Interview with Patience Gordon, OBC Apprentice

Waltz of the Flowers_Graham Lustig's The Nutcracker_2013Patience Gordon is a young, Bay Area-raised, dancer trained at Ballet Petit in Hayward, CA. Following her participation in last year’s summer intensive workshop, “Ballet Boot Camp,”  Artistic Director Graham Lustig presented her with the opportunity to join our 2013 production of Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker” as an apprentice.  Patience rose to the occasion beautifully and we were proud to include her among the Oakland Ballet Company dancers appearing on stage at the Paramount Theatre this past December.  After the performances, Patience wrote the following letter to Mr. Lustig and we would like to share it with you. Following her experience, Patience realized that she wants to pursue a professional career in dance and is in the process of auditioning for various training programs around the country, including the Rock School for Dance Education and Ballet Arizona.  We wish her all the best in her future dance endeavors!

(Patience Gordon appears in the above photo – third dancer from the right. Photo by David DeSilva.)

Dear Mr. Lustig,

I really cannot begin to say how grateful I am for such an opportunity. Looking back, being a part of OBC has definitely helped me grow, not only as a person and dancer but also an artist.

The company dancers are all such beautiful and talented people. It didn’t take very long for me to see how much more experience they have, but after a couple of days it stopped being intimidating and by watching them, I started to work even harder.

Learning the choreography was an experience in itself. After performing in the same Nutcracker at Ballet Petit for the last 12 years, it was interesting to learn a different version. The various roles were all challenging in different ways, and I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to learn so many different parts!

One of the things that impressed me the most was the feeling of teamwork and the company’s culture of “no small dancers.” Even though I was the youngest and least experienced, I didn’t feel overlooked or ignored. I felt very included. We were a team, artists coming together to be a part of a magnificent show, and I think that is what’s so special about dance; it brings people together.

Thank you again for the amazing experience!

Sincerely, Patience

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