Our upper division dancers gathered at the entrance of studio 3 awaiting their masterclass with San Francisco Ballet Principal dancer, Frances Chung. From the Los Gatos Ballet studios, one could hear both the birds and the distance sound of the Oak Meadow train whistle in the background. A warm autumn breeze filled the air. It was a beautiful fall morning.
As the autumn breeze warmed and filled the air, Ms. Chung’s warm, yet confident teaching style filled the studio. Dancers were encouraged to focus on the details of grace and beauty supported by strength. Throughout the class, she gave specific directions to increase the dancers’ movement, sensitivity, and dexterity of their feet. To aid the students understanding, Ms. Chung used vivid imagery such as, “Massage the floor with your foot as though the floor were tiny kittens and you were massaging their heads with your foot.” Or, “Articulate as much as possible with your foot. Pretend you are creating a painting on the floor.” Her own visual examples exuded an elegance, grace, and precision that was inspirational to observe.
Throughout the class she demanded both elegance and precision from the dancers, continually challenging them with new combinations. “Show beauty and grace on your face, all the while being supported by incredible strength from your core.” It was obvious by her enthusiasm that Ms. Chung delights in both her dancing and teaching. She gave her all to demonstrate and verbalize the combinations to the dancers, sometimes even getting out of breath. Yet, it was her joyful demeanor that made the hard work fun. Ms. Chung instructed 44 of our Los Gatos Ballet dancers from Level 6, 7, & 8.
This time with Ms. Chung is only a precursor to her upcoming performance as The Sugar Plum Fairy in our Los Gatos Ballet Nutcracker to be held this December 9-11 at the Flint Center in Cupertino. Our Los Gatos Ballet students and staff are grateful for this and future opportunities to work with such an accomplished artist. Thank you, Ms. Chung!