Ballet Arizona hosts Estrella Mountain residency

Ballet Arizona dancer Tzu Chia Huang performs a graceful leap. [Rosalie O’Connor/Special to Independent Newsmedia]

Week-long stay culminates in performance with professional dancers, EMCC students


Estrella Mountain Community College will host Ballet Arizona company member Colleen Buckley in a week-long residency with the school’s Dance Program. Ms. Buckley, who has been with Ballet Arizona since 2017, will choreograph an original piece for the college’s dance students that will be performed as part of Dancing Across the Valley at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 23 on the Avondale campus, at 3000 N. Dysart Road.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to participate in a brief Q&A with dancers and event organizers at the end of the show. The Dancing Across the Valley performance is a series featuring Ballet Arizona professional company dancers, studio company dancers, and the Estrella Mountain dance students. During the residency, Community Engagement Manager Alexandra Papazian will offer insights about the lifestyle and career of ballet dancers.

Since opening in 2015, Estrella’s Performing Arts Center, a 30,000 square-foot facility, has become a premiere performance venue for the West Valley.

“We are proud to partner with EMCC with such a wonderful program. It really fulfills part of Ballet Arizona’s mission to make dance accessible for all,” Samantha Turner, Ballet Arizona executive director, states. “EMCC is helping us extend our reach in the Valley beyond our Phoenix-based performances and classroom offerings.”

The Ballet Arizona residency and collaborative performance is the educational vision of EMCC Residential Faculty, Janaea Lyn McAlee. For Ms. McAlee it is important that the opportunity be available to majors and non-majors.

“The participation of professional and studio companies and the educational facilitation provides an informative and educational overview which connects the residency experience and the professional performance,” she states.

Tickets for Dancing Across the Valley cost $10 for general admission and are free to Maricopa Community Colleges students with student ID. They are available at the door.



What: Dancing Across the Valley

When: 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 23

Where: Estrella Mountain Community College, 3000 N. Dysart Road

More Information: Email or call 623-935-8141

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