Current ABT Soloists Sarah Lane and Craig Salstein along with former dancers Eric Tamm and Luis Ribagorda have set up an innovative website designed to help young dancers navigate their way through the ballet world. Ballet Mentor is designed to answer questions on dance, ranging from ballet competitions, auditioning process, summer incentives, diet and nutrition, etc.
The service has 10 mentors: Cory Strearns, Calvin Royal III, Craig Salstein, Sarah Lane, Katherine WIlliams, Nicole Graniero, Gillian Murphy, Thomas Forster, Jared Matthews, Yuriko Kajiya, all with ABT except for Jared and Yuriko. To gain access to the dancers for advice, members sign up for a subscription for 1-month, $49.99; 3-months, $39.99/month, or 12 months, $29.99/month. Subscribers pick a mentor and send questions, a guaranteed minimum of four responses per month, with a maximum response time of seven days. Switching of mentors is allowed.
This is a great idea that I think will be successful. They might have difficulty meeting the demands of young dancers seeking kernels of wisdom from the stars. Back in my dancing days long ago, I would have found this service useful and inspiring, being able to communicate with the leading lights in the field.
Eric from the website:
Ballet Mentor was created to fill a void that I myself experienced as a young aspiring artist, from a family with no dance background, trying to figure out what it takes to make it in the professional dance world. Being able to immediately connect with a working professional at the top of their industry would have proved invaluable to answer all of my questions and help me along my journey. I grew up 20 miles outside of NYC, with access to two major ballet companies, and I still had tons of questions, so I realize now there must have been more people in similar situations with possibly even more questions than me! Thankfully, Ballet Mentor can tackle every subject such as: summer programs and schools, dance attire, stage make-up and hair, ballet technique, company life, the audition process…and the list goes on. It’s a resource I didn’t have growing up that I know so many could benefit from. Our goal is simply to help the future generations of aspiring artists reach their full potential by giving better access to the tools they need to thrive.
Eric in Dance Magazine:
“It’s a baby right now,” says Tamm. “We’re just launching the mentor part of it, offering one-on-one attention from artists looking to give back and who have a lot to say. But once it takes off, we want to this to be a larger online community.” Lane hopes it will eventually offer online ballet classes and nutrition advice, for example.