Dancers embody beauty and strength
Posted on 08/26/2022
Rotating image of ballet logo, intro speaker, panel and dancers sitting on stage

Today, roughly 1,000 dance students, grades 6-12, attended a special performance by the internationally-renowned National Ballet of Ukraine in the Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. 

Randi Hildreth, FOX-35 reporter served as the master of ceremonies, and Dr. Kathy Shuler, Chief Academic Officer, provided opening remarks.

From the opening to the end, audible gasps as well as oohs and aahs were heard throughout the performance.This was particularly notable when Odette, the white swan of “Black Swan” appeared on pointe rippling her arms in flight. From young love to sword fighting pirates, the dancers entertained and impressed attendees with their interactions and solos, but especially with their technical skill. 

After the minutes-long standing ovation the performers sat on stage to answer student questions. Ariaghna Parilla Rey and Nadia Allen, seniors in Dr. Phillips High School’s performing arts magnet, moderated this part of the event, which included humorous and heartfelt replies. Some of the dancers spoke English and translated for their colleagues.

“It was really cool to hear their emotion in their native language. Even though I didn’t know what they were saying until we heard the translation, we could tell how they felt,” Allen said.

The Ukrainian dance company is in Orlando for a benefit function scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27. The Ginsburg Family Foundation plans to raise more than a million dollars for charities providing Ukrainians assistance during the war.

The district is thankful for the team of volunteers, such as the event organizers, DPAC ushers, chaperones, and teachers and administrators, who worked together to make this rare event possible.