Arts and Entertainment

Chelsea Adomaitis apprentices with Pacific Northwest Ballet

Chelsea Adomaitis recently accepted an offer as an apprentice dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), according to her mother Jill Adomaitis, who teaches ballet for Vashon Allied Arts.

Jill Adomaitis says her daughter, who lives part-time in Seattle, has danced her whole life and that this is a dream come true for both mother and daughter.

As an apprentice dancer, Chelsea, 18, will be afforded all the benefits of a full company member in September 2009, and after one year will dance in PNB’s Corps De Ballet.

Chelsea, who danced in the professional division of the PNB School for two years, is the only female selected for an apprenticeship for 2009.

Currently, there are six apprentice dancers in the company. Ironically, one of Chelsea’s current PNB teachers, Dana Hanson, began her dance career with Vashon Allied Arts in the 1980s.

“When Chelsea was an infant, she spent a lot of time in my front pack, and later a backpack while I was teaching,” Jill says. “She never knew people did anything else besides dance.”

Jill’s older daughter, also a dancer, currently lives in New York City where she studies dance and theater.

Originally from Boston, since age 14 Chelsea attended Florida’s prestigious Harid Conservatory, a boarding school dedicated to producing professional dancers.

It was there, according to Jill, where a representative from PNB first saw Chelsea dance. She was offered a scholarship to attend the PNB School, and both mother and daughter moved to the Northwest in 2006. Jill began teaching dance and fusion exercise at Blue Heron Art Center, and Chelsea began dancing with PNB.

“I still pinch myself. It’s an amazing accomplishment,” says Jill.

Chelsea says, “I’m humbled and eternally grateful to all the teachers who helped me along the way, including my mom; this inspires me to work even harder.”

Jill, who also teaches classes in Bellevue and Tacoma, says she loves the rural lifestyle of Vashon and teaching ballet and fusion exercise at the Blue Heron. And she considers teaching a weighty responsibility. “I think when you teach ballet, you are also teaching how to be a human being — to learn respect for one another. The discipline of dance makes better students, better employees and better citizens of the world.”

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