach. All this, while still rehearsing the studio’s own Spring recital of Don Quiote.

The rigor involved was not for everyone, and the dancers that were chosen by the studio, had to be able to handle this additional workload.

Competing Against Pros

I asked Miguel about his expectations for the group: He said knew that Nikki Fanney would be well prepared to compete in her age level (11-12). The difficulty came with the older dancers who (aged 15-17), it turned out, were competing against professionals aged up to 22 years old.

He said the three couples he sent to compete in the Pas De Duex (duets) were well prepared and he had a lot of faith in their talents, but, he added, they were lacking competition experience, and were nervous. This first experience has opened many doors for them and they plan to return next year.

Next Year Even Better

“Hopefully the kids that went, will have had this experience and will be able to control their nerves” and perform against these pros.” He mentioned that many of the other dancers had been 3-4 times to this World competition.

The studio won the praises not only of the judges but of many  coaches from other ballet schools. And the rewards are many:

  • Nikki Fanney won the Silver Medal in the Introductory Division, Preston Chamblee received a full scholarship to Central Florida Ballet for summer 2012, Paul Branco and Xavier Nunez received full scholarships to Orlando Ballet for summer 2012.
  • Robert Hill, the artistic director of Orlando Ballet gave high praise to the group and said the group are all admitted to Orlando Ballet Summer Program in 2012 without any need for auditions.

The Competitors:

  • Preston Chamblee (competed in Pre-Professional Category ages 14-17)
  • Paul Branco and Kelsey Yoquelet (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
  • Preston Chamblee and Regan Kucera (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
  • Xavier Nunez and Kathryn Manger (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
  • Anissa Bailis (competed in Preparatory Category ages 12-13)
  • Victoria Wong (competed in Preparatory Category ages 12-13)
  • Nicole Fanney (competed in Introductory Category ages 11-12)

No Time To Relax

The pre-professional program does not stop because it is summer vacation. In fact summer means MORE dance. The older dancers will be heading to New York and San Francisco for their summer training next week, while the younger students are studying this summer with Haydée Gutierrez, Roberto Munoz, Melinda Roy at IBA.

Dance: IBA's Holiday Suite by Cary Citizen: December 2011

Dance: IBAs “Holiday Suite”

December 20, 2011 | Story by: Lindsey Chester | Categories: Arts, Dance, Featured, News

Story by Lindsey Chester and photos by Casey Toth.

Cary, NC- The International Ballet Academy performed their  Holiday Suite this past weekend at Cary Academy. It was hard to believe the dancers were in middle and high school.

The program included three parts. Ramonda, originally choreographed by Nureyev, a modern piece titled A New Limit created by local student Ricky Flagg and the company’s interpretation of perennial classic, The Nutcracker.

Ramonda

Ramonda is a ballet that showcases the talents of a studio with many solos and partner dances. International Ballet Company (IBA) opened with their strength- Partnering. The intensity with which these dancers performed was breath taking. Spins and lifts that audiences rarely see except on the professional stage, were executed here by students as young as sixteen.

Modern Interlude

The modern interlude included captivating music and simple costumes in a real departure from the formal dance of Ramonda.

Nutcracker

After a brief intermission the stage was transformed into the opening Christmas party scene from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Parents were recruited to play the adults in the scene where presents are exchanged at the holiday party. Two parents in particular stole the show with their comic antics as elderly aunt and uncle. Costumes here were excellent and the sprite who played Fritz (Ryland Acree III) was outstanding as the brother who teases Clara played that night by Athena Kuang.

This adaptation eliminated some familiar characters. The Mouse King’s scene in which he threatens Clara and fights the Nutcracker was deleted. Oddly, the uncle Drosselmeyer character was also eliminated in favor of the father giving Clara the nutcracker toy. No dancer performed the actual role of the Nutcracker come to life.

Compared to other productions of The Nutcracker, this was a much simpler set up, but the dancing was no less impressive. There is no flying bed, and Clara does not watch the dancers from a perch above the action. In fact, Clara was not even in the second act.

Several highlights included the substitution of  Harlequin puppets dressed in black and white, and a beautiful doll that dances out of a box instead of the soldier piece.

Another short intermission and then little angels began to line up beside the stage. This was the only evidence of truly tiny tots in the winter recital. They were given appropriately darling parts to play. Walking up from the audience they skittered across stage and opened the curtain to the transformed scene of the Land of Sweets.

Favorites included a humorous turn for the “Tea” dance, where three dancers playfully romped in Chinese costume. “Arabian” sometimes referred to as “Coffee” was mesmerizing as Nikki Fanney partnered with Preston Chamblee in exotic dress. A chorus of dancers completed the exotic segment.

