But this year lovely young dancer Alston MacGill has entered the RAPA program at The Rock School. We've never met, but I know she's a beautiful student. Read my interview below with her about adjusting to life on her own, transitioning to new training, and dancing in Philadelphia.
What made you decide to attend The Rock School's year-round program? Why Rock and not somewhere else?
I decided to attend The Rock after coming for four summer intensives. When I was here over the summer I absolutely loved it. Also, I at stayed at the Marine Club (our housing now) for a week, and thought that it was nice. My parents and I made the decision for me to come here because it offers amazing dance training and great academics!
This is your first time living away from home (besides summer intensives), right? What has that adjustment been like?
Yes, it is my first time living away from home, other than summer intensives. It has definitely been hard adjusting. This first month I’ve been super homesick! But with Nutcracker rehearsals starting and school picking up, I’ve been busier and have had less time to think about home. It’s also hard to adjust to full time roommates; I have always had my own bedroom and bathroom at home. Five weeks at a summer intensive is so different from a full year. All in all, I’ve really just been adjusting to being on my own and dealing with everything that comes up without my parents.
How has your first month of classes been? What's a typical day like in terms of schedule?
The first month of classes has been super fun, and I’m falling into the swing of things. On a typical day, we get up at 6:45 and walk over for breakfast at 7:30. At 8, I have RAPA (school) for two hours. Morning class starts at 10:30, and we have ballet and then pointe until 1. Then we have lunch in the Rock Garden Cafe and rehearsal or RAPA starts at 1:30, depending on your schedule. Another ballet class starts at 4 and ends at 6. There is also partnering on Fridays, and extra rehearsal thrown in there in the evening sometimes. Our day is packed! But of course, there is still time to hang out in the hallway when we get back to the dorms.
Nothing has been easy! I am working so hard in class everyday, and it’s so much more dancing than I’m used to. Plus, living on my own is a challenge, too. I’m really mature and can take care of myself; I was just getting homesick, especially after a tough day in the studios.
|Went through my own old Rock pictures...this was from October of my 2nd year (2004)...what babies we were!|