Waltz of the Flowers was a gorgeous tour de force as were the Snow Corps. But by far the most fantastic were the four dances performed that night by Regan Kucera and Paul Branco as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. These closed the show and brought the house to its feet. The audience gasped every time the Sugar Plum spun and jumped to land on her Cavalier’s shoulder.

In one short year the International Ballet Academy has managed to attract the attention of a national audience. This year’s production was an expansion of the program presented last year during the holidays at NC State. Their program continues to grow in an area known for dance.

IBA's First Performance by Cary Citizen: December 2010

The following article was published on December 1, 2010 in the Cary Citizen.
IBA’s First Performance, “Holiday Suite”

Story by Lindsey Chester and photos by Chris Adamczyk

Cary, NC- We reported back in August about the International Ballet Academy (IBA), a new dance studio that was opening in Cary. Three months later they are rehearsing for their first ever holiday performance.

We stopped by the studio last week at the invitation of the administrative director, Christina Fanney and the artistic directors, Miguel Campaneria and Rossana Gahagan.

When last we visited, the walls weren’t even up, and now a studio full of professional quality students overwhelmed us with their talents.

As reported earlier, 4 male dancers moved with Miguel to Cary from the Hartford area. Along with those four are several other males who allow the studio to attempt difficult partnering dances and lifts.

Art Directors Miguel and Rossana watch the first run through rehearsal

“Holiday Suite” is their first production, and is planned for December 11th and 12th at NC State’s Thompson Theater. The performances will begin with four original pieces of choreography, before breaking into the more traditional excerpts from The Nutcracker.

The first piece , “Majissimo” focuses on 5 of the partner pairs, who finish the dance with the girls resting on the boys’ shoulders. We attended the studio’s first complete run-through.  Miguel frequently called out corrections, including “You are in love with her, not the mirror” when one of the boys seemed to lose his focus on his partner. And Rossana was not shy about getting on the floor herself.

Carp Diem, a modern jazz piece during rehearsal

Another standout is called “Carpe Diem”,  a modern jazz number.  The music is compelling and the dance itself is mesmerizing.

Each dance gives the various classes enrolled at the studio an opportunity to showcase their skills. From the “Angels” that are the youngest to “Snow”, a pas de deux with the more experienced teens, Miguel and Rossana make sure there’s a balance in tempo and story for the audience.

Christina explained to me that each performance will rotate different dancers through the parts, to highlight many of the studios’ star dancers. It was a real pleasure to see how far IBA has come in three months since they opened.

Cary is a community that appreciates dance and this studio will help the town grow that talent.

Two shows, to be held at the Thompson Theater at NC State on December 11 and 12, are sold out.

New Dance School In Town by Cary Citizen: July 2010

The following article was published on July 21, 2010 in the Cary Citizen.
Arts: New Dance School in Town

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC- International Ballet Academy (IBA) has begun taking early bird registrations and will officially open its doors Monday, August 30. Contractors are still working to complete the up-fit of their space on Davis Drive in the office park directly across from Davis Elementary and Middle Schools.

I asked Christina de Matteis Fannéy, School Administrator, what prompted them to open in this tough economy. She said that elements came together and the timing was just right.

The Elements: Their Team

Rossana Gahagan had been an instructor and Summer Intensive Coordinator at Cary Ballet Conservatory and  resigned from there in March. She just returned from teaching an intensive program in Saratoga Springs. She will be one of the Artistic Directors.

Miguel  Campaneria had been a guest intensive instructor at Cary Ballet, and had fallen in love with this area on his many visits. He is leaving his post at the University of Hartford to teach at IBA and four of his male students are moving here to continue their dance instruction. Miguel is also an Artistic Director for IBA. His resume is rich with years of accolades and awards from Cuba to Pittsburgh.

Christina de Matteis Fanney, originally from Port au Prince, Haiti,  studied under Miguel before moving to the US. Upon moving to Raleigh she danced with Raleigh Dance Theatre. She will take on the role of Administrator at IBA.

Carmen Felder will be teaching the younger students as well as the jazz program. She studied under Rossana at Cary Ballet and has a BFA from the University of Oklahoma in dance. She performed in Carolina Ballet’s  Coppelia and Nutcracker.

From the moment Rossana had spoken to Miguel about summer programs she said “I wished we could work together”, and now  she is so happy to have her “dreams come true. It is hard to find a place where you give your students the best opportunities and everyone has the same philosophy”.

Miguel was torn about leaving his position in Hartford where he had built up their program for the past 2 years. An added blessing was when four of his current male pupils decided to move to the Triangle to follow him to the new studio.

New Opportunities

Christina said, “We want our business to be about providing opportunities for the students” that IBA is interested in offering their students competitions. She mentioned two of these:

Youth America Grand Prix where students aged 9-19 can compete for scholarship money and national exposure.

World Ballet Competition in Orlando, where individuals and partners compete against dancers from all over the world. Artistic Director Miguel won a bronze at this competition.

These competitions aren’t for everyone, but IBA would like to offer the possibility to those students that wish to take their training to that level.

Dancers may also audition for the IBA Company, (held September 12 for IBA registered students only). This group will perform in December and again in the Spring.

Their Focus

Rossana stressed that the school will concentrate on classical style ballet training. Miguel added that with “a classical base, you can do anything”. Their emphasis will be with upper level and pre-professional dancers and especially recruiting boys for classes. These upper levels will be able to take partnering and variations classes.

Of course to have a successful studio, opportunities exist for younger students to grow to fill in the upper levels.  There will be a variety of jazz and pre-ballet during the day for younger children, and jazz and progressive levels for all ages beginning directly after school. Dancers will advance based on ability, not age. For instance, students will go “En Pointe” when physically ready, not when they turn age 11.

Miguel wants “to make this one of the best schools in America, not just North Carolina” and something about the team’s determination makes me believe them.

A Leap of Faith by Cary News & Observer: July 2010

The following article was published on July 4, 2010 in the Cary News and Observer.

A leap of faith
‘We need to follow him for my son’s career.’

BY MARTI MAGUIRE, correspondent

Tersee Flores is leaving a steady job and the town she’s called home most of her life to follow her son’s dreams to Cary.The 911 dispatcher from Hartford, Conn., will brave the brutal job market so that her 14-year-old son Darion can become a better ballet dancer.She’s making the sacrifice based on the reputation of – and her son’s success with – one man: Miguel Campaneria.Campaneria, a renowned dancer and instructor, is leaving Hartford this fall for a new Cary dance studio.”He’s gotten so much better under Miguel,” Flores said. “We need to follow him for my son’s career and what he wants to do in the future.”To aspiring dancers, and hopeful parents such as Flores, Campaneria is a welcome addition to the area’s growing ballet scene.He will be an artistic director at the International Ballet Academy, which opens next month on Davis Drive.The Cuban-born dancer trained at National Ballet School of Cuba and has served as artistic director for Puerto Rico’s national ballet and R.M.T. Academie de Danse in Haiti.He has danced with the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.He’s on the advisory board of the National Endowment to the Arts, and was congratulated by President Ronald Reagan for a performance at the 1983 International Dance Competition in Bulgaria.”He’s definitely the real deal,” said Elizabeth Parker, communications manager at the Carolina Ballet. “It’s wonderful for the community to have more big names in dance, and to create more enthusiasm here for dance.”Excitement about his arrival has rippled across local ballet circles that have grown rapidly in recent years, Parker said. The Carolina Ballet now draws talent from about 20 schools in the region.Campaneria says he fell in love with the area in several visits over the past few years.”I think there’s a lot of passion there for dance,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Hartford. “I know I’ll have a lot of support from people who really want to go forward and dance.”Campaneria will leave his post at the chair of the dance department at the University of Hartford. One of two artistic directors, he will teach classes and choose performance pieces for the students at the Cary studio.The studio’s administrative director, Christina Fanney, worked with Campaneria in Haiti 20 years ago, and helped woo him to North Carolina after reconnecting by chance in Haiti recently. She says the level of instruction he offers will be ideal for serious students.”For those who want it, it’s going to be very unique in the type of classes for intense training,” Fanney said.Campaneria said his vision is to offer a course of study that students can follow from young ages to the professional level.”My goal is to pass on all of my knowledge to my students,” he said, noting that he will continue to travel widely. “A ballet teacher is like a doctor; you never stop learning.”A ballet teacher – or at least Campaneria , it seems – is also like an artful drill instructor, seeking perfection and precision out of each recruit.Last month, the trim, muscular Campaneria paced down a line of young ballet dancers who filled a tiny dance studio in north Raleigh. It was a free promotional class for the International Ballet Academy, which will move to a more spacious Cary studio.Campaneria was direct but admittedly more gentle than usual. He was working with most of these girls for the first time.He urged them, in bursts of English and French, toward more perfect form.”Plié. Plié. … Point, point, point, point, point! … Don’t be distracted by anything,” Campaneria pleaded. “Concentrate!”He triggered piano songs with a remote control tucked into his pants pocket. And he moved swiftly around the floor”You must practice,” he told the dancers. “It’s not going to happen by a miracle.”Kiara Felder, 18, of Cary, drew Campaneria’s attention more than once during the session. Campaneria studied her form as she held a pose.”That’s cute,” Campaneria said with a half-smile, “but not great.”Felder transferred from Apex High School to the North Carolina School of the Arts to pursue dance”He’s tough,” she said. “But the class was surprisingly fun.”Jeen and Dominic Wong of Cary sat in the lobby near several other parents. They kept a clear view through the door into the studio and watched the advanced class for more than an hour before their 13-year-old daughter, Victoria, got her chance with Campaneria.”We’ve really been looking forward to joining his sessions,” said Jeen Wong. They’ve know for a while that Campaneria was coming to town.At the end of class, the girls clapped for Campaneria, then surrounded him with quiet curtsies. A few dancers, including Katie Baker who had met Campaneria at a dance workshop in Hartford last year, gave him hugs.”His training just clicks with me,” said Gretchen LaWall, 19, of Cary, who studies dance at the University of Arizona and was at the session.Before the clinic, Campaneria did some house hunting. He toured several homes in Cary. “I saw one that I really liked,” he said, taking a smoke break out in the parking lot between classes.

Tersee Flores, meanwhile, is also prepping for her own move south with Darion. Two of her son’s classmates also will make the move to train with Campaneria.

“I think taking him away from Miguel now wouldn’t necessarily hold him back,” she said. “But it won’t move him as far as he can go.”

Staff writer Ted Richardson contributed to this report.

carynews@nando.com or 919-460-2608

Ballet Students Leap to New Director by Cary News & Observer: July 2010

The following article was published by the News and Observer on July 6, 2010.

Ballet students leap to new director

 

TED RICHARDSON – trichardson@nando.com
Miguel Campaneria is moving to Cary to join the faculty of the International Ballet Academy.

 

BY MARTI MAGUIRE – Correspondent

Even before the International Ballet Academy opens next month in Cary, the artistic director is drawing students from far and wide.

Miguel Campaneria, a Cuban-born dancer who trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba and has an impressive résumé of professional appointments, is so respected by his students that they are following him to the areafrom his current school in Hartford, Conn.

Tersee Flores’ 14-year-old son, Darion, has improved so much under Campaneria that she is moving to Cary despite an iffy economy.

As a mother who wants the best for her child, she said she has no choice.

“He’s gotten so much better under Miguel,” Flores said. “We need to follow him for my son’s career and what he wants to do in the future.”

An impressive résumé

Campaneria is a welcome addition to the area’s growing ballet scene, bringing top credentials.

He has served as artistic director for Puerto Rico’s national ballet and R.M.T. Academie de Danse in Haiti. He has danced with the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

He is on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts and was personally congratulated by President Ronald Reagan for his performance at the 1983 International Dance Competition in Bulgaria.

“He’s definitely the real deal,” said Elizabeth Parker, communications manager at the Carolina Ballet. “It’s wonderful for the community to have more big names in dance, and to create more enthusiasm here for dance.”

Excitement about Campaneria’s arrival has rippled across local ballet circles that have grown rapidly in recent years, Parker said. The Carolina Ballet now draws talent from about 20 schools in the region.

Campaneria says he fell in love with the area in several visits over the past few years.

“I think there’s a lot of passion there for dance,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Hartford. “I know I’ll have a lot of support from people who really want to go forward and dance.”

Campaneria will leave his post as the chairman of the dance department at the University of Hartford. One of two artistic directors, he will teach classes and choose performance pieces for the students at the Cary studio.

The studio’s administrative director, Christina Fanney, worked with Campaneria in Haiti 20 years ago and helped woo him to North Carolina after reconnecting by chance in Haiti recently. She says the level of instruction he offers will be ideal for serious students.

“For those who want it, it’s going to be very unique in the type of classes for intense training,” Fanney said.

Campaneria said his vision is to offer a course of study that students can follow from young ages to the professional level.

“My goal is to pass on all of my knowledge to my students,” he said, noting that he will continue to travel widely. “A ballet teacher is like a doctor; you never stop learning.”

A ballet teacher – Campaneria, at least – is also sort of like a drill instructor, seeking perfection and precision out of each recruit.

A gentle beginning

Last month, the trim and muscular Campaneria paced down a line of young ballet dancers who filled a tiny dance studio in North Raleigh. It was a free promotional class for The International Ballet Academy, which will soon move to its spacious Cary studio.

Campaneria was direct but admittedly more gentle than normal. He was working with most of the girls for the first time.

He urged them, in bursts of English and French, toward more perfect form.

” Plié. Plié. … Point, point, point, point, point! … Concentrate!” Campaneria pleaded. “You must practice,” he said between piano songs. “It’s not going to happen by a miracle.”

Jeen and Dominic Wong of Cary sat in the lobby near several other parents. They watched the advanced class for more than an hour before their 13-year-old daughter, Victoria, got her chance with Campaneria.

“We’ve really been looking forward to joining his sessions,” said Jeen Wong. At the end of class, the girls clapped for Campaneria, then surrounded him with quiet curtsies.

Tersee Flores, meanwhile, got ready for her own move south with Darion. Two of her son’s classmates also will make the move to train with Campaneria.

“I think taking him away from Miguel now wouldn’t necessarily hold him back,” she said. “But it won’t move him as far as he can go.”

Staff writer Ted Richardson contributed to this report.

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